A C-2A Greyhound assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 taxis to off-load passengers after landing aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Andrew K. Haller / Released) (DVIDS)
A U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter lifts off from Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan on Feb 29.
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht (DVIDS)
By Betty “Tack” Blake
Betty “Tack” Blake was a Women’s Air Force Service pilot during World War II and a graduate of the first graduating class in 1943 near Ellington Field in Houston. Almost 80 years later, she still remembers the day she met Amelia Earhart:
Amelia Earhart came to the islands for two or three days, and she gave a talk at the [University of Hawaii]. I was only 14, so I couldn’t drive, but I was already learning to fly. My father drove me to the university, and I was the only kid who was there that night, so they put me in the front row.
So she stood right in front of me as she talked, and it seemed like she was talking right to me. When the talk was finished, all the people lined up to shake her hand and talk to her. As soon as she got through talking to everybody, she came and sat beside me.
We had dinner afterward, and she was going to take off the next day for Australia, so she invited me out to the airport to sit inside her twin-engine Beechcraft. She showed me all the instruments and we had quite a discussion. Then, I watched her take off.
Read the rest of the story here.
By the time Merryl Tengesdal graduated from the Navy’s flight aviation program in 1994, the early women aviation pioneers like Bessie Coleman, Janet Bragg, Willa Brown and Mae Jemison had pretty much broken the barriers for race and gender.
But after the Bronx native switched to the Air Force a decade later, she helped rewrite the aviation and Air Force history books by becoming the first African-American to fly the U-2 reconnaissance plane.
Inspired as a young girl by the Star Trek movies of the 1970s and ’80s, Tengesdal went on to excel in math and science in high school and took that interest into college…
Read the rest of her story here.
After watching his father narrowly escape a lynching in early 20th century Georgia, Eugene Bullard would escape the confines of racial tensions and a segregated country to become the first African-American combat pilot and one of the first African-American heroes of World War I.
Bullard, who grew up in Columbus, Ga., as one of 10 children of a former slave, left his hometown as a teenager, stowing away on a ship bound for Scotland and moved to London to fulfill his dreams.
Before the war began, Bullard moved to Paris where he made a reputation for himself as a professional boxer.
Read more of Bullard’s incredible story here.
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS) - A young woman from rural east Texas, who grew up in a hardscrabble existence as one of 13 children born to poor sharecropper parents, became an unlikely choice to pave the way for future African-American accomplishments in aviation and the U.S. Air Force.
Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman would go on to be the first female pilot of African-American descent, but more importantly would later influence the accomplishments of others who would continue the evolution of African-American involvement in aviation throughout the 20th century.
Read more here.
DH-4 at Le Frene, France.
Note Lewis Machine Gun and hand-painted Marine Corps Insignia on the DH-4. Collection of Howard H. Tewksbury, 1984. DH-4 aircraft were used during the mission on 14 October 1918. Tewksbury was an Ensign and flew as a Marine Aviator during World War I.
NHHC Photograph Collection, U-412.
By Erin Murray, Army Flier Staff Writer
FORT RUCKER, Ala. – Sixty Fort Rucker spouses flew, shot and swam their way through a day of hands-on exercises, hoping to better understand their Soldiers’ experiences and even earn their own set of Aviator’s wings.
Read more here