Bakersfield High School will unveil its new Freedom Tree planted in honor of Navy Commander James Mills, a BHS class of 1958 alumnus, on Friday.

Mills was a naval aviator who went missing when his fighter jet disappeared from radar in 1966 off of the coast of Vietnam.

In 1972, BHS planted the original Freedom Tree, but during a storm last year, it fell. The loss of the Freedom Tree coincided with news that Mills' remains were found after 52 years.

Friday’s ceremony, beginning at 1 p.m., will include comments from Mills' sister.

For more information, please contact KHSD Public Information Officer Erin Briscoe-Clarke at (661) 827-3171 or

(1) comment


what a messed up war....what a very different time...all the body counts on the nightly news....the families burned alive with napalm....and for what....

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.