History of the Unit
THE OLD DOMINION SQUADRON
The beginnings of today’s Old Dominion Squadron go back to September 1983 when eight CAF Colonels and three prospective members gathered in Richmond, Virginia to discuss the organization of a CAF Flight. The group immediately chose Old Dominion Flight as the unit’s name.
Over the next several months, the Unit submitted its charter application and initiated searches for potential aircraft acquisition and restoration opportunities throughout Virginia and North Carolina. Before the year was out, the group began to refer to itself as the Old Dominion Squadron for the first time. Soon after in January 1984, the Unit received its Letter of Provisional Charter from CAF headquarters.
In the months to come, the Old Dominion Squadron’s membership continued to grow. At the same time, aircraft acquisition and restoration opportunities continued to be pursued with Squadron efforts focusing around a Vought F4U-1D Corsair, Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan, Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor and Bell OH-13 Sioux helicopter. Additionally, two CAF members donated their Stinson L-5 Sentinel in late 1984. This aircraft was eventually transferred to the National Capital Squadron after that unit was formed. The CAF assigned another L-5/OY-1 to ODS in February 1998.
The Squadron was formerly re-chartered as the Old Dominion Wing in January 1986. Six months later, the Wing decided to pursue a Lockheed C-60A Lodestar that had become available in Pennsylvania. After an inspection of the aircraft, Wing officers accepted custody and flew it to Richmond as the Old Dominion Wing’s first flying asset.
Both the Lockheed C-60A and the Wing permanently moved to Chesapeake’s Hampton Roads Executive Airport in early 1989 with other acquisitions stored in the greater Tidewater area. One year later, a letter from CAF headquarters granted permission for the organizational alignment of the National Capitol Squadron, located near Washington D.C., as a subordinate unit of the Old Dominion Squadron Wing.
By the turn of the decade, the Old Dominion Wing and its two subordinate Squadrons, National Capitol and the recently added Avenger Squadron of Trenton, N.J., agreed to reorganize. Under the new organization, the Old Dominion Wing reverted to the Old Dominion Squadron once again with the intention of it and the other two Squadrons to form the components of a new Wing.
In the years since, the Old Dominion Squadron has been quite active. The Squadron:
- Received Commemorative Air Force awards and citations including two Distinguished Unit Awards (1991 and 2001) and the Distinguished Unit Maintenance Award (2002).
- Hosted the CAF’s Boeing B-29 Superfortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator at Norfolk International (1990 and 1992) and Newport News-Williamsburg International (1996) Airports.
- Participated in the 50th anniversary D-Day re-enactment at Fort Story (1994).
- Organized and co-sponsored annual Gathering of Eagles air shows at Hampton Roads Executive Airport (1995 through 2001) in Chesapeake as well as Wings and Wheels air shows at the same location in 2004 and 2005.
- Accepted the CAF’s assignment of a Stinson OY-1 Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft in 1998 and Grumman US-2B Tracker anti-submarine aircraft in 2000 to complement the Unit’s Lockheed C-60A Lodestar transport.
- Accepted the CAF's assignment of a Ryan PT-22 Recruit trainer aircraft in 2007.
Today, the Commemorative Air Force’s Old Dominion Squadron is based at Franklin Municipal Airport in Franklin, Virginia. The Squadron maintains and operates a Stinson OY-1 Sentinel reconnaissance and Fairchild J2K-2 Forwarder transport aircraft. With nearly 50 volunteer members, the Old Dominion Squadron annually participates in static and flying shows throughout the Mid Atlantic region.