54th ARS Honors Their C-47 Roots
By Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm, 97 AMW/PA
/ Published April 12, 2019
ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
The 54th Air Refueling Squadron hosted a heritage and squadron morale event to celebrate new and departing members, April 6, 2019, in Frederick, Okla.
The squadron celebrated its 77th anniversary at the Frederick Army Airfield with a flight on a World War II era C-47 Skytrain and the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team. This event gave the 54th ARS Airmen and families a unique opportunity to remember the C-47’s heritage.
“We want to continue with this relationship we have with the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team down in Frederick since they are part of our history” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Kyle Gadoury, the assistant flight commander of the operations flight at the 54th ARS.
During World War II, the C-47 was part of the 54th Troop Carrier Wing, responsible for exercising command and control over five combat cargo and troop carrier groups for the U.S. Army Air Corps. As the Air Force evolved into its own branch, the 54th TCW eventually became the 54th ARS, now home to the KC-135 Stratotanker.
To preserve the C-47 heritage, Frederick Army Airfield offers the public opportunities to fly and participate in skydiving classes in their two C-47’s.
“Their story is being lost over time and the guys at Frederick Army Airfield are able to reiterate their story,” said Gadoury. “You can feel their emotion when they talk to you about it and that is something special not everybody has anymore.”
This event allowed members of the 54th ARS and their families to come together as a team and celebrate their success while incorporating the long-standing heritage of the 54th ARS and their role within the Air Force.
“It’s nice to always look back at our history and to know where we came from,” said Gadoury. “Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer World War II veterans alive today, so to keep their story and their legacy alive I think it’s important for future generations to participate in events related to that.”