U.S. Naval Air Reserve History- Aviation Cadet Program, World War II, Props to Jets, Squantum, Grenada and Lebanon, Weekend Warriors
Contents: I. The Beginning * II. Lean Years, The 1920s * III. Gathering Steam, The 1930s * IV. World War II, The Big Test * V. Postwar Activities and Korea, The Reserve Show * VI. 1953-1968: Stability with Transition, Props to Jets * VII. Reorganization and Revitalization in the 1970s * VIII. The 1980s, Present and Future More
August 29, 1986, marked the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Naval Air Reserve. On that day in 1916, the Naval Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1917 provided funds for the establishment of a naval flying corps and the purchase of 12 planes for the naval militia. Personnel for these units were drawn from various college flying clubs, the most prominent from Yale, organized by F. Trubee Davison. An energetic individual, Davison found 12 classmates, borrowed a Curtiss seaplane from the wealthy Wanamaker family in Philadelphia, and set about teaching himself and his club to fly. From these humble beginnings, the U.S. Naval Air Reserve grew into today's massive organization — a navy within a navy — with bases across the country and 52 squadrons, 357 aircraft and 34,350 full-time active duty and part-time reserve personnel. Traditionally considered a hand-me-down collection of planes and equipment, the Naval Air Reserve is currently enjoying one of the most dramatic revitalizations in its 70-year history. Factory-fresh McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornets are joining the light attack inventory, in company with Grumman F-14A Tomcats and upgraded Lockheed P-3B Orions. And there are plans for more modern aircraft in the latter part of the decade. Being a reservist has always signified additional dedication for the civilian sailor. There are many reasons why people join the reserves, but the air reserve program offers more tangible benefits and demands greater commitment in time and involvement. Perhaps the most important reason is the chance to remain a part of Naval Aviation. The road to the coveted Wings of Gold is long and hard and, even after the trials and tribulations of an initial tour, it is difficult to give up the wings. Most Naval Aviators who leave active duty after a few years join the reserves and manage to affiliate with a unit, serving a few years to see how they like it. They often find many of the same frustrations, as well as many of the perks found in the fleet. This discovery drives some out of the Navy, but for many more it leads to the decision to remain in the reserves.
There's also the satisfaction — and undeniable patriotism — of continuing to serve one's country, as well as maintaining readiness skills. We know that any potential aggressor considers America's reserve strength when plotting international strategy. America needs a strong reserve, in all services. And the Naval Air Reserve has a well-documented history of contributions to many of this country's finest moments.
Contents: I. The Beginning * II. Lean Years, The 1920s * III. Gathering Steam, The 1930s * IV. World War II, The Big Test * V. Postwar Activities and Korea, The Reserve Show * VI. 1953-1968: Stability with Transition, Props to Jets * VII. Reorganization and Revitalization in the 1970s * VIII. The 1980s, Present and Future