Kentucky National Guard Aviator honored at Kentucky Aviation Museum

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(republished with permission by The Ledger-Independent in Maysville, Ky.)

Ledger-Independent article on Col. David Fleming, Kentucky Army National Guard Aviator

Story by Wendy Mitchell

Col. David F. Fleming, already the namesake of the Kentucky Army Aviation Support Facility, is honored at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky, at Bluegrass Field in Lexington on Nov. 5, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. — From his roots of Fleming County history come more accolades for the late Col. David F. Fleming.

Fleming, already the namesake of the Kentucky Army Aviation Support Facility, is being honored today at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky, at Bluegrass Field in Lexington.

According to ceremony officials, Fleming, a master aviator and descendant of John Fleming for whom Fleming County was named, enlisted in the Kentucky Army National Guard in 1949, retired in 1988 and died in 1999.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 149th Regimental Combat Team, now known as the 149th Armor Brigade, in 1953 and was assigned as a platoon leader in the Heavy Mortar Company. In 1956, the unit changed its mission to artillery, Fleming attended Army flight school and returned to KYARNG.

According to museum officials Fleming, “…had a front row seat to the modernization of Army aviation.”

In an interview conducted before his death, from the Kentucky National Guard History eMuseum, Fleming spoke about his part and changes in aviation during his life.

“It started out as a small section that provided an aerial observation platform for the ground commander … now it’s evolved into the aviation brigade — the fourth combat brigade of the modern Army division, Fleming said. “The advent of the Aviation Branch in April of 1984 really had a lot to do with that … now I think that while aviation continues its mission as a division combat element, it will also have to turn its attention to air-to-air combat in order to survive on the battlefield.”

Also being inducted this year are , Charles L. “Chip” Collins,”… a leader in the development and testing of over 50 different experimental aircraft systems…”; Mason County native Col. James Lewis Graybill, a flight instructor and check pilot; and Gene Soucy, a former member of the record-setting Eagles Aerobatic Flight Team.

The 2010 Aviation Achievement Award will be presented to Honor Flight Network of Kentucky.

Aviation Museum of Kentucky Hall of Fame activities begin at 6 p.m. with a reception and dinner to follow at 7 p.m.; the enshrinement ceremony follows the dinner, officials said.

For more on Kentucky Aviation go to www.kyaviation.org

Contact Wendy Mitchell at wendy.mitchell@lee.net or call 606-564-9091, ext. 276.

For more area news, visit www.maysville-online.com.

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