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President’s Message & Society History

Chuck Sweeney, President/CEO

DFCS, P.O. Box 502408, San Diego, CA 92150

Welcome to our website.

Whether you are a DFC recipient or just browsing to learn more about our rich history, we hope you enjoy our site.

In August, 2012 our Society members and families enjoyed themselves at our National Convention in Seattle, WA. The three day event, with the focus being our WWII members, was praised by all who attended.  The highlights were a very moving talk by Jonna Doolittle Hoppes (Jimmy Doolittle’s granddaughter) and the presentation of plaques to the 16 WWII members attending including one of the five remaining Doolittle Raiders, a Tuskegee airman and a Navy night fighter Ace.  The Society continues to grow and now numbers over 6000 members with 21 chapters spread across the country.

Our most recent convention was September 21-25, 2014 at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida. This year we honored our Korean War members who fought in the “Forgotten War”.  It was a great event and I was pleased to see many of our members and their families enjoying the camaraderie of old and new friends.

At the national level, we provide the overall organizational umbrella for our membership and their chapters.

To this end we:

  • Emphasize public relations to improve the recognition of the Society and primarily the heroic deeds performed by our members. A significant effort is underway to promote a recently published fantastic book about the DFC entitled “On Heroic Wings: Stories of the Distinguished Flying Cross“.  You can order a copy of the book at www.dfcbook.info or at www.amazon.com or at various aviation museums. This is a 352 page, 8½ X 11, hard-bound book containing over 300 incredible graphics and photographs. On Heroic Wings begins with the Foreword by President George Herbert Walker Bush (41) and the Introduction by Jim Lovell, both DFC recipients and DFCS members. The vast majority of the book focuses on four major eras: World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Recent Decades. Thirty-two stories are augmented by 180 vignettes chronicling DFC history from 1926 to the present. The book is based largely on our Oral History Program. We are also working to develop an hour long TV documentary and possibly a television series. A fifteen minute pilot has already been produced with actor Gary Sinise hosting the presentation. Of course this will require funding so any contributions will be gratefully accepted and are tax deductible.
  • Continue to promote local and national monuments to honor recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross.  Monuments are currently in place at Pines Park in Dana Point, California and at the entrance to the Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs, California. The Society also has a large and unique plaque in front of the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center at the Dulles Airport.  The beautiful, recently dedicated, DFC Memorial at March Field Air Museum, Riverside, California has several tiles, benches and two walls available for inscription (see www.marchfield.org/dfc.html )
  • Promote a very active Oral History Program to record our rich history
  • Produce a quality newsletter three times a year for our members
  • Sell various memorabilia items to our members
  • Provide scholarships every year for descendants of members

At the local chapter level, there is active recruitment for new members and regularly scheduled social functions. Each chapter pursues our goals in their own unique way. They interact with their local communities and museums, establish memorials, talk with young people, and interact with other local veteran organizations. All of these efforts increase our recognition and promote patriotism within our great country.

Sincerely,
Chuck Sweeney

 

HISTORY of THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS SOCIETY

The Story of Charles Lindbergh, Flying with Phantoms by James Darvell