The Gathering of Eagles program is an annual aviation event that traces its origin back to 1980, when retired Brigadier General Paul Tibbets was invited to visit the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), Maxwell AFB, Alabama, USA to share some of his experiences with the students. This visit became the genesis for the Gathering of Eagles program.
The Gathering of Eagles event is also organized by the International Association of Eagles (IAE) a nonprofit educational foundation led by Air Vice Marshal Ron Dick, RAF (Ret) and Lt Col David McFarland, USAF (Ret). It is not associated with the Maxwell Gathering of Eagles program.
It is not associated with the counter anti-war protest group of the same name.
The first official Gathering of Eagles (then known as "Great Moments in Aviation History") was held in 1982 when a small faculty and student group was chartered to develop an aviation heritage program. This initial cadre designed a program encouraging the study of aviation history and the contributions of aviation pioneers. Fifteen distinguished aviators were invited to share their unique personal experiences through a series of teaching interviews and social events with members of the class. They were a diverse group from many nations and services. The first "Eagles" — George Vaughn, Leigh Wade, Jimmy Doolittle, Curtis LeMay, George Gay, Joe Foss, John Mitchell, "Chuck" Yeager, Gail Halvorsen, Paul Tibbets, "Gabby" Gabreski, Robin Olds, Mike Novosel, "Pete" Knight and Neil Armstrong spanned aviation history from World War I to the Space Age. The Eagles who followed included Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., "Robbie" Risner, George Bush, John Glenn, Joe Engle, Jeremiah Denton, "Bud" Day, Dolphin D. Overton III, and Ramon Colon-Lopez.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 The article is based on the "Air Command and Staff College: Gathering of Eagles" page, which is in public domain, being public work of the United States Military
- ↑ "The Gathering of the Eagles", Flight Journal, February 1999
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