NewsCovering Kern County


BHS presents new Freedom Tree honoring Navy Commander James Mills

Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 20:39:30-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Bakersfield High School unveiled its new Freedom Tree planted in honor of Navy Commander James Mills who graduated from the school in 1958.

The special ceremony included members of the Mills family. Mills, who served as a Naval Aviator, went missing in 1966 when his fighter jet disappeared from a radar off the coast of Vietnam.

In 1972, BHS originally planted a Freedom Tree in memory of Mills but a storm from last year caused the tree to fall. The loss of the Freedom Tree coincided with news that after 52 years, Mills remains were finally found.

The school said it will continue to honor Mills by planing a new Freedom Tree.

The event is set to start at 1 p.m. on Friday at BHS, located on G Street and will include the Presenting of Colors, singing of the National Anthem, and comments from Mills' sister.