Angel Flight History

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					                                                        General Earl S. Hoag Squadron
                                                       Traces the Origins of Angel Flight
                                                             Hoag Squadron unearths the past of Silver Wings

The original Angel Flight, from left to right:
Joyce Erdkamp, Syntha Judd, Joan Willey,
Joanne Rentschler, Patsy Cahow, Loralee
Lemen, and Jerry Kelley.

General Earl S. Hoag Squadron
University of Nebraska at Omaha
31 March, 2011
         While every Arnie is familiar with our sister organization Silver Wings, very few know about its origins. Silver Wings
was the result of an earlier founded organization known as Angel Flight. The “Flight of Angels” was originally founded in
1952 by a group of co-ed students in association with the AAS squadron here at UNO (then known as the Municipal Uni-
versity of Omaha). These students (pictured on right) were highly motivated young women and of excellent academic
standing. Angel Flight became greatly involved in community service and AFROTC events helping promote support for the
Air Force. After less than a year, AAS established Angel Flight as a national organization. While Angel Flight mirrored the
goals, purpose and leadership training of Arnold Air, Angel Flight was tailored more to the development of future military
wives. Please keep in mind that the roles of men and women in American society at the time were much more defined
than what we commonly see today. Angel Flight, recognizing the important role the wife played in a military family, would
work closely with AFROTC in learning about the Air Force. Angels would also be taught the values of patriotism, communi-
ty service and leadership. Over time however, as American society changed Angel Flight began to see change as well. In an
attempt to diversify the organization membership was eventually opened up to male students. Angel Flight then slowly
began to gravitate away from being a military-support organization and, in 1996, the organization rewrote its mission and
goals to focus only on community-service and civilian-styled leadership development. The formerly all-female Angel Flight
was then officially renamed “Silver Wings.” While Silver Wings has done much service to the community and Arnold Air
Society over the years and continues to do so, the original Angel Flight and the values it taught reside only in memory of
                                                                                                       its original members.

Angel Flight, in its prime, functioned very similarly to that of AFROTC. There were ranks based on
class year and assigned duties for their elected officers. They even learned Drill and Ceremonies as
well as basic customs and courtesies.

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