2002-04-20 / Community

Weiner To Honor WW II Ferry Pilots

Weiner To Honor WW II Ferry Pilots

Midway, Coral Sea, the Battle of the Atlantic-some of the fiercest battles of World War II occurred in the skies over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. When the United States Navy needed to rush newer, better planes into action, the pilots of the Naval Air Ferry Command risked their lives to make sure they got there. 

On April 27, Rep. Anthony Weiner will honor these unsung heroes of World War II at the reunion of the Navy's largest ferry transport squadron, Brooklyn's Squadron VRF - 1.

During World War II, American industry raced to give our forces air superiority by producing better, more modern aircraft.  But how to get new planes to the war zone and older, damaged planes out of the way?  VRF – 1 was the answer, ferrying 46,000 aircraft between airbases on the east and west coast and Brooklyn's only airport, historic Floyd Bennett Field,
covering 80,000 miles in 450,000 flight hours.

The danger was very real. The urgency of war and the need to get planes to the front as fast as possible meant that VRF - 1 pilots often flew brand new models on which they had no formal training.  As a result, 60 VRF - 1 pilots lost their lives.

"During World War II, the brave men of Squadron VRF - 1 risked their lives to ensure that American fighter pilots were the best equipped in the world," said Rep. Weiner.  "I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize their sacrifice and courage.  They are truly the unsung heroes of World War II."

On April 27, Rep. Weiner will deliver the keynote address at Squadron VRF - 1's reunion, to be held at Floyd Bennett Field.  During the address, Rep. Weiner will also unveil the design of a plaque to be dedicated in the squadron's honor.

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