“Soon, others who had heard of our collection offered to add to it, including Richard DeBruin, Wisconsin, who was head of the 352nd Fighter Group Association, and Joe Noah from the Preddy Memorial Foundation. Preddy was the 352nd’s top ace, and Noah donated an illustration and plaque from the foundation. Others in the community have been regular contributors, adding books and funds to help us purchase more.”
Kruse added, “Quite simply, this collection would never have existed without him (Mahle). The beautiful plaque carved by Tim Weberding and the extensive amount of books and other materials and memorabilia in this collection will serve as daily reminders of Jim’s passion for flying. As far as we are concerned, Jim is a part of local aviation history, and we are so happy to be able to share this collection, named in his memory, with the public.
“Since becoming one of over 100 Evergreen Indiana libraries (where card holders can borrow materials from other member libraries), we’ve seen the circulation of many items from this collection increase to include borrowers from all around the state. We invite anyone with an interest in learning more about aviation and its history to check out the Jim Mahle Memorial Aviation Collection here at the library.”
Diane Raver can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.