Wednesday, January 19, 2011

CONA Schemed T-34s Arrive Aboard NAS Whiting Field

By Lt. j.g. Megan Dooner, Naval Air Station Whiting Field Public Affairs

WHITING FIELD, Fla. (NNS) -- Two T-34C "Turbo Mentors" arrived aboard Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla., Jan. 13 as part of a line of aircraft that have been repainted to help raise awareness of this year's centennial of naval aviation.

These aircraft returned from regularly scheduled maintenance with paint schemes reflecting the history of aviation training.

The designs mimic training aircraft from the late 1930s. As Training Air Wing 5 provides initial flight training to all branches of the maritime services, the Coast Guard and Marine Corps were both represented. A Navy version of the T-34 is being housed at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas.

Coast Guard pilot and Training Squadron 2 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Timothy McGuire flew in the Coast Guard T-34 and Lt. Cmdr. Gary Moe, a Navy pilot, flew in the Marine Corps "Turbo Mentor." McGuire was elated to be able to bring the aircraft home and expressed the value of the plane as a link between the past and present.

"I really looked at [flying the Coast Guard T-34] as an honor. It represents the people that flew the T-34A, the T-34B and the legacy of aviation. The first Coast Guard aviator was made naval aviator number 38 in 1917. The history that Coast Guard aviation has with the Navy is one that I am proud to be a part of," said McGuire.