Midwest City parade to feature 138th Fighter Wing fly-over

BY KAY HUNT, City of Midwest City Modified: November 8, 2012 at 9:14 pm •  Published: November 8, 2012
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MIDWEST CITY -- The Veteran’s Day Parade, scheduled for Monday, Nov. 12, will feature a fly-over performed by F-16s of the138th Fighter Wing, Oklahoma Air National Guard out of Tulsa, according to parade officials, along with five generations of war veterans who will serve as Parade Grand Marshalls.

The fly-over will take place at approximately 10:20 a.m. along Douglas Boulevard.

About the 138th Fighter Wing: The 125th Observation Squadron was organized in Tulsa in December 1940 and federally recognized in January 1941 as the Oklahoma National Guard’s first flying unit.

The squadron was moved to various locations throughout the United States before arriving in Liverpool, England, on D-Day in 1944. After moving to France in August 1944, the 125th Liaison Squadron was attached to the Ninth Army until VE Day.

Back home in Tulsa and as the 125th Fighter Squadron, the unit flew the F-51 from November 1945 to February 1947. The 125th returned to active duty in 1950 under Ninth Air Force and sent to Alexandria, La., until July 1952.

Returning to Tulsa under state control, the squadron flew the F-51 and F-80 until becoming part of the 138th Fighter Group under the Air Defense Command flying the F-86D in August 1957.

Since 1996 personnel from the 138th Fighter Wing have supported combat operations throughout the world and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Operation New Dawn was the tenth combat deployment for the 125th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. The 125th EFS has the distinction of being the last fighter squadron in Iraq, providing top cover for 39,000 plus coalition troops exiting the country.

The federal mission of the 138th Fighter Wing is to maintain combat forces ready for mobilization, deployment and employment as needed to support national security objectives.

Additionally, the state mission is to support the governor of the state of Oklahoma with units organized, equipped and trained in the protection of life and property, and preservation of peace, order and public safety under competent orders of authority. For the parade fly-over the unit will use the “Brave” call sign.

The pilots for this event will include Capt. Chris ‘Temper’ Wells, Capt. Adam ‘Scram’ Gobbo and Capt. Sam ‘Paco’ Stephens.

The Grand Marshal’s for the parade will be area war veteran’s representing six wars and conflicts.

They include: WWII veteran James Street. As a PVT, Street, Regular Army, took artillery basic training at Fort Know, Ky., and upon completing basic training was sent to Augsburg, Germany to join Battery “B”, 60th Field Artillery, 9th Infantry Division.

One of their primary missions was to guard 5,000 German SS POW’s and process them for either discharge or send them to the War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg.

He was honorably discharged on Christmas Eve 1948 and subsequently entered the U.S. Air Force and spent time in Korea, Japan, Azores and Saudi Arabia for a total of 15 years overseas.

Street retired as a CMSgt, with over 30 years of active duty, in 1977. He is a member of the DAV, VFW, and the American Legion and has resided in Midwest City since 1984.

Army Korean War Veteran Charles Selby. Selby entered the Army on July 2, 1948, and spent a total of 22 years serving his country. He served as a platoon aid man (Medical Corp) during the Korean War.

In June 1950, he left Fort Bliss, Texas, on a troop train and went to Fort Lewis, Wash. From there he went on a merchant marine ship with the 38th Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division to Korea.

In September 1950, he was wounded and flown to Japan for treatment and then he returned to combat operation in Korea in October 1950.

There he was captured by the Chinese Army and spent from Nov. 26, 1950, to Aug. 19, 1953, (33 months) as a Prisoner of War. He was released as part of the big switch of prisoners at Panmunjon, Korea.

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