Heritage displayed: Lt. Kingsley’s memories go digital

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Emily Copeland
  • 173rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs


A new heritage display opened recently at Kingsley Field after months of preparation from the 173rd Fighter Wing Historian’s office. This is the first time a digital display can be seen in the halls of the 173rd FW command building, and the subject of the display is none other than our namesake, 2nd Lt. David R. Kingsley.

“This display really brings life to who Lt. Kingsley was not only as a World War II hero, but as a regular guy who was making his way through life,” said Major Ryan Bartholomew, 173rd FW historian. “It’s important as a current Airman at Kingsley Field to know why the base name was dedicated to him and how we can continue to remember his sacrifice to our country.”

The digital display is interactive in a way that allows you to touch the screen to move to different viewable documents and animations. Several key pieces are Lt. Kingsley’s personal journal, a letter from Staff Sgt. Mike Sullivan, the wounded tail gunner whom Lt. Kingsley sacrificed his life for, and a story of Kingsley’s life and valor.

“We were given these items by Lt. Kingsley’s family members who wanted them to be showcased to all of our Airmen on base,” said Bartholomew. “This was a great project to work on and it took a lot of help from members of 173rd Operations Group and the 173rd Civil Engineer Squadron to bring every piece to life.”

Any member has access to view this new display, which presents itself on the wall to the left once you walk into the main entrance of the command building, 211. This new display opening comes at a perfect time as March 25 is National Medal of Honor Recipient Day, to which Lt. Kingsley was posthumously awarded on April 9, 1945, for his actions during the Ploesti Raid.

The 173rd FW commander, Col. Jeff Edwards praised Bartholomew on the creation of the heritage display stating, “You far exceeded anything that I had ever imagined. Thank you for your vision, passion and hard work!  Your work of art is a lasting tribute to Lt. David R. Kingsley and his family, and you have marked a new chapter in celebrating our heritage at Kingsley Field… way to go!”

A quilt made by Lt. Kingsley’s niece, Fran Kingsley, will be hung up on the wall above the digital display at a later date. Stay tuned for that addition to our heritage display!