Marine Corps Maj. William D. Chesarek was born in Newport, RI. He is the first American to receive Great Britain’s Distinguished Flying Cross since World War II. His exploits involved the daring rescue of a wounded British soldier in Iraq. Queen Elizabeth II presented his award at Buckingham Palace.
Military aviation has been a major part of Rhode Island’s history, starting with James and Ezra Allen, who flew observation balloons for the Union Army during the Civil War. Fixed wing involvement started when Gerald Hanley joined the Rhode Island National Guard in 1915. As a lieutenant in Battery A of the Coast Artillery, he […]