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army air corps
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first airplane
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Flying, Paddling And Hiking At 75
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It didn't me long before I discovered the Civil Air Patrol. A couple of us street kids found our way from inner city Wilmington, De to New Castle Air Field, New Castle, Del.

After some searching arouond an official USAF Air Base we found the CAP HQ. Found out when the meetings were and how to get to them, then left with an official looking application.

We uniformed just like the Army Air Corps. Olive drabs and khakis. We would meet at the main Post Office on Wednesday night 6:15pm and an Air Force bus would take us to the Base. Military drill for the first 20 minutes, break then school.

School or training subjects were on a rotational basis. Meteorology, Navigation, Piloting, Air plane maintenance and whatever applied to flying an airplane. At 15 dressed in ODs and chain smoking we felt like the real thing.

Military order prevailed with the commander being a Lt. Colonel and the ranks moved down from there. Thinking back I fondly remember those men and women who devoted their time to come out and help kids who were already addicted to flying.

Col. Mores, Maj. Collins, Major Everett, and all of the friends most of whom went on to some kind of career in aviation. As for me, I soloed at 16. At 17 I won my private pilot wings and had the pleasure of taking my parents, singly for there first airplane ride.

From there it never stopped. Texas, Alaska (1955 -1958),till now with my Powered Para Glider. The excitement of the take off roll, 2 then 3 then 6 inches off the ground. The peace and fulfillment of a long drawn out final approach are emotions I never want to forget.

My life experience has grown from the flying to the backpacking to the kayaking. And, I think at times of all the experiences (fishing in the Chatinika - Gold dust in my sneaker) I would have missed if I had waited for someone else to do it with me.


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