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Features

Ellwood House lecture uncovers WWII drone history

Roger Keys will discuss World War II drones at the Ellwood House Museum’s monthly lecture series on Nov. 1.
Roger Keys will discuss World War II drones at the Ellwood House Museum’s monthly lecture series on Nov. 1.

DeKALB – Roger Keys grew up putting together toy plane kits, so when he stumbled upon an “unusual-looking” model at a garage sale more than 30 years ago, he knew he was on to something special. Years later, Keys would discover that his find was actually an Interstate TDR Drone, an early unmanned aerial combat vehicle otherwise known as an “assault drone.”

The quest for more information led Keys to research the history of World War II drones, once kept top-secret, and the men who operated them.

On Nov. 1, Keys will be the featured speaker at the Ellwood House Museum’s monthly lecture series, recounting his experience visiting the workshop of a TDR engineer in Wisconsin, the reunions of the men of STAG ONE, the Navy air group that operated the drone in the South Pacific, and his efforts to rebuild part of this chapter in our country’s history.

Outside of his research, Keys is a restoration specialist, refurbishing homes, churches and public buildings throughout the Midwest. He also has served as board member for the Illinois Association of Historic Preservation Commissions, former president of the Ellwood House Association, and a consultant for the Glidden Homestead.

Keys’ lecture is part of Brown Bag Lunch/Local Lore, the museum’s free adult lecture series offered in collaboration with the DeKalb County History Center. The one-hour program will take place at noon in the Ellwood House Museum’s Visitor Center at 509 N. First St. in DeKalb. Participants are welcome to bring their own lunch; coffee and cookies will be provided.

For more information, contact Audrey King at 815-756-4609 or king@ellwoodhouse.org. For the complete Brown Bag Lunch/Local Lore schedule, visit www.ellwoodhouse.org/learn.

Brown Bag Lunch/Local Lore is funded in part by the Mary E. Stevens Concert and Lecture Fund.

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