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  • Civilian Pilot Training Program

    In the 1930s several European nations built up their air forces in part by training civilians as pilots in anticipation of possible conflict. In the United States, a similar program, known as the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) began in 1938. President Franklin D. Roosevelt supported the

  • Crossroads: Basic Flying School

    During basic flight training, a cadet received approximately 70 hours in the air during a nine-week period. The basic school made military pilots of those who had learned only the fundamentals of flight in primary school. In addition to operating an airplane of greater weight, horsepower and speed,

  • Cadet Program

    The flying cadet program to train pilots, navigators and bombardiers was demanding. Following application and appointment as an Aviation Cadet, a man was usually sent to one of three classification and preflight centers established at Nashville, Tenn.; San Antonio, Texas; or Santa Ana, Calif. There

  • Cadet Issue Dress Coat

    Cadet issue dress coat which the donor had made into an Eisenhower-style jacket. He began pilot training with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941, but returned to the U.S. and volunteered for glider pilot school. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant and earned the service pilot wings. He was

  • Cushman Airborne Scooter

    In the late stages of the war in Europe, Allied paratroopers used scooters like this one to maintain contact between units, increase their mobility and haul small loads. The Cushman Motor Works designed the Model 53 Airborne Scooter to be airdropped by parachute or carried by glider, and it had a

  • Crossing the Rhine

    In February 1945 the Allies forged eastward toward the Rhine River, and on March 7 made the first crossing via the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen.To the north, ground troops crossed the Rhine at Wesel on the night of March 23-24, supported the following morning by an aerial invasion of more than 2,800

  • Col. Bernt Balchen

    "The last of the Vikings."- Lowell Thomas, 1973Col. Bernt Balchen was America's greatest Arctic expert in modern times. Born in Norway in 1899, he served as a cavalryman in the Finnish Army against the Russians in World War I before becoming a pilot in the Norwegian Naval Air Force in 1921 where he

  • Col. Joseph Laughlin

    Col. Joseph Laughlin excelled both as a fighter-bomber pilot and as a commander, leading the 362nd Fighter Group from August 1944 until the end of the war. Although the hazardous nature of their missions caused heavy losses -- it was nicknamed the "362nd Suicide Outfit" -- they provided timely and

  • Col. Hubert "Hub" Zemke

    This A-2 flight jacket was issued to the donor, Col. Hubert "Hub" Zemke, when assigned to his first active duty unit, the 8th Pursuit Group at Langley Field, Va., in 1937. He wore it while demonstrating the P-40 in England and the Soviet Union in the spring and summer of 1941. Zemke also wore it

  • China Operations

    In China, the Flying Tigers were inducted into the AAF's 23rd Fighter Group on July 4, 1942, at which time Brig. Gen. Claire Chennault's force had an effective strength of about 35 P-40s and seven B-25 medium bombers. Designated originally as the China Air Task Force, less than a year later, in

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