Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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August 2, 2012

U.S. Marines celebrate 100 years of aviation

MARBLEHEAD, Mass. - The U.S. Marines are landing here this week to celebrate the spot where 100 years ago their air component was born.

Four Marine helicopters are scheduled to deliver Corps dignitaries for the centennial rememberance on Marblehead Harbor.

"One hundred years of marine avaiation," said organizer Don Humphries, a World War II Marine. "That's kind of a big thing."

According to Marine Corps history, Lt. Alfred Cunningham came to the Starling Burgess aircraft factory here in the summer of 1912 for flying lessons. He departed on Aug. 20 in a Burgess seaplane, launching the Marine air corps.

Cunningham's flight came less than a decade after the Wright Brothers first lifted off the ground in 1903.

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Details for this story were provided by the Salem, Mass., News.

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