1st Fighter Wing Centennial Celebration Wrap-Up, 26-28 Oct 2017
The 1st Fighter Wing’s recently celebrated their 100-year anniversary by honoring the 27th Aero Squadron, America’s oldest fighter unit; the 94th Aero Squadron, which led all American WWI units in enemy kills; and the 1st Pursuit Group. Our 1st Fighter Association co-sponsored the events in partnership with the Langley Air Force Association Chapter. We raised over $50K to fund multiple events during the three-day celebration.
The Centennial festivities kicked off Thursday, 26 Oct with a formal Dining Out at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. Over 500 1st FW Airmen, past and present, plus several DVs participated in the event. General Larry D. Welch, 12th Air Force Chief of Staff gave an insightful historical perspective during the keynote address. General T. Michael ”Buzz” Moseley, 18th Air Force Chief of Staff presented the Wing with an impressive, full-sized stuffed lion named “Whiskey 2” in honor of their Lafayette Escadrille lineage. General Bill “Tunes” Looney served as the Senior Mr. Vice and entertained the crowd with his renowned levity throughout the evening. Four additional active/retired 4-stars and other GOs; multiple current/former commanders; over 100 Wing alumni; and several other DVs were also present with their guests. Thanks to generous donations by over 25 sponsors, we were able to give away free tickets to 180 Airmen (E-2s thru E-6s) and their guests. Also, several E7s and E-8s were offered reduced rate tickets. Overall, the 1st Wing’s Centennial Dining Out turned out to be a memorable, historic evening for all who attended.
Friday’s Centennial events included an early morning golf tournament; Wing-sponsored Open House tours for non-golfers; a Combat Awards and 9-foot granite Monument Dedication ceremony officiated by the Commander of Air Combat Command, General Mike “Mobile” Holmes. Of course, we’re very proud the current COMACC is another senior AF leader from a long line of notable 1st Fighter Association alumni. Following the Monument Dedication, we convened in the 94th Squadron hangar for BBQ, cold beverages and a live band. Later the group gathered for a Roll Call in the 94th FS Heritage Room. All present heard multiple war stories, sang fighter pilot songs, and enjoyed an unmatched spirit of camaraderie.
On Saturday, the Wing hosted a Family Festival that kicked off with an Air Force Association Wounded Airmen Kids Fun Run and 5K fundraiser. We were also treated to an awesome Team Langley F-22 Demonstration--what an amazing jet!! Many 1st Fighter Wing members and their families enjoyed fun-filled activities throughout the afternoon. In summary, we can all be very proud that our Association co-sponsored such a significant “once-in-a-lifetime” celebration for all current and past 1st Fighter Wing Airmen plus their families.
Note From the President
We really need your help to grow our Association by reaching out to all former 1st Fighter Wing contacts you may know and encouraging them to join us. Be sure to include our web site link: http://1stfighterassociation.weebly.com. Please highlight the successful Centennial event and our recent Dayton Reunion as our “value-added” proposition for joining in order to stay connected with our robust alumni network. We encourage the $250 “Life Membership” option but also offer annual memberships for $10 (Active Duty) or $20 for everyone else. We are an all-ranks, inclusive organization and are moving forward with other exciting projects that will help preserve and honor our rich 1st Fighter Wing heritage—more to follow.
Thanks very much--Moto.
1st Fighter Association Reunion was held at the Crown Plaza Dayton Hotel, Dayton, Ohio from September 7th to the 10th, 2017
Thursday, September 7th was arrival day with a casual cocktail hour and dinner. Friday, September 8th the group went to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The evening they meet at the Dublin Pub, in the newly redeveloped part of Dayton. Saturday, September 9th we had our Association Business Meeting which will include the election of the Association Officers for the 2017-2019 term. That evening they went back to the Museum for a ceremony at the 1st Fighter Wing Memorial.
Saturday night we had the banquet and closing ceremonies under the wings in the heart of the museum and featured Wright-Patterson’s Air Force Band of Flight. The banquet's guest speaker was General (Ret.) Frank “Gork” Gorenc, former 1st FW Wing Commander and member of the 94th Fighter Squadron.
On 12 May 1944, 1st Lt Robert L. McIntosh, of the 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, disappeared during a combat mission in Italy. His P-38 aircraft, departed Foggia Airfield #3 on a strafing mission against a target in Piacenza, Italy. After a brief air battle over Bologna, which 1st Lt McIntosh emerged apparently unscathed, the weather worsened and the flight began to climb through the overcast. Although flight leader instructions were acknowledged by 1st Lt McIntosh, his aircraft was observed to dive through the clouds, and he was not seen or heard from again. Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 4765 documented that he was last seen near Imola, Italy.
After the cessation of hostilities, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) searches failed to locate his crash site and his remains were declared non-recoverable. In September 2013, Italian citizens excavated a crash site in Santa Cristana, Italy, and found material evidence which correlated with MACR 4765. Possible human remains, consisting of a single bone fragment, were turned over to U.S. representatives on 11/19/13, and positively identified on 2/12/14. A DPAA team excavated the site with assistance from an Italian non-profit group in August-September 2015 and the DPAA Lab ultimately identified the additional remains of 1Lt McIntosh on 3/22/16.
1Lt McIntosh was brought back to his home town of Tiptin Indiana and buried next to his parents on Aug 13 2016, with full military honors.