Wright
          Brothers 282nd Aero Composite Squadron - Civil Air Patrol

LOCAL HISTORY

The Wright Brothers 282nd Aero Composite Squadron has a rich history as an innovative and forward thinking squadron. In 1991, Group Commander Lt Col Larry Sidle began exploring the feasibility of opening a neCharterw Civil Air Patrol squadron in the western suburbs of Dayton, Ohio. Major Lloyd Baird, the squadron's charter commander, came to the unit from his post at the Dayton Senior Squadron (OH-285). Since Major Baird lived in New Lebanon he seemed like a logical choice to take charge of the new squadron. As a pilot and collector of vintage aircraft, Baird was already known and respected through the community for his involvement in aviation. For some time he owned and flew a P-51 Mustang that was based nearby at the Dayton-New Lebanon Airport (I44).

The first meetings of the new unit were held at Gearhart's Cafeteria at 590 East Main Street in New Lebanon. The Baird's had purchased the resturaunt business just before the charter was received and it remained the meeting location for the unit throughout Maj Baird's command. On March 28, 1991, the charter for the squadron was presented to Major Baird by LtCol Sidle. While the charter of the unit designated it as GLR-OH-282, under the group based naming convention it was often referred to as "Squadron 705". At the time, there were twelve cadet members and three senior officer members. As the squadron worked to market the new opportunity and recruit new members, America's military forces were launched into Operation Desert Storm. The resulting surge in patriotism spurred a fair number of community members to explore Civil Air Patrol and ultimately join the squadron.

In June of 1992, Major Baird suffered a heart attack. While home recuperating, he suffered a second heart attack that claimed his life on June 30, 1992. The squadron provided an honor guard and a bugleman to play Taps for the funeral services. Shortly after the untimely death of Major Baird, the command was passed to Major N. S. Spurling.

ColorguardIn 1993, members from Squadron 282 sought to form a competitive cadet drill team. At the time, the squadron was not large enough to support a drill team independently. A call was put out to other squadrons in the Dayton area, generating additional interest. The drill team was formed and competed successfully at the wing level, going on to place second at the Great Lakes Region competition their first year. In 1997, the drill team won the Great Lakes Region competition and went on to place fourth at the national competition.

In 1992 a member by the name of 2d Lt Alan Wise transferred to Squadron 282. 2d Lt Wise significantly elevated the squadron's Emergency Services capabilities, drawing on his experience as an officer in the United States Army. After serving as the Deputy Commander for two years he recognized an opportunity to introduce the Civil Air Patrol program to the Middletown area. After approximately one year this squadron took root began to hold meetings of their own. The squadron is now independant and was chartered on December 14, 1994 as the "Middletown Pathfinders" squadron (GLR-OH-288).

Squadron 282 continued to grow and flourish in 1995, participating heavily in the wing encampment, search and rescue missions and exercises, aerospace activities, cadet drill competitions, and other events. In recognition of their efforts, Squadron 282 was named the Great Lakes Region Squadron of Distinction.

The Ohio Wing Cadet Advisory Council exists to provide cadets with a forum to air new ideas or voice concerns. Within our squadron we have had several delegates to this council. C/LtCol Chris Schelle served as a chairperson, C/Capt Nathaniel Stevens served as a chairperson, C/Maj Johnny Adams served as a chairperson, and C/Maj Doug Baker served as a member.

In 1998 C/Col Laura Thompson was named as a member of the National Cadet Advisory Council. She was the first member of Group VII to be named to such a prestigious position. In this capacity she traveled to various events hosted by National Headquarters to provide insight on the needs of Civil Air Patrol's cadet members.

Change of CommandAfter 15 years of service as the squadron commander, Major N. S. Spurling passed the command torch to Major Chris Vecchi on October 1, 2007. Major Spurling saw the unit through a number of transitions and through various stages of growth, ultimately laying a stable foundation fo the squadron to build upon. By the end of his command, the squadron had become known throughout the western Dayton suburbs and had become a staple of the local aviation community. Under his command the squadron saw it's first Mitchell, Earhart, Eaker, and Spaatz cadets; was named the Group VII Squadron of the Year on two occassions; and was named as the Great Lakes Region Squadron of Distinction.

In 2009 Capt Krista Morisen began exploring the feasibility of establishing a new Civil Air Patrol unit in the Richmond, Indiana area. She worked with existing members in the Whitewater Valley and local officials to get a basic program under way. Members of our squadron assisted the members of the new start up as they learned their duty positions and responsibilities within the unit. Resources and best practices were shared and relationships built and reinforced. In appreciation of the assistance the flight was officially chartered in late 2009 as GLR-IN-282, the "Whitewater Valley Flight".

In 2009, the squadron began to explore the possibility of holding a second weekly meeting in the southern suburbs of Dayton. After careful consideration, Major Vecchi commissioned Friday evening meetings at the Dayton Wright Brothers airport starting in the spring of 2010.

After three years of service, Major Vecchi passed command of the squadron to Major Joseph L. Mitchell III on October 22, 2010. During his command the squadron was recognized with a unit citation award and was named as the Group VII Mark N. Shirk Squadron of the Year on two occassions.

Shortly after this change of command, the meetings at the Dayton Wright Brothers airport were officially recognized and chartered as the Miami Valley Composite Squadron, GLR-OH-284. This became the third squadron that developed and chartered under the oversight of the Wright Brothers 282nd Aero Composite Squadron.

VFW Post
              3438After two years of holding meetings at the Dayton VA Medical Center, Building 305, the squadron's command staff began to explore options for improved meeting space. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, West Carrollton Post 3438 fit the bill. This location moved the unit from Dayton, Ohio to West Carrollton, Ohio - just off of Interstate 75. The facility was just across the shores of the Great Miami River from the historical Moraine Airpark. The river was also home to the Wright Brothers first seaplane base. Situated just in front of the facility was the Great Miami Recreational Trail, an ideal site for cadet physical fitness training. On June 1, 2011 the squadron held it's first meeting in the new location.

After the squadron moved meetings to the West Carrollton location several members expressed interest in the idea of Change
              of Command seeding a new meeting location in the western portions of Montgomery County. The Olivet Church on Little Richmond Road offered meeting space and a dedicated office in their basement for the squadron's use. The first official meeting at this location was held on Tuesday, June 28, 2011. 2d Lt Lenae Fecher was assigned to lead the meetings. This meeting location brought the squadron within a few miles of Gearhart's Cafeteria in New Lebanon where GLR-OH-282 received it's charter. This facility also offered a large emergency services training grounds and camping area just across the street. During this time the squadron held weekly meetings on Tuesday evening at the Olivet Church in New Lebanon and on Wednesday evening at the West Carrollton VFW, with the squadron command staff alternating between locations.

The members of Squadron 282 are proud of our heritage as an organization founded in service to the western suburbs of Dayton. As time goes on we continue to write history, carrying out the missions of the Civil Air Patrol on a daily basis!

 

 

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