Corps of Cadets Homecoming to feature flyovers of World War II vintage aircraft
Typically among the largest alumni reunion events held on campus each year, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Homecoming is set for Sept. 21 in conjunction with the home football game against Marshall.
As part of Corps Homecoming and Military Appreciation Day, the Tri-State Warbird Museum located in Batavia, Ohio, will conduct a military flyover during the National Anthem at the conclusion of the joint march-on by the current cadet regiment and the alumni regiment and during the half-time military appreciation performance by both the Marching Virginians and the Highty-Tighties, the regimental band.
The flyovers will feature a historic World War II-era Grumman TBM-3 Avenger and two North American AT-6 Texan Advanced Trainers.
The flyovers are expected barring weather or operational factors and have been arranged by Stan Cohen who received his Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degree in 1949 and Master of Civil Engineering degree in 1951 from the College of Engineering and is a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 1949.
To support this flyover, Cohen is covering the cost of fuel for both aircraft.
This is fourth consecutive year the Tri-State Warbird Museum has conducted a flyover at Virginia Tech.
The aircraft will be on display at the Virginia Tech/Montgomery Regional Airport located at 1601 Research Center Dr. beginning Friday, Sept. 20 at approximately 11:30 a.m. when the aircraft are scheduled to arrive from Ohio. The crews and aircraft will be available until 4:30 p.m. that day.
The crews and aircraft will also be available Saturday before the game starting at 9 a.m. and the aircraft will again be available after the flyovers on Saturday as well as Sunday morning until the aircraft depart at 9 a.m.
Both aircraft will do practice flights in the local area on Friday as well as perform a flyover at the Corps of Cadets formal retreat ceremony to honor our returning alumni at 4:45 p.m. The ceremony will be held on the Drillfield, centered on Burruss Hall. The Color Guard will lower the flag, Skipper, the corps cannon, will fire, and the Highty-Tighties will play.
The TBM-2 is historically significant to the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. It was flown by Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus, retired Capt. Ben Tate, U.S. Navy, Class of 1942, now deceased, off the USS Belleau Wood when he and two other aircraft sank the Japanese aircraft carrier Hiyo during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest award for valor, for his actions in this battle.
The AT-6 is a single-engine advanced trainer which was the first complex aircraft flown by World War II cadets in that it had retractable landing gear and a controllable pitch propeller. It was used to train fighter pilots, gunners, bombardiers, and navigators.
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Homecoming includes many events for current cadets and returning alumni. Kicking off the busy week is the Fall 2013 Gunfighters Panel, which will be held on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 3:30 p.m. in the Burruss Hall Auditorium located at 800 Drillfield Dr.
Corps of Cadets alumni will share their experiences, their lessons learned and leadership challenges, while also sharing how the corps experience prepared them for life after college. All are welcome to join the corps for this event and no tickets are required. Find parking information online or call 540-231-3200.
After the formal retreat ceremony, Friday night will continue with the cadet leadership dinner for the current cadet leadership and visiting alumni. On Saturday morning alumni who have endowed Corps of Cadets scholarships will attend the annual corps donor breakfast with the cadets who are the recipients of their generosity.
Also, as part of corps homecoming weekend and to honor the special relationship between Virginia Tech and the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., cadets will be collecting for this worthy cause at each of the entry gates to Lane Stadium prior to kickoff of the Marshall game.
To date over $195,000 has been collected by the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets for the National D-Day Memorial. The corps is the largest non-corporate sponsor of the memorial.