Thursday, January 28, 2010

Naval Air Station Norfolk's Bear Mascot

Shown here is "Whiskey," a Black Bear that served as the mascot of the newly established Naval Air Station Norfolk in 1918. He is being fed a Hershey Almond Chocolate Bar, which happened to be his favorite snack, by YNC Ralph Hanna, the Air Station's chief administration officer. Whiskey had been rescued as a cub by a naval aviator that crashed in the Great Dismal Swamp (a frequent occurrence in the early days of Naval aviation). The pilot found the orphaned cub and took back to the base where the sailors immediately treated him like one of the guys.

You can read more about the early days of Naval Air Station Norfolk and its first commanding officer, the legendary P.N.L. Bellinger, in the newest issue of The Daybook.

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