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What Does American Air Power and the Declaration of Independence Have In Common?

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What? The United States recently celebrated 241 years of independence, and a lot has changed since the fledgling nation began defending itself. In the 1700s, aviation was but a dream by a few imaginative soon-to-be American patriots. Indeed, parts of America’s Declaration of Independence focused on the most important transportation mode of the time… the world’s seas and their ability to support trade. Among the objections the Colonists had over the King of Great Britain were that he had “…plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.” Additionally, he was “…cutting off our trade with all parts of the world.” Thus, our founding fathers concluded that “… as Free and Independent States, they have full power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do". America declared that she had the right to defend herself and her important trade opportunities.

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Scott AFB: One Hundred Years in the Making

_MG_9231 (1000x514) The time period is June 1917, the location Belleville Illinois, located roughly 25 miles to the East of St. Louis Missouri. Construction begins on the then-known Scott Field, named after Corporal Frank Scott, the first enlisted person killed in an aviation related crash in 1911. The flying mission at Scott would begin a few months later with pilot and mechanic training on the Curtis JN-4D Jenny type aircraft. It would be these early days of flying and the hazardous nature of such that would give birth to a mission Scott still fulfills today, Aeromedical Evacuation. The mission at Scott would change in the 1920’s and 1930’s with the base being designated a “Lighter Than Air” Station with Balloons and Dirigibles assigned. In 1939 with the clouds of war looming, the mission reverted to a training role, this time it would be communications training which would last until 1957. The United States Air Force would become a service in 1947, Scott Field was renamed to Scott Air Force Base. The 1950s brought about many unit changes and re-designations with Aeromedical Evacuation becoming even more important than it already was. Read more »

2017 Camarillo Air Show Preview

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Coming up in just over a month is the famed Wings over Camarillo Air Show in Camarillo, Ca. on August 19th and 20th. This year will prove to be yet again one of the “can’t miss” shows of the year! The Grand Marshal this year will be one of the surviving Tuskegee Airmen. At 97 years young, Lt. Col. Robert (Bob) J. Friend is one of the first African American pilots to serve in the U.S. military and was assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group, The Red Tails, which flew the P-51 Mustang during WWII. For this year’s aerial entertainment, Vicky Benzing, John Collver, Judy Phelps, and Sammy Mason are on tap to provide the aerobatics. Read more »

America’s First Defense Airport

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On Memorial Day Weekend 2017, Millville, NJ celebrated the 75th anniversary of Millville Army Airport- “America’s First Defense Airport”- by continuing a long tradition of hosting air shows. This year’s show welcomed back the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, who last appeared at Millville in 2007.

The story of Millville Army Air Field starts with the Millville Flying Club (chartered November 9, 1939) petitioning the city to build a local airport. The Flying Club’s dream came true on February 2, 1941 when, on a huge tract of wooded land, construction started under the National Defense Act of 1940 on an airfield (Moore’s Field) replete with asphalt runways. As construction neared completion, the mayor of Millville proclaimed August 2, 1941 “Millville Airport Day” by closing all businesses in the city, except drug stores and service stations. Ten thousand people attended the grand event dedicating the nation’s “First Defense Airport” that included the airfield’s first air show. Local flyers thrilled the crowd with snap rolls, inverted flying, stalls and loops, along with free airplane rides. The show concluded with a bomb-dropping contest and parachute jump.

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