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JDF Air Wing marks 49 years today

Tuesday, July 03, 2012    

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THE Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Air Wing will observe its 49th anniversary today with a luncheon at Up Park Camp, the army headquarters in Kingston.

According to Major Victor Beek (retired), the luncheon will be attended by army veterans as well as some current members of the Air Wing.

Yesterday, Major Beek, a World War II Royal Air Force veteran, told the Jamaica Observer that the Air Wing was established on July 3, 1963 after he was invited to take charge of the unit by the then chief of staff, Paul Crook.

A few days later, Beek said, the American Government sent the unit an Independence anniversary gift of four single-engine Cessna 185 aircraft.

It took several months before three additional pilots were added to the unit, and during that time the Air Wing was referred to as the 'One Man Air Force'.

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