The Air Force Historical Foundation presented its highest honors during a ceremonies at the Air Force Memorial and at the Sheraton Pentagon City held on November 13, 2018 recognizing one Air Force unit and two individuals for their exceptional contributions to the making and/or recording of air power history.
Foundation Chairman & President, Lt. Gen. Christopher Miller (USAF Ret.) and Jonna Doolittle led the assembled Foundation board members, distinguished civilian and military Air Force leaders, industry partners, Foundation members and friends in a celebration of those who make and record American airpower.
The first honor to be given was the James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle Award, which recognizes a unit that has displayed bravery, determination, discipline, “esprit de corps” and superior management of joint operations in multiple conflicts. This year’s winner is the 1st Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia – which was originally activated in France in May, 1918,, and is the oldest air combat unit in the Air Force.
Throughout nine decades of service, the 1st Fighter Wing continues to carve its niche in U.S. air history with many aviation firsts:
-The first U.S. group level flying unit to enter air combat
-The first U.S. unit to destroy an enemy aircraft in World War I
-The parent unit of the first recipient of the Medal of Honor for aerial combat
-The parent unit of the highest scoring U.S. ace in World War I
-The only U.S. Army fighter group from 1919 to 1932
-The first unit equipped with the Lockheed P-38 Lightning
-The first fighter unit to deploy en masse over the North Atlantic
-The first American unit to destroy a German aircraft in World War II
-The first operational unit to fly the F-15C Eagle
-The first tactical fighter unit to deploy to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield
-The first operational F-22 Raptor Wing to take part in a major theater exercise, Northern Edge 2006
-Parent unit of the first operational F-22 squadron to successfully test new limits on a Joint Direct Attack Munitions
Accepting the award on behalf of the unit was its current commander, Col. Jason Hinds, who paid tribute to the men and women of the 1st that continue to innovate, aid joint forces, support partner nations and deliver justice to enemies of the United States.
Lt Gen Jack Hudson, USAF (Ret) took home the the Air Force Historical Foundation’s Major General I. B. Holley Award, which recognizes a sustained, significant contribution to the research, interpretation and documentation of Air Force history during a lifetime of service.
Culminating this year’s awards, AFHF President Miller presented to Mr. Sherman N. Mullin, retired Lockheed Martin senior executive, the General Carl Tooey Spaatz award for the making of Air Force history during a lifetime of service.
The ceremony was held with support of event partner L3 Technologies; reception partner Northrop Grumman; beverage partner Pratt & Whitney; and dinner partners Boeing, Leidos, Lockheed Martin and General Electric Aviation.