Yalies who founded Navy’s first aviation unit to be honored

The Yale Veterans Association will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the First Yale Unit (a.k.a. The Millionaires’ Unit) and the birth of U.S. Naval Aviation with a film screening and discussion on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11.

The Yale Veterans Association will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the First Yale Unit (a.k.a. The Millionaires’ Unit) and the birth of U.S. Naval Aviation with a film screening and discussion on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place 4-7 p.m., in the McNeil Lecture Hall of the Yale University Art Gallery. (Enter via the walkway at 201 York St.)

The program will begin with a screening of the award-winning documentary “The Millionaires’ Unit,” which chronicles the story of a group of privileged and idealistic Yale students who, in 1916, formed a privately funded air militia that became the founding squadron of the U.S. Naval Air Reserve. These aviators were among the first to fight and die for their country in World War I. (See “Defending Allied Skies: Yale’s pioneering pilots form first naval aviation unit.”)

Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion with the filmmakers Darroch Greer, Ron King, and Harry Davison ’84 (the latter two are descendants of First Yale Unit Members); Marc Wortman, author of the book that inspired the film; and Yale historian Paul Kennedy, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers,” among many other works.

The Yale Veterans Association (YVA) is a non-partisan, non-political organization comprised of members of the Yale community — including alumni, students, faculty and staff — who have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States or its allies and their supporters. Its mission is to leverage the strengths, talents and dedication of its members and friends to uplift and support fellow veterans, and to cultivate leaders for military and public service. Activities include aiding wounded veterans and veterans in need, supporting ROTC and military education programs, organizing military-related programs and activities, and fostering camaraderie among veteran communities. For more information on the Yale Veterans Association, visit: https://yaleveterans.org.

See also: Yale to honor veterans with ceremony, tour, movie, and more

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