Event marks 1942 opening of ONAS

Prairie Navy crew posing for a photo at Olathe Naval Air Station

An 80th anniversary celebration commemorating the Olathe Naval Air Station is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Commemorative Air Force Hangar, 6 Aero Plaza, New Century AirCenter.

Nicknamed the Prairie Navy, the military base was dedicated on Oct. 1, 1942. ONAS was closed in 1969 and decommissioned a year later.

Activities will include food, tours of the Commemorative Air Force Museum, flight simulators, photo boards and a paper airplane contest. The Gardner Historical Museum will also display pictures, posters, uniforms, newspaper articles and other memorabilia from the ONAS.

The free public event also commemorates the 55th anniversary of creation the Johnson County Airport Commission in 1967 to oversee airport operations and development at the AirCenter and Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe.

The celebration is being sponsored by the Johnson County Airport Commission, Gardner Historical Museum and the Heart of America Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.

More information is available by calling 913-715-6000 or jocogov.org/department/airport-commission.