The inaugural honor will be awarded on June 2, 2011, during a special ceremony at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, with a scheduled event start time of 11:30 a.m. It will be followed by a luncheon at the nearby Army Navy Country Club, with a keynote speech provided by General Charles “Chuck” Horner, USAF (Ret) – who has twice been a member of the Fourth Fighter Wing.
Since it was formed in 1942 from the original Eagle Squadrons flying with Britain’s Royal Air Force, The Fourth Fighter Wing has distinguished itself as one of the most capable and successful fighter units in the world. The Fourth Fighter Wing rose to prominence during World War II, achieving a number of key military milestones throughout this global conflict – which earned it the apt motto: “Fourth But First.”
Originally designated The Fourth Fighter Group, it was the first such unit to use belly tanks on its combat aircraft; the first to penetrate Germany; the first to accompany bombers to Berlin; the first to complete the England-to-Russia shuttle; and the first to down jet fighters.
In total, The Fourth Fighter Group was credited with the destruction of 1,016 enemy aircraft during World War II – which is more than any other 8th Air Force unit – and produced 38 aces. Its distinguished list of past commanders includes Chuck Yeager, Robert Richardson III, Hal Hornburg, Lance Smith and Norman Seip.
For the Air Force Historical Foundation’s Doolittle Award event on June 2, General Horner is a highly appropriate keynote speaker. He has extensive combat and leadership experience, accumulating over 36 years of military service with the U.S. Air Force. He was a command pilot with more than 5,300 flight hours to his record, and flew more than 110 combat missions during the Vietnam War. In addition, General Horner commanded the American aerial forces during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and briefly served as the U.S. Central Command’s Commander-in-
Tickets for the Air Force Historical Foundation’s Doolittle Award ceremony and luncheon are now available for purchase on the Foundation’s website: www.afhistoricalfoundation.org.
About the James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle Award
The Air Force Historical Foundation James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle Award was established to recognize a unit who has displayed bravery, determination, discipline, esprit de corps, and superior management of joint operations while accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions in multiple conflicts, and thus has made a sustained, significant contribution to Air Force history.
Earning the award named after the leader of the famous Doolittle Raid – an event which exemplifies these qualities – is a fitting recognition of the Fourth Fighter Wing’s contribution.
About The Air Force Historical Foundation (www.afhistoricalfoundation.org)
Founded on May 27, 1953 by Gen Carl A. “Tooey” Spaatz and other air power pioneers, the Air Force Historical Foundation (AFHF) is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to the preservation, perpetuation and appropriate publication of the history and traditions of American aviation – with emphasis on the U.S. Air Force, its predecessor organizations, and the men and women whose lives and dreams were devoted to flight.
The Foundation serves all components of the United States Air Force, and strives to make available to the public and today’s government planners and decision-makers information that is relevant and informative about all aspects of air and space power. By doing so, the Foundation hopes to assure the nation profits from past experiences as it helps keep the U.S. Air Force the most modern and effective military force in the world.
Follow The Air Force Historical Foundation on Twitter: www.twitter.com/