Oregon International Air Show provides fitting backdrop for "All Call" celebration

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. John Hughel
  • 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Past and present members of the Oregon Air National Guard (ORANG) gathered for a celebration as part of a series of events highlighting 75 years of continuous service during the Oregon International Air Show.

The afterhours all-call celebration gave retired service members and current Airmen of the ORANG a chance to remanence over dinner and music while propped by vintage and present-day mission aircraft.

"Today, we celebrate our Diamond Anniversary where we pay tribute to 75 years of honor, community and excellence," said 1st Lt. Chelsi Spence, who served as the master of ceremonies for the all-call celebration.

The all-call celebration was part of a series of events that began in April of this year to commemorate the 75 years of service of the Oregon Air National Guard, which was first formed while monitoring the raging wars in Europe and Asia in the early 1940's.

Brig. Gen. Jeffery Silver, ORANG commander, welcomed the nearly 400 people attending and described the history and changing mission over the years.

"When we began to organize tonight's event, we wanted this celebration to focus on the organization both past and present."

Fred Parrish, the last original surviving member and medic with the 123rd Observation Squadron in WWII, was in attendance, as well as past commanders and leaders from nearly every decade since the formation of the Oregon Air Guard.

With dinner provided by the USO, those attending were able to connect to the current ORANG mission F-15 Eagle aircraft to include the 'Screamin' Eagle specially detailed for the Diamond Anniversary year.

Silver also thanked the Oregon International Air Show and staff for their support in hosting the event here.

"Given the pace with our mission and resources, we reached out to our friends with the Oregon International Air Show for support and what a party they helped us put together."

In addition to the Eagles from both the 142nd Fighter Wing and 173rd Fighter Wing, other historic aircraft models flown by ORANG were on display: to include a P-51 Mustang and F-94 Starfire that were part of the air show's flying schedule.

The all-call was the fourth in a series of events around the state this year to celebrate the 75th Anniversary. Previous events included the original anniversary of the formation of the 123rd Observation Squadron held at Portland Air National Guard Base April 18, 2016, and a Flag Day ceremony to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Portland Air National Guard Base itself held June 14, 2016. A ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the addition of the 173rd Fighter Wing was held at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, June 27, 2016.