GES students visit 416th Bomb Wing Archive
Olivia Milligan was one of 90 Gainesville Elementary School art students who visited the 416th Bomb Wing Archive in Gainesville recently as guests of archive owners Wayne and Doris Sayles. This was the second year the fifth- and sixth-grade art students have made the visit, which includes ID badges, lunch and informative talks by the Sayleses to explain the purpose and focus of the archive. The facility honors the four squadrons of veterans who served in the bomb wing during World War II. Students were introduced to specific veterans whose service records are preserved in the facility, which is housed in the old city hall building that the Sayleses have remodeled into a comfortable museum and research center. The students, divided into three groups that visited Friday, Monday and Tuesday, were accompanied by GES principal Jason Morris and art teacher William Schoelles. The art teacher initiated the students’ connection to the archive last year by requesting photos of the 416th veterans for the students to copy as grid drawings. Those drawings, as well as this year’s renderings, can be viewed on the archive’s Facebook page (search for 416th Bomb Group Archive). At the end of each group’s visit, the other students searched the archive’s Memory Wall for the veteran their assigned “squadron” had met through the descriptions of archive registrar Doris Sayles.