OK, so what’s with the Monkey?
Well… It came about from questions by family and friends asking; “Why are you constantly monkeying around with that Ham radio stuff?” Try as we may to think of a snappy comeback, it always falls flat. Best we can do is say: “Its for Public Service!”
Actually, the logo comes from a WWII US Army Air Corps Squadron insignia – The 102nd Observation Squadron.
The 102nd Rescue Squadron is the oldest Air National Guard unit in the Country. The squadron has its roots back to the 1st Aero Squadron, which was formed in 1908 in New York. The unit was officially formed in November 1915 as an unnumbered aviation detachment of the 1st Batallion Signal Corps under the command of Captain Raynal Bolling. The unit trained with JN4 “Jennys” on a field in Mineola, Long Island.
The first patch of the unit was that of a monkey:
Following World War I, the unit was renumbered the 102nd Observation Squadron, and assigned to the New York Army Air Guard, a militia force of citizen soldiers. In addition to flying balloons, the 102nd has flown over the years; J3N, 0-38, O-46, O-11, P-47, F-86, F94-B, B-26, B-29, T-33, C-119, KC-97, the F102, and HH3E. The unit flies the HC-130 and as well as the HH-60G, enabling it to perform long range rescue missions due to its air refueling capability.
This outfit served with distinction throughout the 20th Century, and is still operational in the USAF today. (But with a different Squadron logo.)
This is a photo of a specially modified HC-130 of the NY ANG 102nd Observation Squadron (RQS) refueling a SAR flight over the Atlantic in 1995.
So there you have it.