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WWII Patch, USN, Flight School, Pensecola FL - Goofy, Walt Disney

WWII Patch, USN, Flight School, Pensecola FL - Goofy, Walt Disney

Product Information
WWII US Navy Squadron Patch
USN Flight School
Naval Air Station - NAS Pensecola, FL
Walt Disney Design - Goofy in Flight Gear & Parachute dropping Bombs from a cloud
4 5/8 inches

This insignia design was featured in WWII in the Disney Stamp collectors series, Vol. 4, stamp number 171.
It is Identified with the Foreign Pilot Training program at Naval Air Station Pensecola, Florida where Cuban and other (?) foreign nationals were trained by the USN in WW2.
I can find very little information published about the USN role in training of foreign pilots in WWII, so I have included what companion information is available for the AAF program.

Naval Air Station Pensacola - link
The site now occupied by Naval Air Station Pensacola has a colorful historical background dating back to the 16th century when Spanish explorer Don Tristan de Luna founded a colony here on the bluff where Fort Barrancas is now situated. Realizing the advantages of the Pensacola harbor and the large timber reserves nearby for shipbuilding, President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of the Navy Samuel Southard, in 1825, made arrangements to build a Navy yard on the Southern tip of Escambia County, where the air station is today. Navy Captains William Bainbridge, Lewis Warrington, and James Biddle selected the site on Pensacola Bay. Construction began in April 1826, and the Pensacola Navy Yard became one of the best equipped naval stations in the country.

By 1911, the Navy Dept., now awakened to the possibilities of Naval Aviation through the efforts of Capt. W. I. Chambers, prevailed upon congress to include in the Naval Appropriation Act enacted in 1911-12 a provision for aeronautical development. Chambers was ordered to devote all of his time to naval aviation.

In October 1913, Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, appointed a board, with Capt. Chambers as chairman, to make a survey of aeronautical needs and to establish a policy to guide future development. One of the board's most important recommendations was the establishment of an aviation training station in Pensacola. In 1914 the Navy expanded its role in Pensacola development by establishing the US Naval Aeronautical Station. As the Navy expanded, so did support businesses and services- bringing more jobs and workers to the area. The military installations have been a major force in Pensacola's growth.

Upon entry into World War I, Pensacola, still the only naval air station, had 38 naval aviators, 163 enlisted men trained in aviation, and 54 airplanes. Two years later, by the signing of the armistice in November 1918, the air station, with 438 officers and 5538 enlisted men, had trained 1,000 naval aviators. At war's end, seaplanes, dirigibles, and free kite balloons were housed in steel and wooden hangars stretching a mile down the air station beach.

In the years following World War I, aviation training slowed down. From the 12-month flight course, an average of 100 pliots were graduating yearly. This was before the day of aviation cadets, and the majority of the students included in the flight training program were Annapolis graduates. A few enlisted men also graduated. Thus, Naval Air Station Pensacola became known as the "Annapolis of the Air."

With the inaugration of 1935 of the cadet training program, activity at Pensacola again expanded. When Pensacola's training facilities could no longer accomodate the ever increasing number of cadets accepted by the Navy, two more naval air stations were created - one in Jacksonville, Florida, and the other in Corpus Christi, Texas. In August 1940, a larger auxiliary base, Saufley Field, named for LT R. C. Saufley, Naval Aviator 14, was added to Pensacola's activities. In October 1941, a third field, named after LT T.G. Allicin, was commissioned.

As the nations of the world moved toward World War II, NAS Pensacola once again became the hub of air training activities. NAS expanded again, training 1,100 cadets a month, 11 times the amount trained annually in the '20s. The growth of NAS from 10 tents to the world's greatest naval aviation center was emphasized by then Senator Owen Brewster's statement: :The growth of naval aviation during World War II is one of the wonders of the modern world."

The Cradle of Naval Aviation - link
2011 marks the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation and the best place in America to explore this illustrious history is the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida. Pensacola has rightfully been called the "Cradle of Naval Aviation." The city's role in the development of the U.S. Navy's air power and the training of thousands of naval pilots and other personnel is undisputed. The presence of the museum in Pensacola is a powerful tribute to the city's century-long support for Naval Aviation. Located on board Pensacola Naval Air Station, the National Naval Aviation Museum houses an amazing collection of historic aircraft and other artifacts that tell the history of Naval Aviation from its earliest days to the 21st Century.
The Pensacola Naval Air Station played a vital role in training U.S. Navy pilots during World War II, along with their support crews. Pilots even engaged in combat from the station, taking off from its runways to attack German U-boats in the Gulf of Mexico.

The United States military trained Pilots and aircrew from many allied countries during WWII.

Here is an interesting (but not related to this insignia) news story relating to training foreign pilots in the USA - Female WWII pilots get overdue honor

"Whether it was landing in dense fog on low fuel or using hand signals to teach Mexican pilots to fly, the experiences of being a female pilot during World War II gave Holly Grasso stories to tell for a lifetime.

She is one of two San Antonians who will be honored Wednesday by Congress for their service as Women Airforce Service Pilots: civilian “WASPs” who tested or ferried aircraft and trained other pilots in the U.S. from 1942 to 1944.

Grasso was footloose and adventurous in her early 20s when she trained Mexican and Cuban pilots at Foster Field in Victoria. Interpreters helped with the preflight briefings, but because she couldn't speak Spanish, she had to use her hands to guide the trainees when they were in the air with her.

“Now I realize that was very dangerous,” said Grasso, 88.

Many people do not realize that Cuba participated in WWII.  Cuba had adventures and did participate in WWII - and:
Fulgencio Batista was democratically elected President in the elections of 1940. Batista's administration formally took Cuba to the Allies of World War II camp in WWII. Cuba declared war on Japan on December 9, 1941, then on Germany and Italy on December 11, 1941. Cuban armed forces were not greatly involved in combat during World War II, although president Batista suggested a joint U.S.-Latin American assault on Francoist Spain in order to overthrow its authoritarian regime.  Wikipedia
Here is a shoulder patch for US Trained Cuban Air Force Pilots of WWII 1942-1945  - Link
(IT IS NOT PART OF THIS SALE - Shown for informational sharing of knowledge only)
shoulder patch for US Trained Cuban Air Force Pilots of WWII 1942-1945  (IT IS NOT PART OF THIS SALE - Shown for informational sharing of knowledge only)

Training of Foreign Nationals in the AAF

The instruction of foreign nationals became an important part of the AAF's over-all training program during World War II. The so-called Goodwill Act of 24 June 1938, implemented by an executive order of 29 August 1938, had opened schools of the federal government or its agencies to limited numbers of Latin American students.54 Three years later, the Lend-Lease Act of 11 March 1941 opened a new door for the training of foreign nationals through a provision that not only authorized the supply of U.S. equipment to other nations but also the communication of defense information necessary for the use of such equipment.55 This statutory basis was subsequently fortified by a ruling of the Attorney General that same year which held that the President as Commander in Chief undoubtedly could use the "forces under his command to instruct others in matters of defense which are vital to the security of the United States."56

From May 1941 to the end of 1945 no less than 21,000 airmen from thirty-one foreign nations were graduated from flying and technical schools in the United States.* Of this number more than half were British, but sizable groups came also from the Latin American countries, China, the Netherlands East Indies, and Free France, while other nations sent smaller contingents for instruction.57 The agency charged with direct responsibility for conducting most of the foreign programs was the AAF Training Command. It concentrated training for individual countries, so far as possible, within particular subcommands and at certain stations. In this manner the Training Command capitalized on the experience which those organizations developed in dealing with the special problems of a given foreign program.58

The first program of instruction for British flyers was initiated at the behest of President Roosevelt. Impressed with the British need for expanded training facilities, and convinced that the defense of Britain was in the interest of American security, the President directed the War Department to consider the possibility of assisting the British to train flyers. On 7 March 1941 General Arnold, through the British air attache, offered a substantial number of training aircraft for use by the British in training pilots in the United States. At the same time arrangements were made with operators of AAF contract flying schools to establish new facilities for the instruction of British cadets. It was planned to train 3,000 students per year in a twenty-week flying course. Authority over the curriculum and the actual training was left entirely to the RAF, while the AAF Flying Training Command provided for supply, maintenance, and auxiliary services, such as medical care.59

A second and larger British pilot program was instituted in June 1941. General Arnold, offering to divert one-third of the training capacity of the AAF to British use, proposed that an additional 4,000 students per year be given instruction in regular AAF schools. Under the earlier 3,000-pilot program, students received the complete pilot course at one school according to the RAF training pattern, but those entering the new program changed schools at the completion of each instructional phase in keeping with the standard AAF practice. Most of the British students were assigned to the Southeast Training Center. A third and smaller program was also begun in mid-1941. Arrangements were completed at that time to enter 150 British students in each regular class of the Air Corps' contract navigation school at Coral Gables, Florida. This quota was intended to supply the RAF with 1,000 navigators annually.60

By the middle of 1942 it had become evident that British pilot-training objectives could be reached without continuing the assistance of the United States on the scale previously planned. At the same time, the AAF faced increasing difficulty in providing the facilities necessary for the achievement of its own goals. Accordingly, the 4,000-pilot program and the navigarion program were marked for early termination; the last class of pilots was graduated from Air Corps advanced schools in March 1943. The British continued until after V-J Day to send students to the contract schools remaining under their direct control.61 Only a negligible number of British students received technical training in the United States.*

Although seventeen Latin American countries sent students to the United States for training by the AAF, only Brazil and Mexico had sizable programs. From the passage of the Goodwill Act in 1938 until the end of 1945 the Brazilians constituted about half of all the Latin Americans trained; the Mexicans made up about one-quarter.62 Instruction for Brazilian pilots began in October 1942, at a time when the AAF training establishment was under heavy pressure. But Brazil's importance as an ally and as one of the two most powerful countries in Latin America argued the need to help in the upbuilding of its air force. Students from Brazil were entered under a series of quotas into the Air Corps' pilot-training system; they attended schools, principally in Texas, of the Central Flying Training Command.63 Most of the graduates returned to their native country for service in the Brazilian Air Force, but one P-47-equipped squadron received full operational training through AAF agencies and was committed to overseas service with the Allied forces in the Mediterranean. This Brazilian 1st Fighter Squadron began its operational training under the jurisdiction of the Sixth Air Force at Aguadulce in Panama, and later was transferred to the First Air Force at Suffolk Army Air Field, New York. The unit left the country in August 1944 for the Mediterranean theater, where it served as an element of XXII Tactical Air Command. The Mexicans also provided a fighter squadron, the 201st, which received operational training from the Second Air Force at Pocatello, Idaho, and sailed for the Southwest Pacific in January 1945.64 Like the Brazilian squadron, the 201st had been equipped with P-47's. The AAF also gave technical training to personnel of the Latin American air forces. The courses most commonly taken were for aircraft mechanics, armorers, and radio operators; many of the students were eliminees from flying training.65 An expanded program of Latin American training was continued after the end of the war.

The training of Chinese nationals, which started before Pearl Harbor, continued throughout the war and after. It had been decided in July 1941 that the AAF would undertake pilot and combat crew training for the Chinese Air Force on a small scale, with some additional instruction for mechanics and in armament. Training began in November 1941. During the next two years the AAF resisted proposals for a larger commitment to the program because of its own acute need for training facilities, but as facilities became available after December 1943, the AAF trained an increasing number of Chinese.* These included hundreds of pilots and combat crew members, reconnaissance crews, and ground technicians.66 The diversified nature of the Chinese training program required the use of numerous AAF installations, most of which were located in Arizona under jurisdiction of the Western Flying Training Command.†All primary flying instruction for Chinese students was given at Thunderbird Field, Glendale, Arizona. B-24 pilot transition instruction was given at Kirtland Field, New Mexico, followed by operational training under the Second Air Force at Pueblo, Colorado.

After the Japanese had quickly overrun the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) at the outset of the war, the Netherlands government secured permission for the training of an NEI unit in the United States. The request was for one airfield at which the Netherlanders could conduct their own training. Jackson Army Air Base in Mississippi was assigned for the purpose, and the NEI Air Force detachment reached San Francisco from Melbourne in May 1942. Pilot training, which started soon after their arrival, was the chief focus of the Netherlands program and was conducted almost exclusively at Jackson. Activities at the air base continued under Netherlands control until training was completed there in February 1944. Instruction other than that for pilots was conducted according to regular U.S. procedures: bombardiers, navigators, observers, gunners, and radio operators were taught in AAF schools. During 1943, as newly trained crews and their B-25's began to reach Australia from the United States, the Dutch expanded their operations from northern Australia. The No. 18 NEI Squadron, based in the Darwin area, attacked tar-gets in Java, Timor, and western New Guinea. In July 1944 the No. 120 NEI Squadron, flying P-40 fighters and based at Merauke in Netherlands New Guinea, became the first NEI squadron to operate on Dutch soil since 1942. Both the Mitchell and Kittyhawk squadrons served under RAAF control, and their combat operations guarded the vulnerable Allied left flank in the drive toward the Philippines.67

After the successful invasion of North Africa in November 1942 had established contact between the Allies and the French population of that area, Maj. Gen. Carl Spaatz, commanding the Twelfth Air Force, estimated that there were some 1,400 French pilots available for transition training in U.S. aircraft. There were in addition several hundred men available as flying and technical training students. The AAF agreed to accept several groups of French personnel, and the first class of pilot trainees started in June 1943. Some of the graduates received P-40 or B-26 transition, followed by replacement unit training. The French pilot program was concentrated in the southeastern region of the United States, but specialized flying, tactical, and technical instruction was conducted at scattered AAF installations. After the graduation of a number of pilots, combat crew personnel, and ground technicians that was second only to the total trained for Britain, French training was ended in January 1946.68 Prior to the summer of 19, many of these trainees served in the MTO. Following the invasion of southern France in August 1944, all French air combat units in the Mediterranean moved into France, where eventually they became a part of the First Tactical Air Force (Prov.), which supported the 6th Army Group in its drive into Germany.

The AAF trained small numbers of men from countries other than those already mentioned. In some instances only a few nationals of a particular country were involved, and the period of training was generally brief. An example was the two weeks of instruction given to twenty-six Russian officers in September 1941. These officers had been sent to the United States to fly five B-25's to their homeland; prior to making the flight they received transition training at Fort George Wright, Washington. Late in the war two more Soviet officers were trained in the United States--this time technical training on the bombsight. Yugoslavia and Turkey were provided with more comprehensive instructional programs but on a limited scale. Other nations, not previously mentioned, which benefited from AAF training were Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Czechoslovakia, Norway, and Poland.69

All foreign nationals attending Air Corps schools received approximately the same instruction as that given to U.S. personnel. In some cases, especially in the larger programs, changes in course content were made on request of the foreign military missions; such modifications were made most frequently in the Chinese and French pro-grams. The British pilot-training schools and the NEI school at Jackson Army Air Base were independent of the AAF training system and consequently had different curricula.

Foreign nationals were expected to meet the same standards of proficiency which applied to U.S. students. But several factors encouraged a greater leniency: conditions prevailing in the war-stricken homelands of many of the students forbade rigid standards of selection, some of the students could not measure up physically, many of them suffered in some degree the handicap of a language barrier, and the governments themselves were inclined to encourage policies favoring graduation of the highest possible percentage.70 The greatest single cause of failure was inadequate preparation in English. Students chosen for training in the United States were supposed to have a working knowledge of the language, but the requirement was frequently disregarded. The principal remedial device tried was to make instruction in English a major part of the course of study. By April 1944 it was no longer necessary to teach English to Spanish-speaking students, because enough Spanish-speaking instructors were available to conduct training in that language. English remained a part of the curriculum of most other programs, however. More than one-third of the total hours scheduled for preflight instruction of the Chinese students were devoted to English, and language continued to be stressed throughout all phases of Chinese training. The main objective of this effort was to insure that the students became thoroughly familiar with aviation terminology, technical phrases, and expressions essential to their study and work. The problem was attacked from other angles as well. Interpreters were used in most of the foreign programs, and graduates were occasionally withheld to give instruction in their native tongue to later classes, a practice extensively used during the last two years of French training. As much information as possible was presented to the various narionals in their own languages, including translations of standard English texts.71

The general relationships between U.S. personnel and representatives of the various foreign nations were friendly, but there were instances of friction which had a deleterious effect upon training. A small minority of the U.S. instructional staff were inclined to regard foreigners as their inferiors, while others lacked a thorough and sympathetic understanding of differences in national background and temperament. A few of them, accustomed to dealing in a bluff manner with U.S. students, offended foreign trainees, who misinterpreted their brusqueness. The foreign nationals showed a reciprocal lack of understanding of their tutors. Some were unduly sensitive and their feelings were aggravated by homesickness in a strange land, whose language they frequently barely comprehended. Special difficulty arose in connection with Latin American training because of its location in an area where prejudice toward Latin Americans was wide-spread. It was decided in June 1945 to move Mexican training from Foster Field, Victoria, Texas, to Napier Field, Dothan, Alabama.72

A high standard of discipline was as essential to the success of foreign as to U.S. training. Enforcing discipline over the troops of another power on American soil, however, required a clear understanding between the United States and the governments concerned. Agreements were made the larger programs which permitted the foreign power to maintain discipline among its nationals in accordance with the regulations of its armed forces, while the United States reserved the right to confine foreign trainees until they could be turned over to their own commanders for trial. These arrangements followed the precepts of recognized international law and had the practical advantage to the United States of eliminating the risk of offending foreign pride by court-martial proceedings. Students in Air Corps schools, moreover, were subject to elimination in case of serious disciplinary offenses. Although such elimination was in effect a punishment, the foreign governments seldom protested this exercise of Air Corps authority.73

* This training program grew out of the plan for the Chinese-American Composite Wing of the Fourteenth Air Force. See Vol. IV, 529 ff.
† Only a few over 500 of the Chinese students were trained as ground technicians. The rest were scheduled for combat crew assignments.
*There were 6 technicians out of the 12,561 graduates.
* This figure includes graduates from schools operated by the British and the Dutch with AAF assistance as well as those graduated from AAF schools. Available statistics do not always agree, but the following table (which includes both pilot and technical training) is approximately right:
Argentina  24
Mexico  447
Australia  55
Netherlands  532
Bolivia  46
New Zealand  1
Brazil  814
Nicaragua  3
Canada  110
Norway  2
Chile  50
Panama  1
China  2,238
Paraguay  2
Colombia  9
Peru  52
Costa Rica  1
Poland  12
Cuba  36
Russia  28
Czechoslovakia  1
Turkey  49
Ecuador  16
Union of South Africa  1
France  4,113
Uruguay  10
Great Britain  12,561
Venezuela  9
Haiti  7
Yugoslavia  68
Honduras  4
TOTAL  21,302

Price: $115.00

Product Code: PatchUSN.000.FlightSchoolNASPensecolaFLForeignPilotCuba
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