Hall of Fame Induction Honors Redhawks

  • Published
  • By SSgt John Hughel
The 123rd Observation Squadron of the Oregon Air National Guard was inducted into the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum Hall of Honor Oct. 17, 2010, becoming the first group or organization recognized for this honor.

The 123rd Observation Squadron was the first aviation unit in the Oregon Army National Guard. The unit included members that served in the European and the China- Burma-India Theater of Operations during World War II. After the war, the unit was re-designated and today is part of the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard.

Established in 2003, the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor recognizes the contributions of military, government aviation, civilian, engineering, business, and education to the State of Oregon.
"This is the first time we have ever inducted a group to the Evergreen Aviation Museum," said Mike Burrell, Chair of the Evergreen Aviation Museum Hall of Honor Selection Committee.

Speaking to the audience upon accepting the award, Fred Parish, a former medic assigned to the squadron during World War II said, "We're all over 90 now, and there are just a few of us left."

Parish is one of only 8 surviving members of the original 117 Airmen who volunteered for duty and were sworn in April 18, 1941.

"I don't regret it a bit and if they wanted me tomorrow, I'd go put on the uniform again", said Parrish. "But we should thank you guys in uniform now, you are the ones that made the Air Guard what it is today - we just started it."

"It is really humbling to see our heritage honored in a ceremony like this and to see four of the original members here for this induction," said Col. Michael Bieniewicz, acting Wing Commander of the 142nd Fighter Wing.

Glenn Curry and Fred Hill, also former members of the 123rd, were in attendance for the induction and spent time after the event talking to other aviation enthusiasts about their service to the Oregon.

Seventy years after being founded, the Redhawks now fly the F-15 Eagle, watching over and protecting the skies of the Pacific Northwest launching into the airspace from the Portland Air National Guard Base.