It arrived overnight and disappeared just as fast.
That's how historians have described North Carolina's Laurinburg-Maxton air base, a hub for military training during World War II. The vast majority of the United States' glider pilots were trained there, including the forces who played an unsung role in the D-Day invasion 75 years ago.
About 500 glider planes were used in the invasion, and 312 of those were from the United States. Of this number, almost all of them trained at Laurinburg-Maxton, about 90 miles east of Charlotte, said Frank Blazich, lead curator of military history at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
But despite the important role gliders played in transporting men and equipment, the base's contributions have been largely forgotten.
WASHINGTON — More than 150 members of the North Carolina National Guard gathered in Raleigh this month, with the damage from Hurricane Florence in 2018 still on their minds.
On a 40-foot map of the state, they began moving North Carolina's guard units around like chess pieces, to set the order of battle for the next major storm.
"We go through the timetable of a major hurricane hitting," said North Carolina National Guard spokesman Army Lt. Col. Matt DeVivo. The units looked at preparedness five days out. Then two days out. Then landfall, to see "what will be mobilized, what we lack in capability" and what worked last time, he said.
Last year's hurricanes were particularly destructive for some of the military's most critical bases. In response, active, reserve and National Guard forces have looked at lessons learned to better prepare for this year's hurricane season, which starts June 1, even as they wait for federal funding to fix all the damage from last year.
U.S. Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj. Dwayne Coffer (U.S. Army photo)
WARRENTON, North Carolina — The U.S. Department of Justice has, once again, sued the Warren County Board of Education in North Carolina over its treatment of a military reservist.
U.S. attorneys said the complaint, filed Wednesday, is meant to protect the rights guaranteed to U.S. Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj. Dwayne Coffer, by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, 1994 legislation signed into law by former President Bill Clinton.
They allege that the Warren school system stripped Coffer of his position as dean of students at Warren County Middle School in the summer of 2017 while he was away for about five weeks of active duty. Instead of putting him back in the job, the system offered him a position as a gym teacher.
The 1994 law protects the rights of uniformed service members to retain their civilian jobs following absences because of military service obligations, officials in U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon's office said.