miillionaires-unitNLCHS Annual Meeting 2009

Sunday 13 August at Fort Trumbull Conference Center

90 Walbach Street, New London

4:30 Reception, 5:30 Business meeting, 6 pm Wortman Presentation

Tickets $20 for members, $25 for others

Call Shaw Mansion 860.443.1209 to make reservations

Books will be available for purchase

New London and the Beginning of the Naval Air Corps

Everyone “knows” the history of how the New London Navy Yard became a submarine base after it was established by acting Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt in 1916. But how many of you are aware of the beginning of the Naval Air Corps and its connection to New London at the same time period? It’s time you learned—and the NLCHS Annual Meeting, Sunday 13 September, at the Fort Trumbull Conference Center, will give you the perfect opportunity. Marc Wortman, author of The Millionaires’ Unit, will be sharing the almost unknown story of how the Yale University Flying Club became one of the first flight wings of the Navy. His presentation, from 6 pm to 7, will follow a cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres beginning at 4:30 and the annual business meeting. Call today 860.443.1209, to purchase tickets; members $20.

The Millionaires’ Unit is the story of a gilded generation of young men from the zenith of privilege: a Rockefeller, a Morgan, the son of the head of the Union Pacific Railroad, several who counted friends and relatives among presidents and statesmen of the day. They had it all and, remarkably by modern standards, they were prepared to risk it all to fight a distant war in France. Driven by the belief that their membership in the American elite required certain sacrifice, schooled in heroism and the nature of leadership, they determined to be first into the conflict, arriving in France ahead of America’s declaration that it would join the war.

At the heart of the group was the Yale flying club, six of whom are the heroes of this book. They would share rivalries over girlfriends, jealousies over membership in Skull and Bones, and fierce ambition to be the most daring young man over the battlefields of France, where the casualties among flyers were chillingly high.

Marc Wortman is an award-winning freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous national magazines. He lives in New Haven. His new book, The Bonfire, on the Civil War burning of Atlanta has just been released.the-bonfire

“The Millionaires’ Unit is a fascinating tale of heroism and adventure that builds to a soaring, page-turning climax.”  — Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower