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MARINE AVIATION CELEBRATES 100 YEARS!
Marine Aviation Centennial Week “Putting the A in MAGTF”

On May 22, 1912 Marine Corps First Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham reported to Annapolis, Maryland for flight training, marking the birth of Marine Corps Aviation. Almost 100 years later, the integration of the air-ground team of the Marine Corps continues to make history through their outstanding innovation and transformation of aviation.

As stated by General James F. Amos, the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, “For nearly 100 years, Marine Aviation has demonstrated the adaptability, agility, and unique ethos that comes with the title ‘Marine.’

Marine Aviation Centennial 2012

From Lt. Col. Alfred A. Cunningham in 1912 to Capt. Vernice Armour in 2001. From Lt. Gen. Frank E. Peterson in 1952 to Lt. Col. Sarah Deal in 1993.

From the Curtiss airplane to the Lockheed Martin F-35 jets.

Pilots and planes, they’re all part of the Marine Corps Aviation wing. And they’re all part of history as Marine Corps Aviation celebrates its centennial throughout 2012.

Cunningham, widely acknowledged as the father of Marine Aviaation, was the Marine Corps first pilot, and Armour was the first black female pilot. Peterson was the Corps first black pilot, and Deal was the female pilot. The Curtiss airplane was the Marine Corps first plane, and the F-35 series is its latest jet program.

From the past to the present is a continuous line, linking Marine Corps aviators through the generations. A kinship, a fellowship, a bond; it’s what they all have in common, men and women, young and old, all races and creeds. They’re Marine Corps aviators, now and forever.

Centennial celebrations begin April 21-22 at the New Orleans Air Show, where the Blue Angels are scheduled to perform, and wrap up during Marine Aviation Centennial Week from May 14-20 at the Gaylord National Harbor Conference Center in Maryland. The Sunset Parade, aerial reviews, and the Marine Corps Aviation Association reunion and awards are just a few of the scheduled events for Aviation Week. And there’s a Joint Service Open House from May 19-20 at Andrews Air Force Base.

Marine Corps aviators have been a part of every major conflict in the 100 years since it was founded, flying missions in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the Marine Corps Centennial website: “For nearly 100 years, Marine Aviation has demonstrated the adaptability, agility and unique ethos that come with the title ‘Marine,’ ” said Gen. James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps. “Supporting our ground and logistics brothers and sisters, Marine Aviation has forged a lasting legacy of professionalism, innovation and transformation. The centennial of Marine Aviation provides us a unique opportunity to reflect on this legacy of success as we turn our eyes to the future.”

Supporting our ground and logistic brothers and sisters, Marine Aviation has forged a lasting legacy of professionalism, innovation, and transformation. The Centennial of Marine Aviation provides us a unique opportunity to reflect on this legacy success as we turn our eyes to the future.”

To close a year-long celebration of a Centennial of success and prowess, Marine Aviation Centennial (MAC) Week will take place May 14-20, 2012 at Gaylor National Harbor Conference Center. The celebration will include events like:

  • May 14-18: Panel Discussions
  • May 16: Aerial Review and Sunset Parade
  • May 17-19: Marine Corps Aviation Association Reunion and Awards
  • May 19: Marine Aviation Centennial Ceremony

Various other events are also being held to celebrate the Centennial this spring, including:

  • April 21: Thunder over Louisville Air Show
  • April 21-22: New Orleans Air Show with Blue Angels performing
  • May 5-6: Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Air Show with Blue Angels performing
  • May 14-20: ACE Symp and Marine Corps Aviation Association reunion in Washington D.C.
  • May 19-20: Joint Service Open House at Andrews Air Force Base with Blue Angels performing

To read about Marine Corps aviation history, click here!

   
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