WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- New Hanover County is already home to the state's World War II memorial. Today, the county's World War II flying aces received a very special honor.
The World War II Wilmington Home Front Heritage Coalition dedicated an aviators memorial at the Hannah Block USO Building. The memorial honors more than 120 pilots, bombardiers, navigators and other crewmen who flew for the Army Air Forces, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
"It's very rewarding to see so many people interested in what's been going on and giving thanks to those who participated," Ralph "Buck" Barden, a Navy captain during the war, said.
Thirty-nine aviators who left New Hanover County lost their lives either in combat or in accidents during World War II.