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Schoenfeld, Clay (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 49, Number 8 (May 1948)

All around the Wisconsin campus,   pp. 8-11

Page 10

Flying Badgers At It Again
  When the boys peeled out of their leather jackets two years ago,
  they swore they'd never look at an airplane again; but now they're
  brushing up in the campus air reserve program.
   SIX YEARS AGO the campuses of
the country, including the University
of Wisconsin, were being attended by
many young men in their late 'teens
and early twenties who had enlisted in
air reserve programs.
  Their purpose was to be on call for
later training in the Army, Navy and
Marine Corps air training programs.
  They were to continue their college
training in the fields they had chosen
before enlistment.
  Early in 1943 the Army Air Corps
began calling its reservists and by the
end of March of that year, they were
in training to become the men who
would carry the air war to all parts
of the globe. The Naval Air Corps
training program was in full swing.
The future "birdmen" were starting
to sprout their wings.
  Many of these boys became pilots;
others became bombadiers, navigators,
radio operators, and gunners. Quite a
few of those from Wisconsin came back
to Truax Field in Madison as radio
operator traineeg.
  Then the alumni publications began
to print stories about them. Lt. Ed
Jones was flying a B-17 in England;
Lt. Arthur Kuehn was flying an Aven-
ger somewhere in the Pacific; Sergeant
Thomas Robbins was a radio operator
in Germany.
   A year before they had been push-
ing a pencil or a pen over "Wild Bill"
Kiekhofer's econ notes; now they were
pushing a throttle or pulling a trigger
over Adolph's "Fatherland."
  Mother, back home, was now sending
V-mails to APO 520 instead of the
laundry to 520 N. Lake St.
  Two years later it was all over' and
nearly every one was back.
  They had been to or flown over
nearly every majoir capital in the world.
The newspapers had written glowing
accounts of their raids on Ploesti,
Vienna, Tokyo, Cassino, Berlin; of their
fights with the Zeros and the Messer-
schmitts; and h6w they had flown the
paratroopers to Holland and Southern
  Their training had been valuable and
something that would remain in their
minds for the rest of their lives.
  But, ]Ack of practice in flying and
its associated skills makes the human
mind forgetful and unsure.
  Some of these men had proclaimed
with strong language, when they put
their uniforms i the mothballs, that
they never wanted to see another air-
  They are pushing pencils again and
they are going to Prom again: the
"wing-collar" has taken the place of
the "wings" in their wardrobe; but
many of them are in a reserve again.
JUST THREE SHORT YEARS AGO, Wisconsin alumni (like Capt. Gene Welch, '39,
second from left in back row) were on the bomb express run over Europe and
Truk. Now many of them are back in school, but they're devoting six to eight
a week to staying in flying trim.-
They believe that a strong America
means a peaceful America.
" The former Army Air Force is now
the United States Air Force and it
lists among its members many former
officers and enlisted men who are tak-
ing an active part in a reserve train-
ing program. The Naval and Marine
Air Corps also have an active reserve
   The purpose of these programs is to
 keep the flying and technical abilities
 of the former flyers at the highest pos-
 sible peak and to keep them informed
 of the latest developments in world
 affairs, aviation progress, and military
 and naval problems.
   In other words the Air Forces be-
 lieve that they must not let their
 former members forget their training,
 talents and traditions; they must keep
 them as a back bone for a future com-
 bat force if the peace of our country
 is ever again endangered.
   Flight training is being continued in
 the Navy, Marine and     Air Force
 reserve programs.
   Former Naval and Marine pilots and
 enlisted men have been traveling to the
 Glenview Naval Air Station at Glen-
 view, Illinois, on weekends to partici-
 pate in flying.
 The Naval aviators have been as-
 signed to regular air groups at the
 air station and are urged to attend
 meetings and to fly twice a month.
 Some of the subjects that they are
 continuing to study are navigation,
 meteorology, and aircraft recognition.
 The Marine program is patterned
 along these same lines.
 Until recently the Air Force program
 for this region was quite inactive, but
 late last year the 85th Troop Carrier
 Squadron  was reactivated  and  the
 headquarters were placed in Madison.
 Reserve Officers were contacted and
 selected to form the personnel of thii
 outfit; University of Wisconsin stu-
 dents make up a substantial part of
 this membership.
 They attend a bi-weekly meeting
 which is held in the Madison Public
 Library and hear lectures and talks on
 such subjects as the atom bomb, the
 present role of the United States in
 J a p a n, new developments in air
 strategy, and other matters vital to
 the knowledge of a well-informed officer.
 They are required to fly at least four
 hours each month at the Orchard Place
 Airport in Park Ridge, Illinois. An Air
 Force plane is flown to Madison each
 Saturday to transport these men to
 Park Ridge. When they have received
 flight instruction there they are re-
 turned to Madison late Saturday after-
 The Second Air Force is planning to
 assign several planes to the 85th to
 be based in Madison, thus eliminating
 the weekly trip to Park Ridge. This
 cannot take place, however, until an
 army approved crash (fire-fighting and
 rescue) truck is purchased for Truax
 Field where the planes would    be
  Many of these men in the reserve
programs are married and must work
besides going to school. Yet they use
6 or 8 hours of their time each week
to insure a stronger America.

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