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  • The Birth Pangs of Portland Air Base – Part IV: First Air Defense Exercise in 1941

    Some 80 years ago it was the roar of 1,200 horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-1830-49 14-cylinder air cooled radial piston engines that propelled Republic P-43 Lancer fighter planes into the skies above the newly-established Portland Army Air Base. Many fighter plane units and types of aircraft have come and gone since, but in this article, we remember the start, with the preparation for and conduct of the first air defense exercise at Portland AAB* and in the Pacific Northwest, held in late 1941.
  • 80 Years of Oregon Air National Guard Veterans and Veterans Days

    This Veteran’s Day, 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of the Oregon Air National Guard being in the ranks of veterans whom we celebrate on November 11 each year. We honor our veterans and their service in defense of our nation, state and community, in peace and in war.
  • Remembering Operation Sky Shield II, October 14-15, 1961

    A series of sleep-interrupting phone calls roused drowsy Guardsmen for a Saturday morning alert at the still-dark hour of 3:38 a.m. The alert was held in connection with the nation-wide air defense exercise, Operation Sky Shield. All commercial flights throughout the country were grounded for most of the day. Thousands of military aircraft participated in the exercise.
  • 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
  • The European Birthdays of the 142d Wing

    The formal “birthday” of the 142d Wing dates back to July 15, 1943, when the unit was activated as the 371st Fighter Group at Richmond Army Air Base, Virginia.  There the group assembled and organized personnel and equipment and began the process of preparing for combat with the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane in World War II. Fast forward from
  • The Final Flight of David R. Kingsley

    What is valor?  Where does it come from in times of crisis that enables some people to serve “above and beyond the call of duty?”  There are many worthy examples of valor and sacrifice to ponder as we commemorate the fallen of our nation on this Memorial Day.  And a flier from Portland, Oregon, David R Kingsley, is one of those whom we remember on