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  • A Cyclone-Roaring December 7: The 123rd Observation Squadron Goes to War

    You may hear the thunder of the 123rd Fighter Squadron’s jet engines on takeoff from Portland Air National Guard Base, a sign of readiness.  But on this December day in 1941 that sound was a roar, the roar of a nine-cylinder Wright R-1820-57 Cyclone 9 radial engine of 1,060 horsepower for a

  • The Wartime Life of a Gunplumber: An Interview with Victor B. Kramer

    It takes teamwork to generate and employ the airpower needed to fly, fight and win.  It’s always been that way in aerial warfare.  Though pilots often receive their due credit for their work at the pointy end, members of the ground echelon don’t perhaps receive as much attention, nor do they ask for

  • A Portland Connection to the Doolittle Raid of 18 April 1942

    Some 76 years have passed since the famous Doolittle Raid on Japan, 18 April 1942, when US Army Air Corps Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle led the crews of 16 B-25B Mitchell bombers off the pitching, wet and windswept deck of the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8).  It was the first American

  • Sixty Years of Redhawk Alert

    In the wake of the Korean War, air defenses in North America were built up and the ANG was an integral part of that effort.  On this 1 October date in 1958, the 142d Fighter Group (Air Defense) of the Oregon Air National Guard (Ore ANG) established an alert capability at Portland as part of the Air

  • A Redhawk Midway Connection

    This week marks the 75th anniversary of the epic Battle of Midway, Jun 3 – 7 1942, in which the US Navy achieved an “incredible victory” over a superior Imperial Japanese naval force. It was a pivotal battle, essentially negating the early war advantages the Imperial Japanese Navy had in the war in

  • Veterans Day, 1944-style

    As we celebrate Veterans Day, let us remember the original members of the Oregon National Guard's first aviation unit, the 123rd Observation Squadron, who remained in the unit all through its World War II existence, including the wartime overseas deployment to China. Redesignated as the 35th