Author photo

By Pat Doody
staff writer 

Bench dedicated to Tehachapi MIA


November 25, 2023

Pat Doody.

On the afternoon of veterans Day, over 50 people attended the dedication of a bench located in front of the American Legion Hall located on F Street. The bench was placed in honor of Gilbert Louis Mitchell, Tehachapi's only MIA. Mitchell's plane was shot down on March 6, 1968 in Haiphong Harbor during the Vietnam War and his body was never recovered. Mitchell was part of the Tehachapi High School 1959 graduating class.

American Legion Post 221 Commander Lynn Eckert dedicated the bench which was created out of retired wind turbine blades. City Manager Greg Garrett said that the bench is the first of six benches donated to the city by an unidentified wind energy company and was fabricated in Missouri by a company that creates functional art.

In the photo, Bob Mitchell, Gilbert's younger brother who now lives in Bakersfield, and was recognized by Eckert. Another brother, Don Eckert, was unable to attend.


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