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News > 3rd APS Celebrate Iconic Symbol’s 50th Anniversary
3rd APS Celebrate Iconic Symbol’s 50th Anniversary

Posted 8/2/2009   Updated 8/2/2009 Email story   Print story


by 2nd Lt. Cammie Quinn
43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs

8/2/2009 - POPE AIR FORCE BASE, N.C.  -- Turning 50 years old has never looked better than it does today in the 3rd Aerial Port Squadron. With dunking booths, bratwursts, barbecue and more than 200 close friends, members of 3rd APS reunite in celebration of the squadron patch's 50th anniversary. The patch, depicting the familiar Walt Disney character Jiminy Cricket, has served as a source of pride and encouragement for the 3rd APS for 50 years, said 2nd Lt. Josh Meyer, 3rd APS. 

Jiminy Cricket was originally immortalized in the Disney movie "Pinocchio" by sketch artist Eddie Carroll in 1940. It was 50 years ago that Airman 2nd Class Robert Dunlap sketched Pinocchio's up beat and clever sidekick Jiminy Cricket into 3rd APS history, making him part of every mission they conducted since September 1959. Prior to this addition, only flying squadrons were permitted to have patches. The character was then copyrighted and released for the price of $1, and has helped to identify fellow Crickets ever since. 

In the movie "Pinocchio," Jiminy Cricket is the young boy's conscience, leading him towards the right decisions while allowing Pinocchio a chance to come into his own. As a member of the 3rd APS, Jiminy is regarded as a similar mentor. Lieutenant Meyer said that Jiminy Cricket's cheerful demeanor reflects the positive spirit and can-do attitude of the squadron personnel who live by their motto: "Ad Astra Per Ardua - To the Stars Through Difficulties." 

The patch is used all over the world as a symbol of the squadron's global, short-notice mission: to operate a fixed air terminal facility, supporting air, land and aerial delivery of personnel and equipment. As well as serving their primary mission, members of the 3rd APS also support training, exercise and contingency operations of collocated Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command and Army Airborne forces. 

Crickets, past and present, are celebrating today at 4 p.m. in 3rd APS Bldg. 850 with static displays, good food and great company. Today's celebration has been 50 years in the making.

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