The Marblehead Marine Aviation portion of the Maritime Festival kicks off today with helicopters landing at the Village School.
Starting today, the festival will remember marine aviation’s beginning, the first solo flight by Lieut. Alfred Cunningham, USMC 100 years ago.
According to festival organizers, it was in August 1912 that Cunningham arrived in Marblehead to learn to fly at the Burgess Aviation Company. The company, headed up by famous yacht (then plane) designer Starling Burgess was located on Redstone Lane and built aircraft and trained pilots until the end of World War l.
After his training Cunningham returned to his base and headed up the brand new aviation division of the Marine Corps which went on to distinguish itself in World War II in the Pacific, in Korea, Vietnam and does today in Afghanistan. It started in Marblehead; the very first moment of Marine aviation.
Schedule of Events:
Friday, August 3.
MARINE HELICOPTERS arrive at Village Street School and are there for viewing from 2 to 6 p.m. Also on display is a panorama of art showing the one hundred years of Marine Corps Aviation.
Saturday, August 4.
THE CENTENNIAL PARADE AT 10:30 a.m. will step off from the Old Town Hall up Pleasant Street turning on Village and proceeding to the Village Street School. The parade will be lead by a Marine Corps color guard. Bands include one with bagpipes. Marchers will come from Jr. Marine ROTC units to vets from the old Corps. Fighting Humvees will roll along as well.
A FLYBY at 12:15 overhead: a Corsair, a Marine fighter of World War II followed by four T-28’s (with roaring 2000 horse power engines), planes that trained thousands of Marine pilots.
HELICOPTERS on display at the Village Street School from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pilots will be standing by to answer your many questions. The Marine Aviation art panorama will still be on display.