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IMPORTANT!PLEASE READ!
CHANGING MISSION PLAN – November 2018

During our 2018 National Conference our HQ announced that effective in 2020 there will be a major change to the annual Demonstration Run held in Washington, DC every year for the past 31 years.   After the 2019 Memorial Day consolidated DC Demonstration run event we will be transitioning over to regional Memorial Day Demonstration runs throughout the country.  Rather than concentrate all our resources in Washington, DC annually we’ll now have a coordinated event that simultaneously kicks from coast to coast!  Stay tuned for details on how you can participate.

This change will enable Rolling Thunder® Inc. to have a larger impact throughout the country albeit with many smaller demonstration rides.  There are 90 chapters throughout the country from Maine to Florida and Virginia to California.  On behalf of Virginia Chapter 4, and I believe I can speak for all of Rolling Thunder® Inc., I would like to thank Executive Director Sgt. Artie Muller for his service to our country and for his years of leadership during our annual Memorial Day Demonstration runs.  May we continue to carry our message as effectively regionally as you have for the last 31 years!  We look forward to working with you on this new Mission Plan. 

News from National League of POW/MIA Families

2nd Lt. Lynn Hadfield killed during WW II, was accounted for on Dec. 13, 2018

On March 21, 1945, Hadfield was a member of the 642nd Bombardment Squadron, 409th Bombardment Group, 9th Bombardment Division, 9th Air Force, piloting an A-26B, when his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and went missing during a combat mission from Couvron, France to Dülmen, Germany. Hadfield, and his two crewmen, Sgt. Vernon Hamilton and Sgt. John Kalausich, had been participating in the interdiction campaign to obstruct German troop movements in preparation for the Allied crossing of the Rhine River on March 23, 1945. After the war, the American Graves Registration Command extensively searched the area where the aircraft was believed to have crashed, however no crash sites could be positively matched with Hadfield’s aircraft. In June 2016, a German researcher, Adolph Hagedorn, who had previously collaborated with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, JPAC (a predecessor to DPAA,) contacted DPAA historians regarding a crash site he had found in Hülsten-Reken, Germany, that could possibly be linked to Hadfield’s aircraft. In September 2016, Hagedorn led DPAA to the crash site in a horse paddock, where the aircraft matched the description of Hadfield’s. In November and December 2016, under a partnership, History Flight, Inc., a nongovernmental organization, excavated the crash site, recovering aircraft material, life support equipment, personal effects and possible osseous material. To identify Hadfield’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Hamilton and Kalausich were also identified on Dec. 13, 2018. DPAA is grateful to Mr. Adolph Hagedorn, the government of Germany, and History Flight, Inc., for their partnership in this mission. Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,747 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Hadfield’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margraten, Netherlands, along with the others missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Half Marathon Fund Raiser

We've never before had someone representing the League running in the Marine Corps Historical Half Marathon, and it is quite exciting. It also offers significant, imaginative potential. As our newest Foreign Policy Intern, Josh Ewig is a tremendous asset and he, as a Marine Corps Veteran, came up with this initiative as a way he could help raise awareness about our shared accounting mission and raise sorely needed funds, so the League can sustain our efforts, as well as accomplish our Archival Digitization Project now ongoing. Please help spread the word via your own email address lists, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and https://www.gofundme.com/powmiahalfmarathon

All-Female Flyover to Honor Naval Aviation Pioneer Capt. Mariner

NORFOLK, Virginia (NNS) -- Honoring the life and legacy of a female pioneer in Naval aviation, the U.S. Navy will conduct Feb. 2 the first ever all-female flyover in Maynardville, Tennessee. Officially referred to as a “Missing Man Flyover,” the tribute will be part of the funeral service for one of the Navy’s first female jet pilots retired Navy Captain Rosemary Mariner, who passed away Jan. 24 following a long and brave fight with cancer. After completing flight training in 1974, Mariner was designated a naval aviator and received her Wings of Gold to become the Navy’s first female jet pilot flying the A-4E/L “Skyhawk” and the A-7E “Corsair II.”
She also was the first female military aviator to achieve command of an operational air squadron. During Operation Desert Storm, Mariner commanded Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Thirty-Four (VAQ-34). In 1982, she reached yet another milestone by being among the first females to serve aboard a U.S. Navy warship, USS Lexington, and qualifying as a Surface Warfare Officer.Mariner retired from the U.S. Navy in 1997 after obtaining the rank of captain and logging seventeen carrier arrested landings, or “traps,” and completing over 3,500 flight hours in 15 different aircraft. The Missing Man Flyover is a special tribute honoring the service of aviators who have died serving their country. The maneuver features four aircraft flying above the funeral service in formation as one of the aircraft leaves the formation and climbs vertically into the heavens.
All of the female aviators participating in the flyover are from squadrons based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana and will be flying F/A-18E/F “Super Hornets.” The event is significant because it is emblematic of the growing role women play in the military. The flyover is especially meaningful to Lt. Emily Rixey, assigned to Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic, a participant in the commemoration. “I find it important to honor Capt. Mariner and the other female aviators who have come before us,” she said. “They paved the way for us and they’re the reason I’m able to participate in this flyover.” Cmdr. Leslie Mintz, executive officer of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213, expressed similar sentiments.“I’m truly honored and humbled to be a part of this flyover,” Mintz said. “This formation flyover is a great way to honor Capt. Mariner’s memory and what she has done for our community.” Lt. Cmdr. Paige Blok, a naval aviator with VFA-32, echoes her colleagues’ statements. “Honoring a life of service is always a privilege,” said Blok. “We’re lucky to honor Capt. Mariner in our own special way.”


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