There’re “Timelines”

…and there’re “timelines“.

A foundation set up to celebrate Navy aviation’s 100th birthday has disavowed an official history on its website, after former combat pilots complained of inaccuracies and political correctness.

As the first celebration commenced last month at a naval air base in California, a number of enraged former pilots began bombarding the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation Foundation with complaints. The Navy views the commemoration with high regard, with celebrations planned at Navy and Marine Corps air stations from California to Florida.

The foundation‘s official history slide show featured four “firsts” for women, such as the first female operations officer in 1992. It also accentuated humanitarian missions. But it devoted only two slides to World War II and barely mentioned Vietnam, during which the Navy orchestrated a decade of multiple aircraft carrier operations.

It gets more egregious than that, and I was wondering about it when I attended the cocktail party after the kick-off ceremonies for the Centennial itself. (They were held January 20th at NAS Pensacola and I honestly thought I’d blogged it…honestly.) It was held at the Mustin Beach Officers Club and there were beautifully done, free standing panels with “the timeline” and historic events. Blonde that I am, even I thought there were some significant gaps with some very odd “whoopees!”, but figured they were still working out the kinks. (They just got the Symposium schedule up about a week and a half ago.)

Guess the fellows who walked the walk can be counted on to, as we always said, throw the bullshit flag.

To make up for my tardiness, here are some of my lousy photographs from that foggy day:

-Former sailor and current Florida Governor Rick Scott had everybody howling.

A very well versed actor portrayed Naval Aviator No. 11 and Father of Naval Aviation, Lt. Commander Henry Mustin. He arrived in 1914 at a hurricane ravaged Pensacola Naval Base (so, what’s changed?) with orders to establish the Navy’s first flying school. (By the way. Mustin’s wife, Corrine, was Wallis Simpson’s first cousin, so guess who met her first husband at NAS Pensacola and lived here a spell…?)

(Obviously he was successful, as this 1915 photograph shows Lt. Commander Mustin performing the first ever catapault launch from a moving ship, right here in Pensacola Bay.)

Now, there’s a whole lotta history and firsts between Mustin’s magnificent men in their flying machines, and Rear Admiral Kilkenny and Governor Scott standing on that stage last month. And so sad that MOST of it was MAN made. But that’s HOW it happened.

Get over it. Sweet mother of God.

…Gen. Butcher, who is the 100th foundation‘s co-chairman, said the contested history was written by public affairs specialists. “It should not have actually been on the website,” he said. “But it did frankly get up on the website. And, of course, people objected to it because it was certainly not an accurate depiction of the significant events of naval aviation.”

I’m a Marine. A WOMAN Marine. And the Public Affairs “Specialists” would have me act as if Pappy Boyington never existed? I’ve got news for them. That’s OUR heritage. All the incredible things they did and the tales they could tell. When they’d come by the squadron, we’d listen. The passageways are lined with those pictures. Marines KNOW their heroes, their battles and their FIRSTS.

By heart.

Kcruella and I and our few fellow WM’s were pioneers in our own right. We were the first WM’s in Marine Corps Aviation and we celebrated EVERY. SINGLE. BLESSED. DAY. that we got to spend as part of that one time, all male club.

We still do.

8 Responses to “There’re “Timelines””

  1. major dad says:

    I got her dander up again…

  2. They will not be satisfied until history is completely rewritten to their specifications.

    Semper Fi!!!

  3. JeffS says:

    I got her dander up again…

    Next time, a little warning, please, so we have a chance to get the body armor on. 😀

    “Public Affairs Specialists”…..I know that’s what Cullen does, but I have to say, he’s in the minority. I’ve met few PA types who weren’t a high school journalism reject, or had switched career paths because of “more opprotunities”, a/k/a, they couldn’t hack their old job.

    Which means that more than a few lefties get into that “profession”.

    That said, the lesson learned is, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS proofread what the PA types want to release. ALWAYS.

    Sis, you keep on celebrating! Don’t let those chinless wonders rewrite history.

  4. tree hugging sister says:

    Shoot! We’re flying the Grinch out here for the week in May and EVERYTHING, Jeff!

    Nothing worse than an arrogant bunch of pissed off 80-somethings, tell you WHAT.

  5. JeffS says:

    Heh, I’d pay money to watch THAT!

  6. Dave E. says:

    Cool info on Mustin, I didn’t know that and I love that pic.

    Not a quibble, just curious: If that carrier is moving it doesn’t have much way on judging from the lack of bow wake. Powerful catapult? Great wing lift? Good wind? Or were they just figuring out the whole “turn into the wind, put some speed on” thing?

  7. Ave says:

    THS, thanks very much for the excellent story and pics. They help me as I try to learn more about the fine traditions, so I can better support and encourage our new Marine throughout whatever may be coming his way.

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