Today marks the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Marine Corps aviation. On May 22, 1912, Lt. Alfred Cunningham became the first Marine aviator in a plane the Navy purchased from the Wright Brothers, according to the Department of Defense.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at recent event celebrating the centennial:
“From the very beginning, the spirit of courage and determination exemplified by Alfred Cunningham has been the legacy of Marine Aviation. It is a spirit driven by a mission to project power from ship to shore and support Marines on the ground. It is a spirit that has guided Marine pilots to achieve the unthinkable and dare the impossible with their aircraft.”
The Marine Corps put together this video about what Marine aviators have been able to accomplish over the last century. Take a look: