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  • A Cyclone-Roaring December 7: The 123rd Observation Squadron Goes to War

    You may hear the thunder of the 123rd Fighter Squadron’s jet engines on takeoff from Portland Air National Guard Base, a sign of readiness.  But on this December day in 1941 that sound was a roar, the roar of a nine-cylinder Wright R-1820-57 Cyclone 9 radial engine of 1,060 horsepower for a propeller-driven aircraft taking off on the squadron’s
  • The Wartime Life of a Gunplumber: An Interview with Victor B. Kramer

    It takes teamwork to generate and employ the airpower needed to fly, fight and win.  It’s always been that way in aerial warfare.  Though pilots often receive their due credit for their work at the pointy end, members of the ground echelon don’t perhaps receive as much attention, nor do they ask for it.  But the fighter pilots and P-47 Thunderbolts
  • A Portland Connection to the Doolittle Raid of 18 April 1942

    Some 76 years have passed since the famous Doolittle Raid on Japan, 18 April 1942, when US Army Air Corps Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle led the crews of 16 B-25B Mitchell bombers off the pitching, wet and windswept deck of the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8).  It was the first American attack on the Japanese home islands, a shock to the
  • Sixty Years of Redhawk Alert

    In the wake of the Korean War, air defenses in North America were built up and the ANG was an integral part of that effort.  On this 1 October date in 1958, the 142d Fighter Group (Air Defense) of the Oregon Air National Guard (Ore ANG) established an alert capability at Portland as part of the Air Defense Augmentation Program.  Twenty ANG
  • Remembering Operation Tidal Wave at 75 Years – Oregonians in the Low-Level Mission against Ploiești, 1 August 1943

    Seventy-five years ago, on 1 August 1943, Operation Tidal Wave took place. It was perhaps the most spectacular American bombing mission of World War II, the bold low-level air assault by over 150 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers on the Romanian oil refineries at Ploiești, which supplied Nazi Germany with about 1/3 of its petroleum supply. As such, Great Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill considered Ploiești to be, "...the taproot of German might."
  • Redhawk Reflections on the First American Mission in Europe, 1942

    This year marks the 75th anniversary for many important battles which took place during the World War II year of 1942. June 12, 1942, was a milestone in Air Force history which should be remembered.
  • A Redhawk Midway Connection

    This week marks the 75th anniversary of the epic Battle of Midway, Jun 3 – 7 1942, in which the US Navy achieved an “incredible victory” over a superior Imperial Japanese naval force. It was a pivotal battle, essentially negating the early war advantages the Imperial Japanese Navy had in the war in the Pacific.
  • 1st. Lieutenant Ernest P. Wakehouse, 123rd Fighter Squadron, 1949 – 1952

    1st. Lieutenant Ernest P. Wakehouse, 123rd Fighter Squadron, 1949 – 1952
  • Veterans Day, 1944-style

    As we celebrate Veterans Day, let us remember the original members of the Oregon National Guard's first aviation unit, the 123rd Observation Squadron, who remained in the unit all through its World War II existence, including the wartime overseas deployment to China. Redesignated as the 35th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (35PRS) before going
  • Remembering Redhawk Fighter Pilots who sacrificed during the Forgotten Korean War

    The Korean War was the first conflict to see extensive employment of the Air National Guard (ANG) in combat service. Many ANG units were activated, in whole or in part, and served directly in Korea, or in many other locations in the United States and around the world during the Cold War.Oregon ANG members were among those who answered the call to