Hearth and Home Day in Faulkton honors WWII fighter and wife
July 31, 2019
Editor’s Note: The following story about Cyril “CJ” and Dorothy Huss is from the Faulk County Record. They are the grandparents of Ted Huss of Ipswich.
The wife of an American WWII fighter pilot is being honored at a celebration in Faulkton this Saturday, August 3.
The celebration includes a visit of an authentic, WWII P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft of the kind that Faulk County native, Cyril “CJ” Huss flew as part of the famed 23rd Fighter Group in China. Additionally, noted aviation artist and filmmaker, John Mollison, will be presenting original artwork of Huss’ aircraft to Dorothy T. “Dot T” (Peek) Huss, Cyril’s surviving wife, age 96.
Huss’ P-51 combat aircraft Mustang was named “The Dot-T” to honor his newlywed wife, still living in Montgomery, Ala. while he was stationed overseas. Surviving the war, Cyril returned to Faulkton where he and his wife were proud members of the community.
Cyril was inducted into the South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame in 1994 for his service with the Flying Tigers during WWII.
In 2012, Dorothy Huss established the “Dot-T” Steakhouse in honor of Cyril’s WWII heritage. The artwork was commissioned by Sioux Falls eye surgeon and WWII history enthusiast Dr. David West after meeting the pilot’s daughter Margie and discovering her father’sWWII service.
“When Margie described that her dad named his P-51 after her mother and her mother was still alive, I saw it as a great connection from the past to the present. That the name and story continues today in the business they built is remarkable, I decided to honor the family and community in order to keep this history alive,” stated Dr. West.
Artist Mollison explained the significance of Huss’ service, “The China-Burma-India Theatre of Operations was an especially difficult part of World War II. The Japanese were formidable and powerful up until the last months of the war. Though Cyril survived, the real “Dot-T” P-51 was destroyed due to combat action on Jan. 22, 1945. Yet, this artwork makes sure the airplane and the couple’s influence, will be remembered.”
The day’s event will begin at 3 p.m. at the Faulkton Airport including a presentation of the artwork to the family, and Cyril and Dorothy Huss’ granddaughter, Jaci Mollman, will be singing the National Anthem. After the presentation, the P-51, flown by Aberdeen pilot, Dr. John Bormes, will perform a fly over of the town to honor Cyril and Dorothy.
Faulkton Mayor Slade Roseland will present Mrs. Huss with a declaration announcing that Aug. 3 will be known as “Hearth and Home Day” in the city of Faulkton.
Afterwards, the framed art will be installed at the Dot-T Steakhouse. Polo American Legion Post 299 will be providing the military color guard and will also participate in the afternoon’s event.
Additional events to support the day are expected and will be announced as they are confirmed.
The public is encouraged to attend as the opportunity to experience an historical significant aircraft up-close is increasingly rare.
For more information on the event, contact John Mollison, 605.261.6070 or David Huss, 605.391.9503.