The Liberty Aviation Museum’s WWII Navy TBM Avenger and B-25 bomber, Georgie’s Gal, as well as the Yankee Air Museum’s Yankee Lady B-17 bomber soared above the crowd at Shooters’ Memorial Plaza at this year's First Shot Ceremony at Camp Perry, OH. As each plane flew over, they were saluted by a War of 1812 period cannon, a Civil War era cannon, a modern era 37mm anti-aircraft gun, and last but not least—Camp Perry’s own 70mm cannon. Each plane did a loop over Lake Erie before flying back through the smoke from the artillery.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), the National Rifle Association and the Adjutant General’s Department of Ohio were the hosts of this year's First Shot Ceremony, marking the official start of the 2016 National Matches.
Colors were presented by the 555th Honors Detachment of Wooster, OH. This year’s flag bearer was Lloyd Boyer, 90, who was an artilleryman in General George Patton’s Third Army in WWII, as well as a special guest at last year's First Shot ceremony.
The 122nd Army Band entertained the crowd with traditional military songs, including a salute to the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
The First Shot Speaker this year was CMP Board Member Oscar Mahlon Love. Among his many accomplishments, he is a retired executive vice president and director of the largest bank in New Mexico as well as a former Commissioner of the New Mexico State Police. Additionally, as a Civilian Aide Senior to the Secretary of the Army, Mr. Love has assisted on governmental and private boards, and he is also very involved with youth-oriented activities.
Mr. Love fired the first official shot of the National Matches at the conclusion of the ceremony.