Monday, May 5, 2014

Military Memories Monday: Dad at Flight School, Columbus AFB, Mississippi, 1951

The picture shows my dad, Fred Pape, and another member of Squadron III, Bob Curley of New York, at flight school at Columbus Air Force Base (AFB) near Columbus, Mississippi, with some of the barracks in the background.

Columbus AFB began as an Army Air Field during World War II, but was deactivated at the end of that war.  "To handle increased pilot requirements for the Korean War, Air Training Command [ATC] activated Columbus AFB on 20 December [1950] to be used as a station for a contract flying school. To manage the base, ATC established the 3301st Training Squadron (Contract Flying) on 1 March 1951 . The contractor who provided pilot training was California Eastern Airways,"  according to a history of the base.

Dad must have been in one of the first classes there, because he has another picture of himself at the school dated June 21, 1951.

Some idea of what life was like in flight school at this time can be found in chapter 6 of the book Unforgotten Hero  by Jim Escalle.  Dad, raised in Illinois, remembers having greens of some type - collard, turnip, mustard, dandelion - with nearly every meal.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

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