Sales was an honorary master chief petty officer — one of the first since Bob Hope. He was awarded the CAPT R.L. “Zeke” Cormier Honorary Tailhooker of the Year in 2009 and the U.S. Navy's Superior Public Service Award in 2005. He led more than 20 aircraft carrier distinguished visitor (DV) embarks, introducing hundreds of civic leaders to the Navy and Carrier Aviation, positively affecting and cultivating support for the Navy’s mission. He sponsored numerous visits from Naval Aviation leaders to Detroit to speak with local civic leaders and created the DV embark program at NAS Oceana.
Roger McFillen was born in May 1938. He graduated from Kansas State and entered Naval Aviation training through Aviation Officer Candidate School. He earned his Wings of Gold in 1965 as a Naval Flight Officer (NFO). Spook was a pioneer in the NFO community and excelled as a Radar Intercept Officer in the F-4 Phantom II and progressed into the F-14 Tomcat. One of the first NFOs to be selected for Aviation Command, he commanded VF-142 in the late ’70s and went on to numerous high level assignments as an O-6. Spook retired in 1991after 30 years of service, and continued to be extremely active in Naval Aviation and the Tailhook Association. He was personally responsible for the creation of the Colorado Springs Tailhook Chapter (“Ready Room”). He succumbed to complications, 25 April 2011, related to Interstitial Lung Disease.
This scholarship is awarded in honor of the sacrifice and dedication of all who have served/ are serving in CVW-5, the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed carrier air wing & all Forward-Deployed Naval Forces.
“The Navy has enriched my life in many ways that I cherish. This scholarship is just a way of saying thanks.” Francis “Frank” entered the Navy in 1946 under the Holloway Midshipman Program, spent 2 years in college under the V-5 program and entered flight training in 1948 as an Aviation Midshipman. He received his wings after completing advanced training in the F4U. He spent over five years on active duty flying from several carriers. He then completed 28 years of service as an active Reserve, retiring with rank of commander. He also retired from Clark Equipment Company after 28 years. He received a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Colorado in 1953.
This award is made in the name of the Langley Association, the men of which served on one of the most distinguished carriers in World War II. From January 1944 to the end of the war, Langley served in campaigns including the Marshall and Mariana Islands, Guam, the Palaus and the Philippines, Formosa, French Indochina and off the mainland of Japan.
Commissioned in 1943, USS Lexington set more records than any other Essex Class carrier in the history of Naval Aviation. The ship was the oldest working USN carrier when she was decommissioned in 1991. Originally named the USS Cabot, during WW II when word was received that the original carrier named USSLexington CV-2, had been sunk in the Coral Sea battle, her name was changed to Lexington. After a shakedown cruise, Lexington joined the 5th Fleet at Pearl Harbor. During WW II, the carrier participated in nearly every major operation in the Pacific Theater and spent 21 months in combat. Her planes destroyed 372 enemy aircraft in the air, and 475 more on the ground. She sank or destroyed 300,000 tons of enemy cargo and damaged an additional 600,000 tons. The ship’s guns shot down 15 planes and assisted in downing five more. The Japanese reported Lexington sunk no less than 4 times. Yet, each time she returned to fight again, leading the propagandist Tokyo Rose to nickname her “The Blue Ghost.” After the war, Lexington was decommissioned from 1947-1955. When reactivated, she operated primarily with the 7th Fleet out of San Diego, California. Although not involved in actual combat, Lexington kept an offshore vigil during tensions in Formosa, Laos, and Cuba. In 1962, she sailed into Pensacola, Florida, and began training operations, eventually being officially designated CVT-16, Navy Training Carrier. Corpus Christi is privileged to be selected as the permanent home to this national treasure.