Night at the Museum

Written by: Cory Tompkins-Eliason
Cory Tomkins-Eliason poses with Col. “Buddy” Walker, both dressed in period outfits to attend “A Night at the Museum,” which is the last event of the 2022 season at the Dakota Territory Air Museum.

On the evening of October 22, I went to the final fundraiser of the year at the Dakota Territory Air Museum. As I was talking to this ‘Army Air Corps bomber pilot’ (who looked a lot like Ike Eisenhower, I thought), someone asked if they could take our photograph.


Because the costume for the evening was the Golden Age of Aviation, I was of course dressed out as the pioneer aviatrix Beryl Markham, the first woman to solo the Atlantic from East to West- (what is known as the hard way). Departing from Abington, England, and eventually landing in North America at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her trip ended early due to a frozen fuel line. She had been flying during the night into 40 mph headwinds of heavy weather & made a forced landing into a peat bog with her Vega Gull aircraft. The year of her historic flight was 1936. She was later to author a book, West with the Night.
Now for the rest of the story: The ‘bomber pilot’ turned out to be none other than the Minot Air Force Base’s Chaplain, Buddy Walker! In speaking to him I mentioned to him that my father, 1st Lt. Lonnie Tompkins, had been a Command Pilot of a B-17G during World War 2 in the European Theatre of Operations, stationed at Tunis, on the African continent and later in Ammendola, Italy. Sometime after the war, he became a construction supervisor for Halvorson Construction and built a B-52 hangar and the MAFB Chapel with the revolving altar.


I was delighted to learn that Chaplain Walker not only was the Chaplain at that very same Chapel but that he had cared enough about it to have it restored!


Meeting Chaplain Buddy Walker was the highlight of the evening for me. He is someone everyone should meet and a splendid ambassador for the U.S. Air Force!


He cares about the history of our Air Force and takes care of its future through his ministry.
Well done Chaplain Walker!


The Dakota Territory Air Museum is now closed for the year, with the re-opening set for May of 2023. The Dakota Territory Air Museum event, “A Night At The Museum,” raised over $6,000.00 for the museum.
Cory Thompkins-Eliason is not only a local treasure but a dear family friend of our publisher Ted Bolton, who hopes to have her contribute more columns to this publication in the future.

You May Also Like…

Airmen Compete in Bismark Marathon

Airmen Compete in Bismark Marathon

Seventeen Airmen were awarded an Air Force Marathon medal by base leadership at Minot Air Force, North Dakota, Nov. 15, 2022. The Airmen participated in the Bismarck Marathon as a substitution to the Air Force Marathon held on Sept. 17, 2022, which was at...

Minot AFB Airmen Become U.S. Citizens

Minot AFB Airmen Become U.S. Citizens

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --Airman 1st Class Jarious George from the 5th Force Support Squadron, Airman 1st Class Kojo Affainie and Airman Constanza De Puerta, from the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron, earn their United States citizenship during a naturalization...

The View From Our Side: A True North Dakota Winter Experience

The View From Our Side: A True North Dakota Winter Experience

You are writing your friends and relatives who have the impression that you have been sent to the frozen tundra of North Dakota… a place where all there is to do is hunker down for a long winter of darkness and cold, cold weather. Well, let’s change that dialogue a...

0 Comments

Subscribe to our Weekly Post Brief

Subscribe to our Weekly Post Brief

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from the Northern Sentry

You have Successfully Subscribed!