Governor Proclaims ‘Miss Montana’ the State’s Official Plane
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The Museum of Mountain Flying hosted Montana Governor Greg Gianforte Thursday evening for a very special presentation.
The Museum is the home of the iconic ‘Miss Montana’ aircraft that most recently took part in the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion at Normandy, France, as well as the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift.
The Governor, a Pilot Himself, Enjoyed Being Aboard the 'Miss Montana'
Governor Gianforte began by praising the people who helped restore the iconic aircraft.
“I think it's really important and great that we celebrate our Montana history and values,” began Gianforte. “And you know this, that we're blessed to be able to call Montana home. We have an obligation to preserve our heritage. We do that by preserving our shared history, and I want to just thank every one of you that volunteered to get this girl back in the sky and go all the way to Normandy and back again.”
Gianforte said the Miss Montana embodies the can-do spirit of Montana.
Gianforte Recounted the Story of how the Miss Montana was Restored
“Miss Montana is really a living piece of history that truly embodies the spirit of Montana,” he said. “She's a special aircraft, and that's why we're here to honor her and all those that are working to preserve her. So, I have prepared an official proclamation which I'd like to read.”
The Governor then read the official proclamation that places the Miss Montana into state history.
“The state of Montana governor's proclamation,” he began. “Whereas mountain flying, smoke jumping and vintage aircraft have a long and storied history in Montana and the Mountain West; and whereas the Museum of Mountain Flying has was formed in 1994 to preserve the memory of mountain flying, mountain pilots, Johnson Flying Service and other early aviation in Montana and the Mountain West.”
Gianforte said the Miss Montana is now 'Montana's Aircraft'
Gianforte continued with the official proclamation.
“Whereas this aircraft was christened in 2018 as Miss Montana and restored by Montana volunteers to make new history flying to Europe and back, representing Montana during the commemoration of the 75th D-Day Anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift; now, therefore, I Greg Gianforte, Governor of the State of Montana, do hereby proclaim Miss Montana as ‘Montana's aircraft’, (applause)”
The Governor also honored individuals who worked behind the scenes to make the ‘Miss Montana’s’ restoration possible, then joined all the attendees for a barbecue dinner before flying back to Helena.
Bryan Douglass, one of the key members of the restoration team, in addition to helping to pilot the aircraft to Normandy and throughout Europe, was also honored by Governor Gianforte, who encouraged the crowd to purchase Douglass’ book about the Miss Montana, ‘Every Reason to Fail, the Unlikely Story of Miss Montana’. Douglass also voiced the audiobook.