100 years of Marine Aviation. A legacy of achievement.
Posted By: Community Manager 05-16-12
Dating back to 1912, Marine Aviation has remained committed to being at the forefront of any mission. Whether it’s being the first aviators to train alongside ground units and the first to deploy overseas, or incorporating first-of-its-kind technology on aircraft, the right combination of machine and Marine has always enabled our elite warriors to live the mantra: first to fight.
Equally vital to the accomplishments are the aviators who led the way. Names like Bernard L. Smith who established the Marine section of the Navy Flight School; Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, commander of the Black Sheep Squadron during Guadalcanal; Frank Peterson, the first African-America aviator; and John Glenn, part of the original Mercury Seven and the first American to orbit the earth from space.
From the various aircraft to the warriors who fly them, much has changed throughout Marine Aviation’s history. Times and technology have shifted how our modern day aviators operate, but the distinct mission of Marine Aviation has remained the same: support fellow Marines on the ground.
Today, Marine Aviators continue to build on a legacy addressing current needs while also preparing for future missions. The ability to respond and provide aid is just as critical to aviation as any combat-focused mission. The same innovative spirit, bravery and dedication to duty that has marked the first centennial of Marine Aviation will undoubtedly continue with the Wings of Gold placed and pinned on a new generation.
As the next century unfolds, the state of Marine Aviation is in equally good hands, thanks to the commitments of your sons, daughters and students alike. No matter if they’re operating from ships at sea, major air facilities ashore, or expeditionary bases in perilous locations around the globe, the Aviation Combat Element has proven its mettle—and will continue to—in every clime and place.
For an in-depth look into this centennial, download 100 years of Marine Aviation: An illustrated History.
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