USA: Navy Memorial Celebrates CoNA

Navy Memorial Celebrates CoNA

A Centennial of Naval Aviation (CoNA) wreath-laying ceremony was held at the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., Dec. 1.

Commander, Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. Allen G. Myers IV, served as a co-host for the event. Also in attendance to present the wreath was Medal of Honor (MOH) recipient retired Navy Capt. Thomas Hudner, who was awarded the MOH as a result of his efforts to rescue fellow pilot Ens. Jesse Brown during the Korean War.

“For the past 100 years Naval aviation has without a doubt proven that what was initially thought to be a useful reconnaissance capability, an essential part in our national security and protection,” said Myers. “From biplanes to monoplanes, to turboprops to jets, Naval aviation has been at the forefront of change and technology.”

Myers thanked the men and women that have helped influence the many advances of the Naval aviation program.

“The aviators and the aircrew; the engineers and the technicians, we proudly recognize their personal sacrifices,” added Myers. “We especially would like to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice; those that risked everything in the pursuit of flight, thank you.”

Throughout 2011, CoNA has been celebrated throughout the United States and aboard naval installations in countries across the globe.

During the ceremony Hudner, alongside naval and international diplomatic leadership, presented the wreath at the Lone Sailor statue in front of the Navy Memorial.

“I thought that naval aviation was progressing quite well when I was in the service 40 years ago,” said Hudner. “What has happened since I got out is almost unbelievable. Every American should be proud of what naval aviation is today, and it’s great to be part of this ceremony.”

During the Korean War, then Lt. j.g. Hudner made a heroic attempt to save fellow pilot Ens. Jesse Brown by crashing his plane into the mountains of North Korea to try and rescue him.

“We [America] are looked upon with great respect by everybody else in the world because of the strength and integrity of our armed services … naval aviation is right there in the front,” said Hudner. “I encourage any person with interest to try it [naval aviation] because it is a great accomplishment.”

Commemorating 100 years of progress and achievement in naval aviation, CoNA is a year-long tribute to the scope of all naval aviation activities including aircraft, people, ships, innovations and significant milestones.

Naval Today Staff , December 05, 2011; Image: navy