28 July 2009

CTWG: Virginia Fanning Goodsell

Virginia Fanning Goodsell
By: 07/23/2009

Virginia Fanning Goodsell of South Kent, CT died on July 14, 2009 at the age of 83. She was born February 16, 1926 in Greenwich, CT to George Washington Fanning and Cornelia Ingersoll Cable. Her mother died shortly after giving birth and Ginny was raised by her father and stepmother, Lillian Darling.

She grew up on Conyer's Farm in Greenwich, CT, where her father worked. Upon graduation from Greenwich High School in 1944, she obtained her civil aviation license and joined the Civil Air Patrol. After the War she married and moved to Stamford, Connecticut. She later divorced and moved her three children to Kent, Connecticut where she met and married Frank Beckly Goodsell. Frank had two children from a previous marriage and Ginny and Frank had daughter in 1966.

22 July 2009

CTWG: Stratford Cadets tell their story


Civil Air Patrol cadet Second Lt. Mary Kraynak, at right, leads fellow cadets on a march to the obstacle course at the C.A.P. headquarters at Sikorsky Airport in Stratford, CT on July 02, 2009.

This cadet is just one of the guys
Civil Air Patrol preparing teen for her future
By Katrina Koerting, CONNPOST,com

Mary Kraynak is just 15, but she's already working on her career.
And since she wants to one day join the Navy or become a forensic scientist, she felt that becoming part of the Stratford Squadron Civil Air Patrol as a cadet would be a good way to prepare for either path.

Cadets go through a military-style boot camp -- including running obstacle courses -- and can accompany CAP members on search-and-rescue missions. Kraynak said she especially likes the program, headquartered at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, because it gives her a chance to compete against her male counterparts.

"It feels not like you have to prove something, but that you can do anything the males can do," Kraynak, an Ansonia resident, said of being one of five girls in the 30-member squad. She said she's treated just like "one of the guys."

"The girls that come are not usually the look-at-your-nails type," she said. "We're ready to get down in the dirt."

Not only is she just one of the guys, but she has surpassed many of them by receiving the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award, a milestone that only about 15 percent of all cadets nationwide achieve.

"It makes you feel good because not many people get that milestone," Kraynak said of the award presented to her last month.

Lt. Ian Schermann, the deputy commander for all cadets at the squadron, said it is hard to determine how many of their cadets have won the award because the squadron has been in existence for 40 years.

But, he said, even fewer cadets win the award earned by Joseph Kraynak, 18, Mary's brother. Less than 1 percent of cadets nationwide win the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, and only 32 have won it in Connecticut since its creation in 1964.

Joseph Kraynak, who is a cadet commander, said being presented the Spaatz award on June 18 was one of the happiest moments in his life. "I had worked for it for seven years," he said. "It felt really good to achieve it."

Their father, Joe Kraynak, said he is speechless about the milestones his children have reached. "They're the best. They have fun, but they're like little adults," he said. "The Civil Air Patrol teaches them courtesy and respect and they bring that home."
Mary and Joseph Kraynak each joined the CAP cadet program when they were 12, the minimum age for the program. Once a cadet turns 21, he or she becomes a senior member.

The Kraynaks said there are four pairs of siblings in the squadron, but they are the only brother and sister.

Joseph Kraynak finds it difficult to have his sister there because he was a commander and had to treat her as a cadet. However, at home they would offer each other tips and help each other.

"I've always tried to pay less attention to her than anyone else [in the squadron], but I've always kept an eye on her," he said.
Schermann said because the Kraynak’s are professional, you would never tell they were related at the squadron except for their nametags.

"They're both very dedicated and both work extremely hard," Schermann said. "There's a lot of mature cadets, but those two have always stood out." He said they have both run overnight exercises and carry responsibilities that other adults don't.

Joseph Kraynak said he joined the CAP because his grandfather served in the U.S. Air Force, and after seeing a squad doing drills at a meeting he fell in love with the program. He left for the Air Force Academy in Colorado on June 24, where he will spend the next four years.

Mary Kraynak said her favorite part is teaching the cadets about the program.

"When you first tell them we formed right before World War II, they look so amazed and honored to be there," she said. "They respect the program so much more."

"There's nothing in the world like this," her brother added. "It gives you the opportunity to lead people when you're 13 years old, to feel like you're responsible to them."

08 July 2009

CTWG: CT and other State Cadets attend National Activities

It was a birthday present of sorts for Heather Gould.

The 17-year-old from Sheridan, Wyo., celebrated her birthday Tuesday as one of 21 other Civil Air Patrol cadets from across the country who came to Fremont to earn their flying wings.

The 21 Civil Air Patrol cadets are participating in a two-week National Flight Academy Power Track North Central Region at Camp Ashland where cadets get 24 hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of flight instruction, which culminates in a solo flight for each one, said CAP Lt. Col. David Plum, commander of the camp.

While the camp is based at Camp Ashland, cadets fly in and out of Fremont Municipal Airport for flight instruction, Plum said.

“This is one of five Civil Air Patrol flight instruction camps across the country,” he said. “This one started in 2000, and when the Nebraska Wing of CAP decided to start the flight academy they looked at where people could be housed and what airports were nearby.

“Fremont’s a great location for us,” Plum continued. “It’s a great airport, and a nice town. This is one of the best general aviation airports around.”

The camp has 21 CAP cadets ranging in age from 16 to 21. They are from Florida, California, Hawaii, Connecticut, Kansas and Nebraska. The three Nebraska cadets are from Lincoln and Omaha.

While two of them are from Lincoln, Daniel Deever, 17, is the cadet from Omaha.

He said he joined CAP five years ago because his sister did, but when she stopped being active three years ago, his involvement in CAP increased.

“I wanted to be involved in something,” Deever said. “I love flying, and I love the military.”

Deever said he’s involved in three aspects of CAP: Aerospace, emergency services and leadership.

This isn’t his first trip to Fremont.

“If a plane goes down or someone goes missing, we get called to search,” Deever said. “We come to Fremont every year to do search and rescue training.”

But it’s the leadership aspect of the program he appreciates the most.

“When I first joined, I didn’t like talking to people,” he said. “CAP made me have to. Then I started enjoying it and enjoying helping the new members that join.”

But it’s the flight that makes this visit to Fremont more memorable than the others.

“That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “It didn’t occur to me until we were heading out (from the airport) that day that I know how to fly an airplane and safely land it. To be able to do that -- especially as a teenager -- is pretty amazing.”

Plum said CAP used seven airplanes flying in and out of the Fremont Municipal Airport for flight training and for solo flying. All flights started and ended at Fremont’s airport, but they also made use of the airports at Wahoo and Scribner.

This year, the group had a bit of luck.

“The weather didn’t hurt us,” he said. “Sometimes we get low ceilings. If you can’t get airplanes at least 2,500 feet above the ground, you can’t do anything. We lucked out this year with the weather. It either rained early or rained late.”

The camp ends tonight as cadets graduate and receive their wings for their solo flights, Plum said.

Gould said that’s what she’s been dreaming about.

“I have always dreamed of flying,” she said. “When I soloed, it was the most gratifying experience -- up in the air by yourself in control of the airplane. It was an amazing experience. I wasn’t really nervous for my solo flight. I was more nervous for my first flight (with an instructor). I knew what I was doing when I soloed. I was more excited than nervous.”

07 July 2009

CTWG: Connecticut Cadets to attend CAP Cadet Officer School

CAP News-On-Line 7 July, 2009

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – One hundred and eighteen teens from across the country will gain a comprehensive perspective on leadership, teamwork and problem-solving at Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Officer School, one of the top professional development opportunities available to youth. The 10-day course will be held at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., July 13-23.

Patterned after the U.S. Air Force Squadron Officer School, Cadet Officer School is an academically challenging, in-depth study of leadership combining lectures, seminars and hands-on training. Instructors will guide cadets through the psychology of leadership and problem-solving techniques. They will practice what they learn through a series of writing and speaking assignments that will culminate with a group project that tests their ability to overcome obstacles through planning and teamwork.

The course will be conducted through the combined efforts of CAP members and Air Force active duty, reserve and Air National Guard personnel.

Attending from CTWG:
Cadet/2nd Lt. Daniel A. Patenaude of Manchester’s 169th.
Cadet/Capt. Ryan K. Chapman of Danbury’s 399th.

05 July 2009

CTWG: East Haven resident recalls her service with CAP


On a Wing and a MemoryPosted by Shore Publishing on Jul 02 2009, 10:04 AM
East Haven, person of the week, Eileen Lawlor
By Jason J. Marchi, East Haven Courier Correspondent:

It was the time when most homes had ice boxes instead of refrigerators and a block of ice cost 15 or 20 cents and lasted two days. It was the time when there was no television, movies were 25 cents for a double feature (including a cartoon and a newsreel), and all other news was communicated by newspapers and radio. It was the time of WWII and, while most young American men where fighting the Germans in Europe or the Japanese in the South Pacific, the women left at home in the states kept the country running.

If you were a teenager at the time like Eileen Lawlor was (she was Eileen Purcell at the time) and were too young to join the military but still wanted to help the American war effort, you could join the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). Eileen did just that.

“My parents were not happy that I liked flying,” Eileen admits, though flying wasn’t her only interest at the time. “I was in the rifle club, and we met every Thursday night at Winchester’s. I’d get all decked out in my uniform, with my rifle over my shoulder, walk down to the corner, get on the trolley car, and not a soul would even look at me twice. Today I’d get arrested!”

When not flying or attending shooting classes, Eileen trained for search and rescue operations as part of her CAP duties.

“There was a winter day [when] we got a call to go find a small plane that went down on the Sleeping Giant. Groups of cadets were ordered to cover different areas and to come back by 3 o’clock. It was very cold and the snow was a foot deep and they gave me the compass—one other girl had a compass.

“Well, we got lost,” Eileen continues. “So the first girl took out her compass and dropped it because she took off her mittens and her hands were cold. It dropped right down in front of her [in the snow] but we couldn’t find it. So I got my compass in hand and I was very impressed with myself. I walked this way and a branch knocked the compass right out of my hand. We couldn’t find that one either. Another search unit had to come and find us.”

Eileen’s CAP service was a time of excitement and purpose for a young person thrilled with airplanes, and yet, when the war ended, any sense of urgency to remain in the patrol ended. That’s when Eileen finally obliged her father’s wishes by not seeking any type of career that would have her working inside of airplanes.

“I went to work for the phone company making great money at the time,” Eileen says.
She remained there for nearly 11 years until she married and started a family.

Her interest in aviation rubbed off on her son, Kevin, who grew up longing to follow in his mother’s inspiring footsteps. Once old enough, he joined CAP. Another of her sons, Michael, has risen to different heights as East Haven’s state representative.

Eight years ago Kevin (today a state’s attorney), along with his brothers and father, gave Eileen as a present a chance to return to the skies in a WWII era AT-6 flight-training plane.

“You should have seen the look on the young pilot’s face, with Methuselah climbing up on the wing,” Eileen says with a laugh. “I got in and it was heaven. He let me fly it. [I had] the super-deluxe package and the pilot kept asking me, ‘Are you ready for this?’ and I said ‘I’m ready, I’m ready.’ He flew us upside down and inside out and it was absolutely incredible.”

02 July 2009

CTWG:Resurrecting WW2's Burma theater


Cheshire man resurrects WW2's Burma theater
By: Jesse Buchanan, Record-Journal staff 07/01/2009

CHESHIRE - The major battles of World War II involving Americans are well known - D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Midway for example.

Movies haven't been made about some of the other areas where Americans battled the Axis though, and many aren't even aware American soldiers fought in India.

Richard Abbate, a town resident, has been trying to change that for the last decade. He began and led a reenactment group representing the First Air Commando Group, an air unit that was based in India. The unit supported the British soldiers behind Japanese lines in Burma by bringing in supplies and evacuating the wounded.

"I wanted to do something different, one of the forgotten theaters of the war," Abbate said.

The unit took part in an air show earlier this month in Reading, Pa., where many World War II re-enactors gather. About 15 men and five women belong to the group, according to Abbate, which represents the ground elements of the unit.

In 1991, Abbate went to an air show and met some World War II re-enactors.

"It was one of the neatest things I've ever seen," he said.
Since then, Abbate and the group have collected uniforms, blank-firing weapons, communications equipment, supply boxes and a 1944 Jeep complete with a resin replica of a machine gun. Abbate has also built a Burmese bamboo hut which he brings to events.

"Most of the stuff I've picked up on eBay," Abbate said of his smaller items.

All the props and equipment, some of which are original, illustrate the history, tactics and daily life of the mostly 18- to 20-year-old commandos in Asia during the war. Veterans of the original unit have pointed out that the bamboo hut is missing the vermin that would live in the thatch roof and occasionally drop on the sleeping soldiers at night.

"It's incredible what they dealt with," Abbate said.

A former endurance race car driver, Abbate sometimes works on the Jeep himself. He also flies planes for the Civil Air Patrol Auxiliary, although he was never a full-time military member.

He has a connection to World War II, however. Abbate was born in 1945 while his father was in Brazil at a Navy base.

"Growing up as a kid in the 1950s, World War II was part of my life," he said.

The reaction from veterans and civilians has been overwhelmingly positive, Abbate said, although he's had several people question why he and his unit reenact while there are still living veterans.

"Once somebody comes to the event and sees what happens, that's all they need," he said. "When they see the education that happens - it makes a difference."

Abbate's group was invited by the original veterans of the First Air Commandos to attend their reunion several years ago in Tampa, Florida.

"We were a little concerned at the time about how'd they react to us in uniform," he said. "They ate it up, they were the sweetest bunch of people."

Van Van De Weghe, a fighter pilot with the First Air Commando Group during 1944 and 1945, was impressed with Abbate and his unit at the reunion.

"He did quite well ... he's very accurate. He's done a lot of work," Van De Weghe said of Abbate. "He had Stan Robinson (a Connecticut veteran) and myself to tell him how it was."

The commandos had to make do with inadequate supplies and worn-out planes for much of the war, Van De Weghe said. The reenactment group includes pieces of foreign uniforms and slightly tattered clothes to represent that, Abbate said.

Van De Weghe said he appreciates the re-enactors and the education they provide.

"China-Burma-India was a forgotten theater," Van De Weghe said. Much more attention is paid to the 8th Air Force in England and the air forces in the Pacific theater, according to Van De Weghe, and knowledge of the war in general is wanting.

"The schools today don't teach World War II," he said.
There's a theatrical side to reenacting as well. Abbate and his unit participated in a mock skirmish in one of the Reading events with reenactment groups of U.S. Marines and Japanese soldiers.

Abbate's unit is ambushed by the Japanese at a base before the Marines arrive.

"We fight valiantly, but we all end up wounded or dead," he said.

Cameron Casey, of Wallingford, enjoys the acting aspect but said the main purpose is teaching history. He joined the group about five years ago and heard about the group from Abbate's son, Scott.

"We've succeeded if we've told enough people about the China-India-Burma theater," he said.

His wife, Cassandra, is also a part of the unit and has uniforms for several women's auxiliary units which served in the theater.

Abbate and Casey sometimes stay in character while at a show and discuss the war and their unit using the present tense. They'll post a sign at the entrance to their area notifying visitors that they are now entering India during World War II.

Other times they resume their modern identity and are able to relate popular movies to history, such as "Bridge on the River Kwai."

Abbate sometimes wears jackets with the China-India-Burma patch and is sometimes stopped by veterans.

"They say, usually with a tear in their eye, 'Gosh, I didn't think anyone remembers us,' " Abbate said. "And that's why we do it, to keep their memory alive."

CTWG: Tornado Damage Assesment Missions


Connecticut --- On Saturday the 27th, Connecticut Civil Air Patrol was requested by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) to fly two aircraft sorties to verify a possible tornado strike, perform a damage assessment and provide aerial photography associated with a line of extremely strong thunderstorms that caused damage across a large part of Connecticut during the evening of Friday the 26th.

Sortie 1, was crewed by Connecticut Civil Air Patrol Mission Pilot Major Keith Neilson, and two observers from the National Weather Services (NWS) office in Upton, New York; Ross Dickman, NWS Meteorologist-In-Charge, and Gary Conte, NWS Meteorologist. Sortie 2, performed high resolution, low level, aerial digital imaging for DEMHS and was crewed by Mission Pilot 1st Lt. Lenny Kimball, Observer Capt. Kevin Shea and Mission Scanner 2nd Lt. Joseph Kurcaba. Capt Thomas Litwinczyk served as the Connecticut Wing Mission Radio Communication Operator. The Connecticut Wing’s Mission Incident Commander was Major Jack Shapiro.

After viewing wind damage in Litchfield, Hartford and New London Counties, it was determined an extremely strong storm cell, causing damage from Farmington eastward, touched down as a tornado in Wethersfield. Lasting approximately three minutes and registering on the Fujita scale as an EF1 tornado it packed winds from 80 to 100 MPH. No lives were lost, 1 person was injured. However, there was a large amount of property damage. One home was virtually split in two by a falling tree, a store had its windows blown out and a kayak mysteriously deposited itself in the middle of a major street. On a larger scale, a significant number of downed trees blocked many of Wethersfield’s city streets and caused localized power outages lasting from Friday night into Sunday evening. Due to pre-existing, abnormally wet conditions local flooding occurred in both business and homes due to a lack of electricity to power basement water pumps.

At the conclusion of the missions, Mr. Dickman of the National Weather Service issued the following commendations:

“In particular, please extend my thanks in coordinating the availability of CAP FLIGHT 640 for our office. The pilot was extremely experienced and professional. Procedurally, the timeliness and ability to get up over the state was more efficient than would otherwise have been possible.”

“We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all people involved with this survey process. In particular, the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, The Civil Air Patrol, Farmington and Wethersfield Police Chiefs and the Wethersfield Town Manager.”

01 July 2009

Aerospace: Pre-B2?


Meet the "wonder weapon" that could have won the war for Hitler.

Called the Horten 229, the radical "flying wing" fighter-bomber looked and acted a lot like the U.S. Air Force's current B-2 — right down to the "stealth" radar-evading characteristics.

Fortunately for the world, the Ho 229 wasn't put into mass production before Nazi Germany surrendered in May 1945.

But American researchers boxed up and shipped home the prototypes and partially-built planes that existed — and now the same company that builds the B-2 has rebuilt one.

more here...

Northrop Grumman Corp. spent its own time and money using the original German blueprints to replicate the wood-and-steel-tube bomber, right down to its unique metallic glue and paint, at its facility in El Segundo, Calif.

NER: Northeast Region Cadet Academy Update

NECR: It has come to our attention that there is rumor that we have canceled the NER Cadet Academy for this summer. That is not true -- it is still going to happen. So if you know someone who wants to go tell them to send in their completed application soon.

Colonel Treadwell has extended the deadline until after the Fourth of July weekend. If you still plan to attend, please contact Colonel Treadwell so that he knows to expect your application.

More details about the schedule:

19 July – all Senior and Cadet Staff report
21 July – all participants report
29 July – Graduation. All cadets (staff and participants) may depart
30 July – Senior Staff departs

Keep an eye on the NER Cadet Programs Web Page for updates and information.

Per:Lt. Col. Karen J. Cooper
NER Cadet Programs Assistant