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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2011 / 09 

Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets to host World War II and Vietnam era aircraft flyover for Clemson game

September 29, 2011

From top to bottom are the TBF-1C Avenger flown by Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus, Capt. Ben Tate, U.S. Navy (retired), Class of 1942 and the T-28D Trojan flown by Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus, Gen. Tom Richards, U.S. Air Force (retired), Class of 1956
From top to bottom are the TBF-1C Avenger flown by Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus, retired Capt. Ben Tate, U.S. Navy, Class of 1942, now deceased, and the T-28D Trojan flown by Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus, retired Gen. Tom Richards, U.S. Air Force, Class of 1956

For the second-consecutive year the Tri-State Warbird Museum located in Batavia, Ohio, will sponsor a military flyover. The flyover, hosted by the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, will include a historic World War II-era Grumman TBM-3 Avenger and two Vietnam-era T-28 Trojan aircraft. It will occur during the National Anthem, prior to the Virginia Tech versus Clemson football game.

The flyover is expected barring weather or operational factors and has been arranged through the generosity of Stan Cohen who earned a degree in architectural engineering from the College of Engineering and is a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 1949. 

The TBM-3 will arrive on Friday and will be on display at the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport between 1 and 4 p.m. on Friday. The T-28s will arrive Saturday morning and all aircraft will be on display at the airport between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday. Everyone is encouraged to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to see these historic aircraft in person.

Both aircraft are historically significant to the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. The TBM-3 was flown by Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus, retired Capt. Ben Tate, U.S. Navy, Class of 1942, now deceased, off the USS Belleau Wood when he and two other aircraft sank the Japanese aircraft carrier Hiyo during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest award for valor, for his actions in this battle.

The T-28 was primarily a training aircraft, but was also used for counter-insurgency operations during Vietnam. Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus, retired Gen. Tom Richards, U.S. Air Force, Class of 1956, who earned a degree in business administration from what is now the Pamplin College of Business, flew the T-28 in combat in South East Asia.

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