Welcome the Cobra’s Home
On December 7, 1941 the new Bellingham Airport was open to the public for the first time. As the locals drove around the airfield, the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor came over their car radios…The airfield was immediately closed to civilians, taken over by the Army and awaited the arrival of the 39th Pursuit Squadron – then one of only three combat-ready squadrons in the country. The 39th arrived near Christmas, having made a hasty departure from family and loved ones, bound for a remote air field in the far corner of the country. The pilots and crews recall being scared and a long way from home… and they remember how the community of Bellingham opened their arms to them; made them feel welcome, cared about, and not alone at Christmas.
The 39th Fighter Squadron went on to become one of the most-decorated squadrons of WWII in the South Pacific. They had a stunning 22 Aces by the end of the Korean War, four of whom where here in Bellingham ‘where it all began’!
HFM is pleased and proud to be hosting the 39th Fighter Squadron Association’s 2011 reunion in October! Activities will fall over our 15 October Fly Day – which will be the focus of our celebrations. Join us in welcoming them ‘home’ for 70th anniversary of their arrival here in Bellingham!!
Details to be announced as plans firm up! Stay tuned!
Homecoming Celebrations – Public Welcome!
- Date: Saturday, 15 October, 2011
- Time: 12-4pm (but feel free to arrive a little early to get ‘into place’ to welcome the squadron back!)
- Admission: $5/person, Veteran’s & Active Military free
- Location: Heritage Flight Museum ramp @ Bellingham Airport. Click here for a map.
- Plans: We want to see the street lined with people holding flags and streamers, waving and welcoming ‘our’ squadron members and their families back to where it all began! Meet and greet some of the original pilots and crews who were here in Bellingham from December 1941 to January 1942, and their more current counterparts! HFM and visiting aircraft will fly and pose for photos! Current members (and hopefully aircraft) of today’s 39th Fighter Training Squadron will be in attendance as well.
39thFS Association Reunion Details
- Dates: 12-16 October, 2011
- Fly to/from: Bellingham International (KBLI) or Seattle-Tacoma International (KSEA)
- Activities: 12th – Arrive & settle, 13th – rest-up or explore the Bellingham area, 14th – bus trip to Everett/Paine Field’s Historic Flight Foundation and Flying Heritage Collection, 15th – HFM Fly Day, 39th Homecoming Celebration and association banquet dinner, 16th- depart for home.
- Membership in the 39th Fighter Squadron Association is open to anyone who has ever served in (or is now serving in) the 39th Squadron from its activation in December of 1939 to the present day. All family members and family friends are encouraged to jointhe reunions. Associate Membership is open to anyone that has served in any sister squadrons, or Groups/Wings. If you are interested in joining the association, contact current association President, C. “John” Dellinger: firstname.lastname@example.org / 417-271-3930