Corps of Cadets Homecoming on Sept. 12 to feature flyovers by World War II vintage aircraft
The 2015 Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Homecoming is set for Saturday, Sept. 12, in conjunction with the home football game versus Furman.
As part of Corps Homecoming and Military Appreciation Day, the Tri-State Warbird Museum located in Batavia, Ohio, has coordinated 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 the Highty-Tighties, the regimental band, and the Marching Virginians.
The pregame flyover will feature the historic World War II era North American B-25 Mitchell bomber, “Axis Nightmare,” and multiple North American AT-6 Texan Advanced Trainers. The B-25 will flyover during the military appreciation performance at halftime.The B-25 medium bomber is most famously known as the aircraft used by the Doolittle Raiders to carry out their historic bombing mission against Japan in April of 1942. 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 flyovers are expected, barring weather or operational factors, and have been arranged by Virginia Tech alumnus Stan Cohen, who earned a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering in 1949 and a master’s degree in civil engineering in 1951 from the College of Engineering. Cohen is a member of the Corps of Cadets Class of 1949.
Prior to enrolling at Virginia Tech, Cohen served with the 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, the Flying Tigers, in the China, Burma, India Theater in 1945 flying the P-40.
To make this flyover happen, Cohen will cover the cost associated with bringing the aircraft to the New River Valley.
The B-25 will be on display at the Virginia Tech/Montgomery Regional Airport located at 1601 Research Center Dr. beginning Friday, Sept. 11, at approximately noon, when the aircraft is scheduled to arrive from Ohio. The crews and aircraft will be available until approximately 3 p.m. that day.
The B-25 will then do practice flights in the local area 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 at the flagpole on the Upper Quad behind Lane Hall. Lane Hall is located at 280 Alumni Mall. The regiment will be formed between Lane, Shanks, and Major Williams Halls. The Color Guard will lower the flag, Skipper, the corps cannon, will fire, and the Highty-Tighties will play.
In addition, the Gregory Guard, the Corps of Cadets rifle precision drill team, will perform a rifle salute in honor of the alumni returning for Corps Homecoming and in honor of all those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and in recognition of all first responders.
The AT-6s will arrive at the airport at approximately 1 p.m. on Saturday and will be on static display until pregame begins. The B-25 aircraft will also be available Saturday morning before the game and the aircraft will again be available after the flyovers on Saturday as well as Sunday morning until approximately 9 a.m.
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Homecoming includes many events for current cadets and returning alumni. Kicking off the busy week is the Fall 2015 Gunfighters Panel, which will be held on Thursday, Sept. 10, 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 of Cadets donor breakfast with the cadets who are the recipients of their generosity.
Also, as part of homecoming and to honor the special relationship between Virginia Tech and the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, cadets will be collecting for this worthy cause at each of the entry gates to Lane Stadium prior to kickoff of the Furman game.
To date over $202,000 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.