USTF to host Battle of Exercise Tiger ceremony

The United States Exercise Tiger Foundation (USTF) is seeking veterans to attend an event Friday to commemorate the 79th anniversary of the Battle of Exercise Tiger in World War II.

The USTF event will be at the Audrain County Courthouse in Mexico, Missouri. Proceedings will begin at 1 p.m. In the event of rain, the event will be moved to the county building rotunda, a release states.

Every veteran who attends the ceremony will receive medals and certificates for their services. Veterans who served in Vietnam will also receive additional pins from the Department of Defense. All medals are free.

At Friday's ceremony, the country's first all civilian piloted three airplane flyover will take place. This will mark the conclusion of the ceremony. The airplanes will be flown by pilots from the Kingdom Pilots Association.

One of the planes for the flyover will be a WWII EROC Aero Coupe single seat scout plane, a release states.

Susan Haines, USTF executive director, said each plane will have special United States flags that were previously flown on "USAF A10s from the 442nd FW at Whiteman AFB."

As part of the event, USTF is coordinating the laying of wreaths with the U.S. Coast Guard. Wreaths will be laid at sea in the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River.

This is the 35th year overall, and the 20th year honoring PO Nathan Bruckenthal USCG, who died in combat in 2004.

Bryan Lesher, CM2 petty officer based in Columbia, will be sent to perform the official bell toll at the end of the ceremony.

Gov. Mike Parson will present a proclamation in honor of the event, a release states. The Audrain County Commissioners and Mexico Mayor Vicky Briggs will be in attendance, as will local VFW's, legions, Missouri Military Academy, and Missouri Army Guard, a release states.

Capt. Scott Rae, USCG, has sent remarks to be read at Friday's event. He is currently in transit, and has previously taken part in the event.

In May, the USTF is hosting the Mid-Missouri Tribute of the Department of Defense's "Welcome Home" for all Vietnam War or era veterans, a release states.

This event will be at noon May 13 at the Great Hall of the International Brotherhood of Odd Fellows in downtown Columbia.

To learn more about the event, call USTF at 573-356-0529 or email [email protected].