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.
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.
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.