In 2011, Naval Aviation celebrates 100 years. 

In that century, almost 300,000 Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard Naval Aviators have earned their Navy Wings of Gold. 


Such beautiful wings!  If the world’s top artists were to gather and try to improve them, they would quickly suspend their efforts as hopeless.  Simply stated: The design of the Navy Wings of Gold is flawless; the beauty is matchless.





No matter when you went through Naval Flight Training, you know how demanding that year and a half can be.  You may also remember the humor, hilarity, nostalgia, and just plain funny stories. Getting Our Wings is a book that will narrate our first century’s history while interjecting many humorous, nostalgic, memorable and just plain funny stories.  Share your special memories in the Submission Form below.    

                                      

On my first day of Pre-flight in Pensacola in April, 1959, a Navy Lt. Commander welcomed our class of 32 apprehensive students.  He said that in any group of 3000 citizens in our age group, only one would be selected for Naval Flight School.  “And,” he continued, “each of you is that one.”  

 

Getting Our Wings will be a different kind of book about Naval Air. It will not be a ‘blood and guts, shoot ‘em up, knock ‘em down’ book.  But it will tell the story, the history and the humor of Naval Aviation Flight Training.  Those who went through flight training will navigate the good times and the sad, enjoying the humorous, nostalgic, and heartrending stories told by those so gracious to share their stories.  Share your own stories.  Tell on yourself.  Tell about others.  It is easy.  See the Submission Form below.

    To some, Pre-flight meant weeks of boredom.  The closest we got to an airplane were the hours spent blindfolded in aircraft mockups pointing out the location of the airspeed indicator, the landing gear lever, the rudder pedals, the flap lever, the altimeter, and so many other instruments that we would later respect.  We wanted to fly. We wanted to break the bonds of earth.  That’s why we were there.

     

    Even the dreaded Dilbert Dunker didn’t satisfy our quest for excitement. But it did produce some scary and humorous moments.  It didn’t matter whether a student could swim.  One former flight student tells a story about “George.”

     

    CLICK HERE to Read The Dilbert Dunker

    In Primary Phase we first tasted Navy flying.  We learned to take off, to land, to stall, to recover from a spin and to save our plane and ourselves in an emergency.  We soloed.  Remember your first solo and how exciting it was to shove that throttle forward and lift off with an empty back seat?  Then a sobering realism hit us.  Suddenly we were alone — the one and only person who could return our plane safely to base.




    Most A-Stage students learned early that the human body has a mind of its own when it comes to its functions.  It didn’t matter whether the student was on the ground or enduring the stresses of an hour and a half flight — especially those violent spins.  One student was a slow learner.  He failed to respect his bodily needs and functions before he left the ground.    

     

    Some of us became too daring.  Such as the T-34 acrobatic stage student who was scheduled for an afternoon solo flight.

    CLICK HERE To Read The Love Birds

    Naval Flight training intends to teach flight so that aviators may successfully protect the freedom of our country.  It also aims to develop a student’s strength of mind to endure mental stresses and pressures in the day-to-day performance of duties.  Some students handle it.  Others determine that they are not cut out to wear the wings. One T-28 Precision Stage realized that he was about to be dropped.  He wanted one last thrill.

    CLICK HERE To Read Bombs Away!




    The word spreads among students about instructors. Which ones are easy? Which ones are tough?  Which ones always declare an emergency directly over the water tower at Pensacola Beach?  And worst of all if you are Navy, which Marine instructors hate Navy students — and vice versa.  And lo and behold, there was the singing flight instructor in Formation Stage at Whiting.

    CLICK HERE To Read All My Exes...

    The Navy, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard have always required proper military bearing, conduct and appearance. Once in a while a neat freak steals into the mix. It happened in 1972 and will be in the book.         

             

    We invite you to be a part of this book, whether Navy, Marine or Coast Guard; whether you graduated or not; whether you were a student or an instructor. Were you an Air Force or Army Pilot? No doubt you have some great stories as well. Maybe you were a spouse.  Possibly you were a Naval Flight School training assistants.  Even if you didn’t go to flight school, you might know someone who did.  Send us a story.  Send as many stories as you wish.

    Please let us know what years you were in Flight School, and if we may contact you by phone or email for an interview. All Fields are optional and anonymous submissions are acceptable.


    SUBMIT YOUR STORY BELOW.