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COBRAS, HAWKS, AND WASPS: A HISTORY OF NAPIER FIELD, ALABAMA 1941-1945.

The recent cover of the July 2018, Army Aviation magazine featured various photographs of the CAE Incorporated's Dothan Training Center, located at Dothan Regional Airport, Alabama. The center, which officially opened in March 2017, is a 79,000 square-foot training facility designed to provide comprehensive fixed-wing flight training to the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and other customers. CAE and its team of industry partners use the center to deliver academic (classroom) and simulator training, as well utilize the adjacent Dothan Regional Airport to provide live flying training. (1) Additionally, Air Force and Army rotary-wing student pilots from the nearby U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence based at Fort Rucker, Alabama, routinely use the air traffic services provided at Dothan to improve their primary and advanced aircraft training skills. Military flight training is not new to the Dothan Airport, formally known as Napier Field, as the first military pilots began training there nearly seventy years ago. This article is designed to help historians and military strategists, through the lens of the diplomatic, informational, military, and economic instruments of power, to understand the impact Napier Field had as an aviation training ground during and after the Second World War.

Preparing for the nation's possible involvement in another war in Europe in the late 1930's, the U.S. Army was reorganized into three branches: Air, Ground, and Supply, resulting in the creation of the US Army Air Force (USAAF) on June 20, 1941. (2) The USAAF's Air War Plans division in that same year set the USAAF strength goal of 6300 aircraft and 33,000 graduating pilots a year. (3) This surge was in part a result of President Roosevelt's plan for producing 50,000 aircraft a year to meet future national security needs as the war was spreading across Asia and Europe. Student pilots, then called Aviation Students, took approximately six months of accelerated college courses at one of 151 universities around the country, followed by forty weeks of pilot training thereby earning the U.S. Army silver pilot wings and then additional flight training in more advanced aircraft. (4) Training originally was the responsibility of the Army Air Forces' predecessor, the US Army Air Corps (USAAC) Flying Training Command (later changed to the USAAF Flying Training Command). (5) The command struggled with the multiple challenges of the United States wartime expansion and the need for aircrews, aircraft, and facilities exceeding the pre-war training infrastructure. (6) To resolve this problem, in 1939, the USAAC launched an expansion program that included both the building of new training fields around the country and began contracting basic pilot training with schools certified by the Civil Aeronautics Authority (precursor of the Federal Aviation Administration). (7) Following the June 22, 1940, French surrender to the Germans, the USAAC increased the pilot production to 7000 per year, eventually contracting with sifty-four schools to raise the pilot production to 250,000 per year. (8) By July 7, 1943, the USAAF Flying Training Command would undergo another change in both name and mission with the designation as the AAF Training Command, responsible for both flying and technical training; both the command name and responsibilities would remain unchanged until the formation of the new United States Air Force (USAF) in 1947. (9) The new training field in Dothan would become an integral part of this pilot training increase.

Located approximately eight miles northwest of down-town Dothan, the detailed planning of Napier Field began in 1939 when public officials in Dothan and surrounding Houston County, many pre-war civilian defense minded leaders, sought to have the military establish a training school at the new Dothan Airport. (10) The field was one of a number built by the USAAC in the state prior to the U.S. entry in World War II, one of which included the training field at Tuskegee, Alabama. The Army was not interested in locating a training airfield so close to Dothan and an alternate 1,500-acre site northwest of town was selected. (11) Dothan and Houston County each pledged roughly $56,000 to purchase the land, and work on Napier Field Air Base thereafter commenced. (12) The majority of the 1,600 acres of land that Napier Field (and later the Dothan Regional Airport) would eventually become was originally known as Carmichael farms, but was owned by the family of Spurgeon Howell, Sr., who managed the property for his wife's brother. (13) The Howell family lived on the property, along with three other families. The Howell family moved just after the Army purchased the land, and the home they built after their relocation still exists near the airport. (14)

The field was named to honor Major Edward L. Napier, who was one of the U.S. Army's first flight surgeons and who transferred to the Air Corps at the end of the First World War. (15) A native of Union Springs, Alabama, the Major was killed in an aircraft mishap at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, on September 15, 1923. (16) Choosing names for an air base was, in typical military fashion, based on U.S. Army regulations. War Department Adjutant General circular, dated November 29, 1940, titled "Naming of Flying Fields," directed that all newly formed Air Corps (later Air Forces) be named after deceased flying officers from either the Regular Army or the Reserve Corps. (17) The criteria for the honoring of said officer was based on the following, (18)
Service with distinction in the [First] World War; pioneering in
aviation; service with distinction in peace time in conducting
scientific investigations involving hazardous flying; long, loyal, and
exemplary service in peace time; and finally, wherever practicable and
consistent with the foregoing, selection was to be made from names of
deceased officers who were former residents of the state 'State' in
which the Air Corps field was located.


The official announcement was published in a circular letter, dated January 14, 1942, issued by the Adjutant General's Office to the, "Commanding General of the [Air] Corps Area on the subject: "Designation of Air Corps Fields." (19)

Napier Field was geographically assigned to the Army's Southeast Training Center of the Army Air Forces Training Command. The command was established on January 23, 1942, by the Office of the Chief of USAAC, as part of the expansion of the training department of the Corps. (20) In order to manage the rapidly expanding wartime demands of America's military forces, and with the large numbers of men entering the military, the training requirements of the USAAC were drastically expanded. (21) As a result, the centralized training of aircrew was divided into three Training Centers, the Southeastern, Gulf Coast, and West Coast. (22) Training schools were assigned to the centers based on the geography of the United States. In July 1943, these centers were re-designated as Eastern, Central and Western Training Commands. (23) While the primary focus of flight training was on Army students, Allied students, from countries as diverse as Mexico and the United Kingdom, were also trained. The USAAC in particular offered to devote one-third of its pilot training to meet the British Empire's need for more pilots under a concept known as the "Arnold Scheme." (24) The newly established Napier Field was to play a key role in the training of these and other Allied pilots, as well as U.S. pilots during the war.

The field was provisionally activated on June 16, 1941, (though named officially later in January 1942), when General W. R. Weaver, Commanding General of the Southeast Air Corps Training Center, assumed higher headquarters command over the school in General Orders published on the same date. (25) Construction began on the field in late June 1941 with the laying of a rail spur off the Atlantic Coast Line main rail line and the majority of the field's buildings were completed by October 1941. (26) Included in the $3.7 million construction of the field's 114 buildings, a windfall economically for the lower Alabama region, was the base's distinctive Art Deco main gate which greeted the airmen arriving for training. (27) The field would have a total of four runways, allowing for training to be conducted regardless of the wind direction. (28)

The first aircraft began operating on the field on October 1, 1941, when an Army transport landed on the Northeast-Southeast runway carrying the payroll from Craig Field, Alabama to the troop security detachment stationed at Napier Field since August 15, 1941. (29) The 73rd Base Headquarters and Air Base Squadron commanded the field's operations and subordinate flying units including: Headquarters and Headquarters Squadrons; 15th and 16th Single Engine Fighter Training (SEFT) Groups; 429th SEFT Squadron (Maroon Nose); 430th SEFT Squadron (Black Nose); 431st SEFT Squadron (Blue Nose); 432nd Squadron (Yellow Nose); and the 433rd SEFT Squadron (Gruffhawk Nose, formerly Green Nose). (30) Other supporting organizations included Guard, Medical, Ordnance, Quartermaster, Signal, and Veterinary Services Squadrons. (31) Other units assigned to the field included a group of Women Air Service Pilots (WASP), some of the first women in American history to fly high-performance aircraft since Amelia Earhart's 1930's well publicized exploits, in January 1944. Additionally, Mexican Air Force pilots trained on the field's Curtis P-39 Airacobras and P--40 Warhawks in May 1945. (32) The 73rd would eventually be replaced by the 2116th Army Air Forces Base Unit, and the numbered training squadrons would begin using letter designations in early 1944. (33)

The first pilots to train at Napier Field were British Royal Air Force (RAF) cadets who arrived for training on December 16, 1941, who were part of the greater diplomatic and military efforts to help strengthen the war-time alliance between the United States and Great Britain. Many had already seen combat service with His Majesty's Imperial Forces fighting in Europe and North Africa. (34) The first American cadets soon arrived in mid-January 1942, and graduated on July 3, 1942 (Class 42-F). (35) Prior to arriving at Napier Field, AAF students would normally have received approximately 10 weeks of Preflight Training; followed by another 10 weeks (55 flight hours) of Primary Flight Training in the AAC PT-17, PT-19, or PT-23 training aircraft; followed by an additional 10 weeks (100 hours) in the BT-13 trainer. (36) Upon completion of primary and basic flight training, students would then report to one of the AAF Advance Flying Schools, one of which was Napier Field. By May 1, 1942, the number of RAF and AAF cadets had increased to the point the first combined class of 179 students was initiated. (37) One report noted Napier Field averaged approximately 550 students per month in the flight training program, with an astonishingly high (by today's standards) training fatality rate of 1 in 100 students due to various aircraft mishaps. (38) Classes for the students were both rigorous and reflected the urgency to train pilots quickly due to wartime demands in Europe and the Pacific. The daily schedule began at 0530 (5:30 am) with Reveille and training began at 0630 (6:30 am) with close order drill, followed by academic and ground instructions, Link (Instrument flying) training, navigation, physical training, and post maintenance. (39) Taps was sounded at 2200 (10:00 pm). (40) Most of the training took place at Napier Field, though gunnery exercises were conducted at Eglin Field, near Valparaiso, Florida. (41)

Upon completion of primary and basic flight training, students would then report to one of the AAF Advance Flying Schools, one of which was Napier Field. On average, besides ground and technical training, student pilots spent another 10 weeks (70 hours) learning to fly in one of the 183 AT--6 Texan trainers, followed by an additional 5 hours in one of the 28 P--40 fighters or a few P--39. (42) Although bombers and transport aircraft were occasional based on Napier, no actual multi-engine training was conducted at Napier. Advanced flight training for this period would have normally included cross country navigation, emergency procedures, formation flying, gunnery, instrument, and night training. Upon completion of the training at Napier Field, students would then move on to more advance flight training in aircraft like the P--38 Lighting, P--47 Thunderbolt, and P--51 Mustangs prior to deploying overseas. As the war progressed, most of Napier Field's P--40s would eventually be replaced by P--51s for flight training purposes. (43) As to be expected, the volume of flying training quickly overwhelmed Napier Field's air traffic management. Air Traffic Services, advanced as they were for the early 1940s, were still in their infancy. Additional auxiliary fields were needed and built to allow instructors and students to practice their skills to reduce the number of aircrews practicing at Napier Field. Surprisingly, a number of these auxiliary flying fields still exist today either for exclusive military usage or for public or private usage. (44) Maintenance was also an issue, in particular given that most of the aircraft flown by the student pilots were either high-flight time hour trainers or earlier generation fighter aircraft like the P--40, which were difficult to maintain. One story in particular highlights the age and wear of Napier Field's aircraft by early 1945 -- Mexican pilots conducting take-off and landing training in the Alabama summer heat would have to taxi past a large pipe installed at the end of one runway that sprayed water on the old P--40 Allison V-12s to prevent overheating the worn out engines. (45)

One of the more interesting features of Napier Field's training was the diverse backgrounds of the pilots

Perhaps one of the more interesting features of Napier Field's training was the diverse backgrounds of the pilots, both men and women, who served. A number of graduates would go on to earn high accolades for combat service overseas. Notable is Lieutenant Henry L. Condon, Napier Class 42-K, who became an ace with 5 confirmed kills and received both the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Air Medal (AM) with six Oak Leaf Clusters, before being tragically lost for unknown reasons during combat operations over the Philippines in 1945. (46) Another pilot declared missing in action was Lieutenant Richard J. Drayton, Napier Field Class 42-I who also earned a DFC and AM with seven Oak Leaf Clusters, while flying with the 82nd Fighter Group near Italy in 1943. (47) Others would serve on the home front at Napier Field preparing pilots for war and breaking early 20th century cultural barriers. One was the late Eleanor "Mickey" McClernon Brown from Victoria, Texas and a member of the WASPs, who was stationed at Napier Field from 1944-45 where she was an engineering test and administrative pilot who regularly flew mail to the cadets training at the gunnery school at Eglin Field. (48) Finally, not all training was conducted in English, Irish writer George Bernard Shaw's famous observations aside. (49) To accommodate the large number of Mexican Air Force pilots who trained at Napier Field, bi-lingual USAAF pilots were in high demand. Many of the Mexican pilots trained at Napier Field would go on to serve with distinction in the 201st Squadron, Mexican Expeditionary Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Expedicionaria Mexicana, (FAEM)) in the Southwestern Pacific Region flying P-47s on combat missions over the Philippines and Formosa against the Japanese in 1945. (50)

One common factor that helped maintain the continuity of both training operations and community relations was that of the station commander Colonel James L. Daniel, Jr., U.S. Army who would command the field for nearly 3 years. A native of Caruthersville, Mississippi, Daniel arrived in 1941 to help oversee the construction of the new fields, establish an operational command and lead the day-to-day operations of the flight training. (51) Daniel began his military service with the USAAC in the 1920's following his graduation from the University of Missouri in the early 1920s. He served in a number of operational and training assignments in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Hawaii, and Texas before officially assuming command of Napier Field on October 8, 1941. (52) Daniel commanded the field until his change of command in June 29, 1944, at which time the local newspaper reported the school's pilots had logged over 90,000 flight hours. (53) A testament to the high esteem the Dothan community showed for Colonel Daniel's leadership and community outreach is reflected in the number of positive local articles in which he was featured, including his change of command which was front page news in the June 29 edition of the Dothan Eagle. The second and last field commander was Colonel Charles B. Stewart of Springfield, Massachusetts and who graduated as a Coastal Artillery Officer from the United States Military Academy in 1935. (54) Like his predecessor, Colonel Stewart also trained in Texas and was posted in Hawaii, where he was serving on December 7, 1941. (55) He was posted in the Central Pacific with the 7th Air Force for the next two years, commanding the 318th Fighter Group and serving as the director of operations of the 7th Fighter Command. (56) In 1944 he became the vice commander of the Marianas Air Defense Command in the Pacific Theater of Operations. (57)

By the middle of 1945, the high demand for combat pilots began to diminish and the U.S. Government was looking to the future. Subsequently, the Army deactivated the field on October 31,1945, (58) and the airstrip and all properties were transferred to the city of Dothan and Houston County. The latter immediately sold its share in the air field to the former. (59) The city began selling the land to individuals and the former air base evolved into its own township. The airfield remained dormant for most of two decades, but in the early 1960s, private investors began renovating the site, adding reinforced hard surfacing for new jet runways, buildings, and other facilities. (60) On February 15, 1965, Napier Air Field became the new home of Dothan Regional Airport. Napier Field incorporated as a town in September 1968, becoming a gateway to the world for larger economic grow in the region. (61) At the turn of the new century, the military returned to Napier Field. In 2004, the Air Force established the 280th Combat Communications Squadron, a non-flying unit that functions in a training facility alongside the civilian airport. Additionally, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force fixed-wing training from the surrounding Eglin Air Force Base and Navy Air Station Whiting Field in Florida, as well as U.S. Army flight training continues at Dothan Regional Airport today. New Army C--12 Huron, CH-47F Chinook, LUH--72 Lakota, and UH--60M Black Hawk pilots and instructors from nearby Fort Rucker use daily the air traffic services and instrument approaches at the former Napier Field. Today, a memorial to those who served at Napier Field stands next to the old airfield headquarters, which now serves as the Napier Field Town Hall.

So what value can future airpower historians and military strategists glean from studying the brief history of Napier Field and its contributions to the greater American national security strategy? First, diplomatically, the training of both British and Mexican pilots was an extension of the Roosevelt administration's Latin American Good Neighbor and global United Nations policies designed to help defeat German National Socialism and Japanese Imperial expansionism. (62) Additionally, the dire need for the United Kingdom to train pilots in safe areas during the height of the Second World War and Mexico's need for their pilots to training on more complex aircraft before deploying overseas with allied forces was amply addressed by the aircrew training infrastructure provided at Napier Field. The effects were seen globally with the deployment of RAF and FEAM pilots to operational theaters in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. First, these small, but important efforts, were part of the greater movement to create a post-war global liberal security environment where nations would address geo-political threats in a united front and which would ultimately lead to the signing of the United Nations treaty on October 25, 1945. (63) Second, the information value to the nascent civil rights movements of seeing women serving in the WASPs flying high performance aircraft was but one of many steps in the broader civil rights movement for women in the US, much like the African-American pilots training at nearby Tuskegee Army Field (today know as Sharpe Field). Like the earlier Suffragette movement and their "Rosie-the-Riveters" contemporaries who had taken over the traditional roles of men who were deployed for the war effort, the sight of women flying complex aircraft had a tremendous impact on encouraging others of their gender to pursue careers in aviation in the post-war world. (64) Third, the military value of training American, British, and Mexican pilots together at Napier Field was a precursor to the Coalition Partner type aviation training by the US military with the EURO-NATO Helicopter Pilot Training Program and Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (Spanish speaking security training) still conducted at places like Fort Rucker, Alabama. (65) Finally, the economic value of Napier Field's construction in an economic area heavily dependent on agriculture like southern Alabama, helped diversify the region economically and would serve as the catalyst for the Dothan area entering the Jet Age when the former Napier Field officially became today's Dothan Regional Airport. (66) The legacy of Napier Field and the men and women who served there should be remembered, not only for the historical value, but also how aviation can help bring about global change in the diplomatic, informational, military, and economic communities.

NOTES

(1.) "CAE Dothan Training Center," August 15, 2018, https://www.cae.com/media/documents/Defence_Security/Training_Cen-tres/dothan-training-center.pdf.

(2.) James E. Hewes, Jr., From Root to McNamara: Army Organization and Administration (Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, United States Army, 1975), p. 82.

(3.) Ibid.

(4.) Ibid.

(5.) Thomas A. Manning, History of Air Education and Training Command, 1942-2002 (Randolph AFB, TX: Office of History and Research, Headquarters, Air Education and Training Command, 2005), p. 13.

(6.) Ibid.

(7.) In the late 1930s, the USAC conducted all pilot training at Randolph Field (known today as Randolph Air Eorce Base), San Antonio, Texas. The base was the site of all primary and basic training, while more advanced aircraft training would take place at nearby Brooks and Kelly Fields, Texas. The total numbers of pilot graduating in Fiscal Year 1938 was only 301 pilots. Ibid, 6.

(8.) Ibid.

(9.) Ibid, p. 17.

(10.) While military aviation was relatively new to the Dothan area, commercial aviation was not. Early in 1938, the city established its first civil airport under the direction of Asa Rountree, Jr., State Director of Airfields and Dr. I.C. Bates, Chairman of the Dothan City Commission, approximately 2.7 miles west of the city. The city used a grant from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration to enlarge the airport for commercial airline use. Eastern Airlines, under the leadership of World War One Fighter Pilot, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, who was both President and General Manager of Eastern, soon inaugurated service with the "Dixie Rebel" flying regular daily service from Dothan to Tampa, Florida and Memphis, Tennessee. 1st Lt. Vanderhorst B. Murray, Jr., Sgt. Elliott Bowden, Sgt. John R. Forbes, Installment One: A History of Napier Field, Dothan Alabama (Napier Field, Dothan, AL: U.S. Army Air Forces, n.d.), p. 4.

(11.) Napier Field.

(12.) Ibid.

(13.) Napier Field History.

(14.) Ibid.

(15.) Ibid.

(16.) Major Napier was receiving flight training in a Fokker D.VII, Air Service No. 5382, a German fighter plane transferred to the U.S. Army under the obligations of the 1919 Versailles Treaty. An official report of the day states, "that he [Major Napier] was piloting the plane himself and there was a structural failure of a wing." "Napier Field, Named for Maj. Edward L. Napier, born Union Springs, AL," August 11, 2018, https://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/napier/1690/; "1923 US Army Air Service Accidents," September 12, 2018, http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/1940sB4/1923.htm.

(17.) Installment One: A History of Napier Field, Dothan Alabama, p. 31.

(18.) Originally, the field was to be named Gellerstedt Field, in honor of Eric Gellerstedt, a local Alabama businessman, who promoted flying in the local Dothan area and was the first President of the Dothan City Commission, who died in while in office. However, the proposed name did not meet the criteria outlined in the aforementioned Adjutant General's circular, and the name of Major Napier was selected. Ibid, pp. 31-32.

(19.) Another named submitted for consideration was that of 1st. Lt. Fred I. Patrick, U.S. Army Air Corps, who was killed in a February 1934 airplane accident. Due to a misunderstanding of the last name "Patrick" by a War Department official, who presumed the field was to be named in honor of then living Major General Mason M. Patrick [First Chief of the Army Air Corps], the title was rejected and the discrepancy was never cleared up. Ibid, pp. 32-34.

(20.) History of Air Education and Training Command, 1942-2002, p. 13.

(21.) Ibid, p. 6.

(22.) Ibid, p. 13.

(23.) Ibid, p. 17.

(24.) Named after Chief of the USAAF, General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, who devised the scheme, this 1941-1943 program, along with other training programs, that would produce more than 11,291 British combat pilots. Ironically, the most difficult problem faced with training the British pilots was communications due to the difference in colloquialism between the American instructors and their British students. Ibid, p. 11.

(25.) Installment One: A History of Napier Field, Dothan Alabama, p. 25.

(26.) Ibid, p. 17.

(27.) Sam Dille, Napier Field Main Gate, 1944, Napier Town Hall Historical Collection, Napier Field, AL.

(28.) The Napier Field runways were aligned North-South, Northeast-Southwest, Northwest-Southeast, and East-West. In 2018, only two of Napier Field's active runways remain at the Dothan Regional Airport: 14-32 (Northwest-Southeast) and 18-36 (North-South). Colonel D. Gullant, US Army Corps of Engineer's Field Progress Report (Mobile, AL: War Department, August 31, 1942).

(29.) Installment One: A History of Napier Field, Dothan, Alabama, p. 17.

(30.) The nose of each training squadron aircraft was painted a distinctive color for easy identification in flight. The 433rd SEFT Squadron's being the most distinctive with a "Hawk" painted on the nose of the squadron's P-40N Warhawks. Nicknamed "Gruffie" after the Napier Field mascot and adorned on the Napier Field regimental insignia, the "Hawk" design was similar to the well-known "Shark's Teeth" painted on the American Volunteer Group (nicknamed the Flying Tigers) P-40 Tomahawk IIB models in China. "United States Army Air Force 1941 to 1945: Napier Field Units," Napier Town Hall Historical Collection, Napier Field, AL.

(31.) Ibid.

(32.) Ibid; and "Dothan Regional Airport History and Information," August 16, 2018, https://www.flydothan.com/history/.

(33.) "P-40s at Napier Field, Alabama," August 10, 2018, http://p40hawksnest.co.nf/Service/USAAF/Napier.html.

(34.) The following month a British flying cadet became the first casualty at Napier Field, when he was killed on January 7, 1942, after his plane crashed into Lake Tholocco at what is today known as Fort Rucker, Alabama. 1st Lt. Vanderhorst B. Murray, Jr., Sgt. Elliott Bowden, Sgt. John R. Forbes, Installment Two: A History of Napier Field, Dothan, Alabama (Napier Field, Dothan, AL: U.S. Army Air Forces, n.d), p. 47.

(35.) "Dothan Regional Airport History and Information."

(36.) "Napier Field History."

(37.) Installment Two: A History of Napier Field, Dothan, Alabama, p. 50.

(38.) "Napier Field History."

(39.) Class 44-E, (Napier Field, Dothan, AL: U.S. Army Air Forces, May 1944), n.p.

(40.) Ibid.

(41.) Installment Two: A History of Napier Field, Dothan, Alabama, p. 47.

(42.) Ibid.

(43.) Jeffery Ethell, Mustang: Documentary History (London: Janes, 1981), p. 45.

(44.) Installment Two: A History of Napier Field, Dothan, Alabama, 58; Many of the B-17 aircraft scenes used in the 1949 film Twelve O'Clock High, staring Gregory Peck, were filmed at, the temporarily inactive, Cairns Army Airfield (which was previously Ozark Auxiliary Airfield), today part of Fort Rucker, Alabama. The choice was based on the fact the asphalt runways more closely matched those of the United Kingdom, rather than nearby Eglin Air Force base which were made of crush coral. And fortuitously, being somewhat overgrown at the time of filming, Cairns proved ideal as post-war Archbury' for the film's bookends. Besides Ozark Auxiliary Field (Carins Army Airfield), additional airfields included: Wicksburg Auxiliary Field, renamed Minor Auxiliary Field (Knox Army Heliport), Dothan Municipal Airport (closed in 1966 and now a public park), Headland Auxiliary Field (today a farm field north of Opp, Alabama); Goldberg Auxiliary Field (Goldberg Army Stagefield), and Hyman Auxiliary Field (today a farm field near Columbia, Alabama). "Twelve O'Clock High, 1949," August 18, 2018, https://www.movie-locations.com/movies/t/Twelve-O-Clock-High.php.

(45.) Lieutenant Colonel Jose G Vega Rivera, Mexican Air Force, The Mexican Expeditionary Air Force in World War Two: The Organization, Training, and Operations of the 201st Squadron (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press, 1997) 25.

(46.) "Captain Henry H. Condon II," 475th Fighter Group Historical Foundation, August 18, 2018, https://475th.org/aces/henry-l-condon.

(47.) "Richard J Drayton : World War II Casualty from Rhode Island," August 30, 2018, Honorstates.org, http:// www.hon-orstates.org/index.php?id=109533.

(48.) "Eleanor 'Mickey' Brown from Victoria, Texas, Class 44-9," August 17, 2018, https://waspfinalflight.blogspot.com/2012/03/wasp-eleanor-mickey-mclernon-brown-44-w.html.

(49.) The Irish writer George Bernard Shaw once said: 'England and America are two countries divided by a common language' "What is the origin of the phrase "two nations divided by a common language"?" English.StackExchange.com, August 17, 2018, https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/74737/what-is-the-origin-of-the-phrase-two-nations-divided-by-a-common-language.

(50.) Ibid, p. 31.

(51.) "Col J. L. Daniel Terminates Tour of Duty at Napier," The Dothan Eagle, June 29, 1944.

(52.) Ibid.

(53.) Ibid.

(54.) "Napier Field Will Hold 'Open House' Wednesday, August 1," The Dothan Eagle, June 25, 1945; and "Brigadier General C.B. Stewart," U.S. Air Force, August 19, 2018, https:// www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/105493/brigadier-general-cb-stewart/.

(55.) "Brigadier General C.B. Stewart," U.S. Air Force, August 19, 2018.

(56.) Ibid.

(57.) Colonel Stewart would remain in the service and retired as a USAF Brigadier General in 1966, Ibid.

(58.) "Dothan Regional Airport History and Information."

(59.) Ibid.

(60.) Ibid.

(61.) Ibid.

(62.) "History of the United Nations," United Nations, August 21, 2018, http://www.un.org/en/sections/history/history-united-nations/.

(63.) Ibid.

(64.) "Eleanor 'Mickey' Brown from Victoria, Texas, Class 44-9."

(65.) "Advanced Graduate Flight Training," US Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, August 21, 2018, http://www. rucker. army.mil/newcomers/students/agfit/.

(66.) "Napier Field History."

Colonel Jayson A. Altieri, US Army (Retired), began his military service in 1984 as an enlisted soldier in the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division. After 33 years of service as both an Aviation Officer and Noncommissioned Officer, he retired as the Chief of Staff of the Army's Chair and Assistant Professor at the National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, District of Columbia. As a Department of the US Air Force Civilian, he currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the Eaker Center's Leadership Development Course for Squadron Commanders, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Since 1979, he has been an active member of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) / Auxiliary United States Air Force where he served from 2012 to 2018, as both the Chair and Vice Chair of the CAP's Board of Governors. He is a graduate of the Army War College, Joint Forces Staff College, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Air Command and Staff College, Squadron Officer School (non-residence), NATO Staff Officer Course, and the Kansas University Executive Leadership Course. Additionally, he has been a contributing author on defense-related matters to a number of publications, including Armor Magazine, Aviation Digest, and The Armed Forces Journal.
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