UPDATE -12.7.2012 at 4:31

Mr. Forbes’ plane, which was recovered earlier today. Although the plane was split in half, one of the tires still had air in it!

Photo by Steve Lundy, Daily Herald

Video of the recovery  on Today’s THV.


In observance of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Fresno State President John D. Welty ordered Fresno State’s flags to be flown at half-staff Friday until sunset to remember and honor the 2,403 Americans who died in the December 7, 1941 attack.

 “Please join me on the 71st anniversary of this infamous day in our nation’s history for a moment of reflection on not just the lives lost that fateful day, but the courage and sacrifice of all who were affected by it at home and abroad,” Welty said in a message to the campus community.

The university’s flags are posted at the Thomas Administration Building, the North Gym and the Save Mart Center.

A special concert by the Fresno State Symphonic Band will also pay tribute to the historic event that drew the U.S. into World War II.

The symphony will perform “Remember Pearl Harbor,” 8 p.m. in the Music Department Concert Hall. This 75-minute multi-media presentation/concert will recall events 71 years ago and pay tribute to those who served, said Dr. David Fullmer, band director in the Department of Music.

Tickets are $7 general admission, $6 for senior citizens and university employees and $5 for students with a valid ID. All veterans will be admitted free of charge. For more information about the concert, call  559.278.2654.

The occasion also commemorates the 50th anniversary of Fresno State’s Memorial Fountain on campus which was dedicated on Dec. 7, 1962, in Memorial Court south of the Kennel Bookstore. A re-dedication was held in May of this year after the fountain was renovated as a Centennial gift from the Class of 2011.

 “The fountain has become a memorable icon for thousands of Fresno State students the past 50 years in Memorial Court, which stands in tribute to the valor of the men and women who serve our country,” Welty said.

One of those veterans is the late William “Bill” Forbes, a Fresno State alumnus and Fresno attorney who was pilot training in a WW II U.S. Navy FM-2 “Wildcat” Fighter that suffered mechanical failure and crashed into Lake Michigan Dec. 28, 1944.

Yesterday, the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation announced it will recover the salvaged aircraft from the depths of the lake off the Chicago shoreline at approximately 10 a.m. Dec. 7 in  concert with the Naval History and Heritage Command. The aircraft will be restored for display.

Forbes graduated from Fresno State in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in Social Science. The U.S. Navy veteran practiced law in Fresno and was associated with the Fresno State Alumni Association from 1955 until his death in 2008.  He was instrumental in fundraising for the Smittcamp Alumni House and was awarded the Association’s Arthur Safstrom Service Award in 1993.

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