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B-1 flyover to cap off veterans ceremony in Sturgis


Aircrew from the 28th Bomb Wing are scheduled to provide a B-1 flyover above Main Street in Sturgis, South Dakota, at 3 p.m., Aug. 8 as part of the 17th Annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony.


The flyover, allowed as part of an approved training mission, will cap off an event formally recognizing South Dakota veteran, Stan Lieberman.


Lieberman is one of two remaining Pearl Harbor attack survivors living in South Dakota. He entered military service Sept. 20, 1940 and was attending training as a photographer at Wheeler Army Airfield when the Japanese attacked Hawaii.


At 7:40 a.m. Dec. 7, 1941, Lieberman said he awoke to an explosion across the street from his barracks as the first bombs were dropped by the Japanese. Until that point, the then 24-year-old Army Air Corps private had never fired a weapon. He picked up a .50-caliber machine gun and began firing at the Japanese aircraft. After overheating that weapon, Lieberman picked up a rifle and fired several shots at bombing aircraft. Two days later, Lieberman was ordered to grab his camera equipment and board a B-18 aircraft to fly over Pearl Harbor for three hours to photograph the wreckage below.


He was transferred stateside in 1943 and was eventually assigned to Rapid City Army Air Base, later renamed Ellsworth AFB. Lieberman separated from the military in 1945 as a staff sergeant and currently resides in Rapid City.


The Aug. 8 event honoring Lieberman will begin at Ellsworth AFB with the Dakota Thunder Motorcycle Ride hosted by the Green Knights Dakota Thunder Motorcycle Association, an international group for all military members. For details on the Dakota Thunder Motorcycle Ride, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/686729294854375/.

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