“Wings of Gold: Coronado and Naval Aviation Museum Exhibit Marks 100th Anniversary”

In early 1911, the United States Navy asked pioneer aviator Glenn Curtiss to train one its officers to fly. Curtiss chose a sandy, scrub-covered island in San Diego Bay as the location and Coronado became the birthplace of Naval Aviation.  On February 4, 2011, the Coronado Historical Association (CHA) will participate in a national celebration of the Centennial of Naval Aviation with the unveiling of a themed museum exhibit entitled, Wings of Gold:  Coronado and Naval Aviation.

Wings of Gold will be on display in one of the main galleries of the Coronado Museum of History and Art and will feature rare photographs and documents such as an early pilot license signed by Orville Wright. An original 1920s pilot uniform and a national insignia that flew on aircraft from 1919-1940 are examples of some of the items on view.  A multi-media component utilizing oral history interviews highlighting the history of U.S. Naval Air Station (NAS)–North Island, will be included in the exhibit.  A series of lectures, a film festival and a community-wide commemorative home signage program with map of residences lived in by over a 100 naval aviators will complement the exhibit during its six-month run.

Coronado Historical Association Naval Aviator Yard Sign Initiative:  Look for signs in front of houses where Naval Aviators past and present have lived as you drive around Coronado or come by the association for a map.

The Coronado Museum of History & Art is located at 1100 Orange Avenue, Coronado.  Suggested donation:  $4  Hours:  Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun., 10-5 p.m.  For more info, call (619) 435-7242 or log onto:

 “Coronado Library Centennial Exhibit:  Jan-Dec 2011”

The Coronado Public Library will be commemorating the Centennial of Naval Aviation throughout 2011 with a special exhibition highlighting the progress of naval aviation from its beginning in 1911 to its role in the modern world.  The hundred year story of U.S. Naval Aviation will be told in six chronological bi-monthly exhibits.  The exhibits will showcase scale models of naval aircraft, historical photographs, uniforms, original paintings, flight gear, pilot log books, and other memorabilia.  Of note will be a small-scale diorama of North Island and how it changed over the decades.

For more information about the exhibition or scheduled events call 619-522-7390 or visit  The Coronado Library is located at 640 Orange Avenue, Coronado, Ca.  Open Monday-Thursday 10-9, Friday-Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 1-5.  All programs and events at the Coronado Library are free to the public. 

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