The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on October 10, 1950 · Page 34
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 34

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 10, 1950
Page 34
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SECTION B—PAGE FOURTEEN BLYTHEVILLE (ARK.)' COURIER NEWS TUESDAY. OCTOBER 1$, 1| The drone of training planes is gone from the former Blylheville Army- Air Field and in its place to- <iav is heard the wlurring pf lhe wheels of industry. » Once Mississippi County's biggest "business" from the trade-pro- ( dining standpoint, Mw air base- a few years ago stood silent and va- . cant. Scores of weather-beaten buildin 6 s and miles of concrete run- wavs were all that remained alter men from a hundred different cities and hamlets scattered to homes all over the nation when World War Two ended and they ivcrc .needed here no more, But the memories of planes nnd uniformed men scarcely had faded when the base, phoenix-like but in different form, rose from lhe ashes of war to Ihe industrial demands of peace. Long before it provided the City of Blytheville with an ideal Industrial site, however, the air base first had to grow from acres of cotton land lo a busy military establishment. In doing so, it brought an influx of Air Force men and their wives and families, oaoh of whom represented an increase in purchasing power in the community r ^'lV .1 T ° Say ""' lbe Ir^hcville Army Air Field was the county's iS^V^'j l bUSl " CBS " ° ( " half -«»^y "'lent be stretching a point, but i» Wl "° °" e Ca " ai>i?UC """• the Army Alr Porce ' s ""vanced Dining field mSL. 1 *^ located here during World War II wasn't the best business draw for merchants of the area during the war-troubled years of 1942-1945. MUNICIPAL AlRPORT-Thl, aerial view of Bly.heville's Municipal Airport shows the four 5,000-foo, new mS'y ."" dvllSn'*'Idem Irclf * °' '^"^ *"« nto con ways and the taxiways connecting them. Built early in World War TI hv thn ai,- p ,L.. ...... .„!.,,,.,:..:..'. . """."w ircis - __ "*-"•"• • "••• ""= •"••..>• »^ "' oij iiicnucj, aiumcipai Airport shows the four SQODfool runways and the taMways connecting them. Built early in World War n by the Air Force, the field was to this vicinity and this meant ma'ny i city in an outright grant in 1041. more dollars lo increase the coun- . given ttit cfty in an outright grant in 1041. county's buying power during the hcc- AIRCHAFT TRIO—Above are three of the numerous planes based at the-airport here. At the top Is a North American Navion owned by Dr. L I, Hubener. In the center is the Mooney "Mite." the smallest plane ao trie airport, niid in the bottom photo \a a Slcflrnian, the type of nlnnci luost common I j used in I his arcs for crop riu.stbig, Botli til 6 "A I itc" mid the Stearman are owned by Blytheville Flying Service. Pur Uncle's Loss Is-Cily'.s Oaln To Uncle Sam, owner of the "business." the venture was a monetary loss but it wns the business man. the landlords and the cities of the county that reaped the financial harvest. Blythcville was first assured of getting the big Air Force training base In February, 1012, and the events that followed—although they -seemed tremendous headaches n't times—can be listed at or near the top of the list of business aids lo the county during the first 50 years of the 20th century. Site for the Air force training field was Ihrce miles northwest of Blytheville on 2,101 acres of some of Ihe richest farming land in lhe nation. This land was purchased from farmers of the county. Hunt In 1912 Construction ol the air Held, which was one of the largest in the Air Force's Southeast Flying Training Command that included Arkansas and all southeastern states, was oe- gun in the spring of 1942 and in July of the same year It was opened. It wax constructed at an estimated cost of $10,000.000. Training of cadets began In Ali"- iist of 1942. First came basic trainers of the BT-13 variety. Then, after the first class of cadets finished basic training, advanced training ships were flown in and the basic trainers were transferred to other fields. Single engined advanced trainers, AT-G's. were stationed here first and later AT-O's and AT-10's, twin-engine planes, were brought in to jrivc (he future officers training in the operation of light bombers. After receiving three months of advanced training, the cadets were graduated and commissioned as second lieutenants. From here they were transferred lo all part-5 of the wcrld for active duly with the I United States Air Force. Mbilionisr CHAPEL—The former Army chapel (above) at the Blytheville Army Air Field, at its — »_„. =_._... .... t top strength, was operated by approximately 3,000 enlisted men and officers and it furnished work for some 400 civilian employees! The payroll for the-base, although never officially made public, probablv extended into the hundreds of thousands, of dollars. Abandoned In 1915 The Southeast Flying Training Command abandoned (he field in May. 1045, about the lime of the end of the war in Europe. U remained idle for a period of three weeks and -Courier N'rws I'hoto »' wmtu^ , ., ___ UI _^_.^ _ ADMINISTRATION' BUlU>INO-Wor!i began |hls summer on the new udmlnts'tr'ation bundin, (.ho-i at lhe Municipal Airport. A 140,000 project, It Is being built on a split-coet bail, by th« city mid the f«a> r .i government. . ""•* Canter Command took over the AAF installation. The coming of tile Troop Carriei Command brought large cargo planes of the c-46 and C-n varieties. This division of the Air Force trained pilots in the operation of cargo planes needed for supplied allied troops in all war theatres with war and food supplies. In October. 1945. the majority of (he Army Air Force troops were transferred from Blytheville Armv Air Field and tho base was placed on an inactive status. A skeleton crew was retained until two months later when the base was finally closed. In lhe lall of 1946. the base was turned over to the War Assets Art- mmijjtration and It was declared City Ucfa Priority Immediately after lhe base was declared surplus the City of Blytheville took steps lo acquire the facilities of the air field for use as a municipal airport. Blytheville was given first prloritv in obtaining the base and in the summer of 1947 a portion of (he base, including this runways was turned over to the city. In February of 10-18. the citv obtained full control of the air base from the Wnr Assets Administration and the Civil Aeronautics Administration. Everything located at the base with exception of the housinf quarters, which were erected as homes for non-commissioned of- I ficers and civilian employees at | the bate .hiring (he war, went to the city. The bousing quarters were retained by lhe government for use as a veterans housing project. It was placed under I be jurisdiction of the locp.l American Legion post which handled lhe rental of the apartments, The chapel at me oase was turned over lo the oosnell Methodist Church for use as a sanctuary and the officers club, one of the largest .buildings at lhe Army installation, 'was turned over to the Oosnell School District for use as class- I Kiclri "I-tit lu Work" The rest went to the city. And city officials were quick to put the field with its fine runways and excellent industrial prospects, to use. An airport, manager was appointed nnd "flying for fun" jook up where the "flying for victory" left off. Owners of small planes took advantage of the city facility. Flying schools were opened. Two crop dusting services were located at lhe uase. All of this meant additional revenue for the city. Several months later, the city be- san using the vast air base acreage as bail for new industries. Feelers were sent out and by lhe end of 1948 a number of small industries were located at the old army air field. These included Duro - Chronw Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of hotel and cafe seatji,, equipment; Martin Trenkle pn n( Company,' manufacturers of paint; Thomas i/pi'ument Company, manufacturers of farm trailers nnd lh« Smith Mattre<« Factory. Pool I( [.rawl Several of the many buildings al the base have been leased by in> city as warehouses, »nd the swimming pool which was built by the troops stationed at the base during the war has been leased for full- time operation. All of these buildings bring In additional revenue (01 the city in the form of rents. And there is plenty of room for additional industries. But as the war clouds darken in Asia and parts of Europe, fJ^jto Is a possibility that the base Tjfj someday be re-opened lor Army Air Force training. That fact wasn't overlooked when the papers wer« signed after Blytheville was granted the all- base property. All that will be necessary is for the government to move In and take over. But until that day comes, thl city of Blytheville can use the facilities of the base to draw ne* industries to the city. And new businesses mean more dollars not- onlv for the city but for the buslnesi firms which residents depend on to supply them with the necessities ol life. the building from the city in 1040 for on-site use. — Courier News AIR BASE FOOL-Among the 'Items "Inherited" hy the city when (he air base here was deci was this swimming pool. It was first returned to operation in 1048 and managed during (his pn'st George Green, who leased it from the city. Vholo ded surplus summer by! Originally the wireless distress call at sea was "CQD" but this was changed to "SOS" primarily because its coded three riots, three dashes and three dots are mitcn easier read. Ouster's Last June 25, 18JG. Stand too'^ place In June of the same year the Troop D. D Dumas &Co 806 Cotton Exchange Bldg. Memphis, Tenn. SUGAR BAG CLOTH Best Covering For Your Cotton Balci Closely woven-made from clean, bright bags never used for col- Fo l r»Sn° re ',, , aS '" g rtemal!d pr ° VM lt5 P°P"l»r!ty and success. Foreign cotton shippers prefer closely-woven covering. Vour choice of Merle's three registered brands (other wrlghts also available) Also: New 2-lh. Calcutta Rn- T in r . Coflnn Ties, Markers and Palchei & co, INC SAVANNAH DEPT. B-4 ISAAC T. RBEA. PTM. NEW ORLEANS HOUSTON COTTON PICK SACKS \S —Courier S'oivs I'holo B1X;O.MHS SCHOOL—Formerly the Officers clnb when the air base was in operation diirn World War II. Ihe building above has been converted into a grade school and is used by the Ckti.cH Sclicoi 7925— Fred Hirsh Takes Over The 'Bargain Annex' From the June 15, 1925. edilkvi of the Blylh(«-i)Ic Oaily Courier: Fred Kirch, who has been assist- UIE at the Bcrlig Store company in the sales department, has decided to give his entire time lo the nun- nBcmcnl ol lnc Blr g.,| n ^nncx, and will be found at thai place In the 'iiturc. The Bargain Annex Is lost becoming one of the busiest iradmg houses in the city for real oarcanis and with Mr. Hirsh devolin? Ins entire time to its business. It is thought lhat it will be a lavorlte spot In the near future. I 1925— Female Fugitive Nabbed By B/yfhcv;V/e Officer From Ihe June 15. 1925, eriillo.i ihc Blylhcville Dally Courier: K. \V. Chapman arrested Ath.i- lyn Pasta Sunda;, and placed her in Ihe county Jnil here, where -,hc will remain until i nc .i onr5l)oro cr . trials anlve lo accompany h»r Mch to lha! citv. it will b; remembered thai, she broXc from Jail at .lonesboro ,1 te\\ d.iy,; n s o and the officers o! thai community were makinc a search for her when she wa.« found in Rlylhevillc. She was oharr,ed with forbin? the name of > doctor to a prescript Ion, It is reported, u Ins tlie contents of the prescription for dope, it was stated. Eugene B. Smith & Co,, Inc. Cotton Merchants Memphis, Tenn, 'We Are Tireless Workers" L.D-558 Local 38-1666 KIXG Afrenl: J. M . Fallen A Son 601 McCal) Bldg., Memphis 2, Tenn, Phone: 37-2573 Send jour Inquiries nn Cnttnn and direct In nap Bags, New ,„« u,«|; Bag,ir, f ; s n|r , r Co., Inc., nepl. B-«, Ktw Orleans cloth' V/6 POSTAGE! 1 hat's Ihe price you would have I 0 pav for postae, -on. if you sent a leUer bwring \ threat slump to every subscriber ol (he Couritr Newg. ,,!'! v'-r'Vn" ™ Ch a " ° f Ihese P* 0 ? 1 * through • vtAiM-AU costing as liltl* H» SO* Is It any wonder (hal people prosper who lake ad- vnnUge of Ibis oulslantbnsr bargain offer) Think of it!'Being able (o lell 7000 Deople about any- IhmR you may wnnl lo buy, sell or rent al such a low cos). Slnrl Today I Gel the WANT-AD habil and you will have money In your pockets for purchases. Ad* placed b«for« 9 a.m. will qppeor lgm . ,, Atl classified advertising payable in advance. BLYTHEVTLLE COURJHR 1 NEWS

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