Coast Guard art to be featured at the Museum of The Albemarle

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – The Museum of The Albemarle is scheduled to open its new Coast Guard exhibit to the public following a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Elizabeth City 9 a.m. Saturday.

The exhibit, “Out of the Blue: Coast Guard Aviation,” features over 120 artifacts, photographs, graphic panels and a child-size helicopter that tell the story of the Coast Guard from its formation in 1790 to the present day.

Each of eight sections will focus on the various aspects of the Coast Guard with a concentration on the aviation aspect as it relates to Air Station Elizabeth City.

Throughout the museum, displays and other exhibits will be set up for visitors to learn more about aviation and the Coast Guard, such as “From Lights to Flight: United States Coast Guard Art Collection” and “Art from Our Guardians.”

“From Lights to Flight: United States Coast Guard Art Collection” depicts in art the many missions the Coast Guard performs daily and recounts its history. “Art from Our Guardians” tells the history of the Coast Guard through a variety of artwork by local artists Billy E. Richardson, Doug Lane and David Lawson.

A series of speakers are scheduled to follow the ribbon cutting ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. in the Gaither Auditorium inside the Museum.

At 10 a.m., Sergei Sikorsky will present “Recollections of a Pioneer” that discusses Igor Sikorsky’s helicopter development. Retired Coast Guard Cmdr. Stewart Gram will discuss the early history of helicopter development in Elizabeth City.

At 11 a.m., a Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City will conduct a search and rescue demonstration.

At 11:30 a.m., Retired Coast Guard Cmdr. Bruce Melnick will speak about his Coast Guard career and being the first Coast Guardsman to become an astronaut. Melnick flew as a mission specialist on the Shuttle Discovery STS-41, Oct. 1990 and as a flight engineer on STS-49 on the first flight of the Shuttle Endeavour.

At 12:30 p.m., The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station will present a lecture on the rescue of all 42 crewmen aboard the British tanker Mirlo when it exploded from the impact of a torpedo.

The series of speakers will conclude for the day at 1 p.m. when Cmdr. Joseph Deer and Master Chief Petty Officer John Long present the “Pritchard, Bottoms, Howarth Expedition”.

On Sunday, Oct. 4, from 2- 4 p.m. Joseph “Butch” Flythe will present “Coast Guard Search and Rescue” highlighting his years in the Coast Guard as a helicopter rescue swimmer and aviation survival technician.

The museum is located at 501 S. Water Street, Elizabeth City, N.C. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Closed Mondays and State Holidays.

To learn more about the Coast Guard Art Program, visit their website at

For more information about the exhibits, contact the Museum of the Albemarle at 252-335-1453 or visit their website at

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