Air Group One BBQ & General Member Meeting
Special guest Speakers...
Bob Friend & Nelson Robinson
The history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen is inspirational to people of all ages. Their life lessons can impart a special meaning for people from all walks of life. From a child in awe of a red-tailed airplane, to the elderly veteran full of gratitude for their fellow war heroes, there is something in each of their stories that can inspire us all to live better, fuller and braver lives.
One such hero is Robert Friend, one of the oldest living original Tuskegee Airmen pilots. Born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1920, Friend was interested in aviation from a young age. He read stories of World War I pilots in old magazines and made his own makeshift airplanes for imaginative play. Friend had wanted to enlist in the Army to fly for our country, but was turned away. Even though the country was making preparations for war, black Americans could not join the Armed Forces to serve as pilots.
Another such here is Nelson Robinson. At 17 years of age, and serving as a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol, Nelson voluntarily enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) at Smokey Hill AAB, Salina Kansas, in February 28, 1946. He began Basic Training at Shepherd AAB, Texas and finished at Scott Field, Illinois. He then completed aircraft mechanics school at Keelser Field, Mississippi and P-47 fighter aircraft specialist school at Chanute Field, Illinois. He was then assigned to Lockbourne Army Air Base, Columbus, OH; an all-black military base which was commanded then by Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. At Lockbourne, Nelson was assigned as a P-47N (Jug) fighter aircraft, flight line “Crew Chief,” in the famous all-black 99th Fighter Squadron of the 477th Composite Group & the 332nd Fighter Group known formally as the “Tuskegee Airmen,” which Nelson proudly was.
Air Group One BBQ & General Member Meeting
Special guest Speaker...
CODE TALKERS: THE NAVAJO WEAPON
In honor of Navajo Code Talker Sam Tsosie Sr, his son, Michael Tsosie, will do a presentation on the Navajo Code Talkers of WWII.
Growing up, young Navajo were told not to speak their language. But as young Marines in a country at war, men like Samuel Tsosie Sr., Chester Nez and Carl Gorman found their words were their mightiest weapons.
Many scholars credit Philip Johnston with initiating the Code Talker idea. Johnston was a Caucasian who grew up in Leupp, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation. He approached the Marine Corps in 1942 after the attack on Pearl Harbor and proposed using Native American Navajo language for combat communications.
His knowledge of the Navajo culture led him to bring four Navajo volunteers to Camp Elliott in San Diego, California (an area that is now part of MCAS-Miramar) for a demonstration. Impressed with successful and efficient English and Navajo translations, the Marine Corps began recruiting Navajos. The first group of twenty-nine recruits entered boot camp, took courses in military communication procedures and developed the code. Approximately 400 Navajo recruited by the Marines learned the code.
The code required proficiency in both English and Navajo. Each letter of the alphabet and common names and words corresponded to English and Navajo code words. Frequently used letters received alternate code words, requiring Code Talkers to memorize hundreds of terms in both languages.
Navajo Code Talkers located on both ends of the radio spoke their own language while using coded phrases not used in their language. For example, the Navajo word for buzzard, jeeshóóʼ, was used for bomber, while the code word used for submarine, béésh łóóʼ, meant iron fish in Navajo.
The Marine Corps deployed the Code Talkers to the Pacific, where the code proved effective and indecipherable. In addition to relaying communications, Marines in the Code Talker program performed other valuable military duties in battles such as Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Working around the clock during the first two days of Iwo Jima, six Navajo Code Talkers sent and received over 800 messages, all without error. According to Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division Signal Officer, “Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima”.
The Navajo code is the only spoken military code that was never deciphered. The code remained classified until 1968.
Air Group One, CAF thanks the Mike Tsosie Family for sharing their knowledge of the Navajo Code Talkers story.
Relive the excitement of New York's Times Square on August 14, 1945 as we celebrate the Anniversary of our Greatest Generation's Greatest Day!
AUGUST 14, 2014 | 11 A.M. TO 3 P.M.
DOWNTOWN AT THE KISS STATUE IN TUNA HARBOR PARK
Meet WWII Heroes!
Singing by the amazing Swingin' Blue Stars Dance with the San Diego Swing Cats Free dance lessons by Swing Dancing in San Diego Pose with WWII re-enactors and Pinups for Patriots Share the joy of WWII couple vow renewals Dress in '40s attire and join the fashion contest "It started with a kiss" kissing contest Join us for unfurling of the Star Spangled Banner
This year's wreath laying ceremony honors Jerry Coleman, World War II hero, legendary MLB star, former voice of the Padres, and Spokesman for Spirit of '45.
In 2011, Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force began it’s 44 month program of honoring the 70th Anniversary of World War II with fly over’s of the “AIR RAID – Pearl Harbor, Fort Rosecrans Goes to War” event December 3 & 4th at the Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma, CA. Air Group One participated with an information booth, historians and members plus providing our beautifully restored SNJ-5 “Sassy” flyovers to provide additional authenticity for this unique and timely San Diego event.
Air Group One continues this tradition in 2013 with its Remembrance of Pearl Harbor with fly overs by our beautifully restored SNJ-5 “Sassy” which will provide additional authenticity for this unique and timely San Diego event.
Air Group One and the Gillespie Field Cafe present
FlyDays Pearl Harbor Salute!
with Special Guests
Air Group One New Members!
No Cover Charge, Free Parking
1940's Era Music
A Buffet dinner for just a $10 Donation
Craft Beer for just a $5 Donation
Non-Craft beer for a $3 Donation
Wine for a $3 Donation
or you can pay at the door
Featuring Air Group One's very own SNJ-5 "Sassy"!
TBM Avenger, L3 Grasshopper and L5 Stinson Sentinel,
Navion and a Stearman!
Plus Classic 1940's era cars!
On this special date Air Group One begins our "Pearl Harbor Commemoration Weekend"
remembering this historic time in San Diego.
Visit with Air Group One, co-sponsor of the monthly FlyDays, and producer of the annual “Wings Over Gillespie” now renamed "AirShow San Diego" for June 7-8, 2014
Also, Gillespie Field "Toys-For-Tots" drop off @ AG-1 Hangar
Air Group One honors Veterans on the USS Midway Museum
Air Group One will join the USS Midway in honoring our Veterans this Monday, November 11th.
Experience a Flyby with Air Group Ones' very own SNJ-5 "Sassy".
Free food and live entertainment • Meet-and-greet with Olympic athletes and Trevor Davis, San Diegan who appeared on NBC's hit show "The Voice!" • KidzZone and activities • Grand prize drawings for vacations to Hawaii, Mexico and Florida! • Vintage war plane flybys and more!
The festival is open to the public with regular museum admission and FREE for Veterans and active military members and their families*. Just bring your military ID!
*Maximum of 4 admissions per military ID.
Join Us in Supporting San Diego's Warriors
Join the Warrior Foundation - Freedom Station and Air Group One for Food, Fun, Celebrities, WWII Vets, Wounded Warriors, Great Auction items (like passes to Jay Leno's garage), pinstripers who volunteered to pinstripe prosthesis for our warriors and much, much more!!!!!
Please join Air Group One and Honor Flight in honoring WWII Veteran Carl Todd for his service.
Mr. Todd was selected by Honor Flight for their "Tour of Washington" including stops at all the major war memorials in Washington D.C.
Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.
Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation—and as a culturally diverse, free society. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day. Our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.
"Back in the day young Carl Todd joined the U. S. Navy and became a crewmember on the Martin PBM, a long-range flying boat designed for patrolling oceans for the menacing enemy submarines, and for rescues at sea. He and his family have often enjoyed the AG-1/Airport Café "FlyDays". He was proud to have his picture taken while meeting Mr. Jim Slattery at the bow of Mr. Slattery's PBY Catalina (also a flying boat) at FlyDays. Though in a wheel chair now, Carl still has that old WWII aviation spirit. He was blown away when at FlyDays we introduced him as a celebrity and the thankful crowd gave him a standing ovation. It got a bit teary as I recall. Later in the evening I had the honor and pleasure to sit with Carl as he slowly paged through his thick 3-ring binder collection of his Navy history. He had a story for every picture, document, and citation. I was/am so proud of him!!! GO CARL!!!
He will be among those veterans returning from Honor Flight at Lindberg Field Airport on Sunday Oct. 20, 2013. See you there!!! John Telles, Executive Officer, AG-1"
Mr. Todd will be departing BWI aboard a US Airways Charter for landing in San Diego at 2:45pm.
Family and Friends are invited to welcome back the veterans when they return to San Diego at Lindbergh Airport. There is a welcome home "ticker tape" parade as if they are just returning from the war. This includes a military band. Everyone has said this welcome home celebration is so emotional and may be broadcast on the news.
Air Group One, Family, and Friends may meet Mr. Todd at Terminal 2, Baggage Claim 1, 2, or 3.