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WWII veteran remembered in ITOW exhibit

The In Their Own Words Veterans Museum is preparing to unveil a new exhibit focused on its newest featured veteran’s story.

Arthur Dobias was born in Crookston, Minn., in 1925 and served in the 8th Army Air Force as part of the 493rd Bomb Group based at Debach Airfield in Suffolk, England.

Dobias flew in 14 combat missions over the Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe as a waist and ball turret gunner onboard B-17 bombers. After the war, he also made five food drops in Holland.

While serving, Dobias survived two airplane crashes – one of which is the subject of the exhibit.

“…suddenly the entire plane began to shudder like a live thing,” Dobias said, according to the museum’s placard. “The engines were roaring their all, it seemed, but we were losing altitude fast.”

Dobias eventually returned to England with family members in 2000 to visit the site of Debach Airfield and the crash site.

They used metal detectors to recover several of the artifacts that will be on display, including wreckage from the crash.

To learn more about Dobias’s experiences in the service, visit the exhibit at the ITOW.

A free wine and cheese opening reception will be held on Friday, June 17 at 7 p.m. at the museum. Dobias’s daughter, Ronni Nordby, will be a special guest.

The opening will also feature author Paul Sailer as a keynote speaker. Sailer wrote “The Oranges are Sweet,” the life story of another Minnesotan pilot named Don Beerbower.

For more information about the reception or the museum, call 346-7678. The ITOW Veterans Museum is located at 805 W Main Street in Perham.