B-17 Nine-O-Nine

Jan 242014

Movietone NewsIn the class book for Eagle Pass Army Air Field Class 43-F and 43-G, there is a narrative history of the base.  One paragraph describes the day the base was dedicated, which coincided with graduation day for Class 43-B:

Next in the recorded annals was the formal dedication of the field on February 16, 1943. Another class of cadets was graduated that day–Class 43-B–and its members sprouted their wings to stage a sparkling aerial revue in which they machine-gunned an oil-soaked cardboard replica of an Axis train carrying pictorial effigies of Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini. Satisfactory clouds of black smoke pillared into the air, and everybody loved the exhibition–including the newsreel cameramen who were there.

The dedication ceremony mentioned was indeed captured by Fox Movietone News. You can view the actual clip at University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections. The Eagle Pass segment starts at about 6 minutes 25 seconds into the movie. You can also view the actual script and cameraman’s “Dope Sheet” about this episode there.

From a brief mention of newsreel cameramen, to a quick search of the Internet, a bit of history comes alive.  You can read the rest of the base history. (Note: Click on “Site Details” there.)