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History of Turner Field
Turner Air Force Base, formerly Turner Field, was located near Albany, Georgia.
Situated on the low rolling plains of colorful South Georgia is Turner Field, an Army Air Forces Advanced Flying School, and a comparatively new addition to the Southeast Army Air Forces Training Center, which is rapidly building America's new "Empire of the Air."
Turner Field, is snuggled in the very heart of Dixie, approximately three miles distance from Albany, known far and wide as the greatest pecan center in the world, and a mecca for quail hunters.
The selection of the name Turner was a popular choice throughout Georgia, and rightly so, in that it was named in honor of a flying officer who was typical of the energetic and able men who strive continuously to "Prepare For Combat."
Second Lieutenant Sullins Preston Turner, a United States Army Air Corps aviator who gave his life in the service of his country, was a native of Atlanta, Georgia. "Tops," as he was called by his intimates, was popular throughout the entire state for his unblemished record of professional skill in the United States Army Air Corps.
He matriculated at Emory University where his father, Dr. E. K. Turner, was a Latin professor. Lieutenant Turner first became greatly interested in Albany as an aviation center when studying at Emory. He sought permission to land his plane here, and finally obtained it.
However, he never had an opportunity to bring his craft to the ground here. "Tops" lost his life in line of duty at Langley Field, Virginia, just one week after permission to land at Albany was granted him.
On June 25, 1941, the first contingent of Air Corps soldiers assigned to the Air Corps arrived at Turner Field. The first plane to land at Turner swooped down on the broad, smooth runway on July 17, and was piloted by Lieutenant Colonel John R. Skeldon.
Pilot cadets receive their distinctive wings here after the most rigorous training schedule of any nation. The policy of "men to match the planes--planes to match the men" is strictly adhered to at Turner Field. The first class of pilot cadets at this field were graduated October 31, 1941.
At Turner, a United States Army Air Forces cadet goes through the "polishing" process, transforming him into a superb and finished aviator, fully capable of the job he knows must be done and deserving of is wings.
Emphasis is placed on the best methods of flying, while new methods are also taken up.
Originally, Turner Field was an advanced flying school for pilots, and a navigation school as well. Recently, however, the navigation school moved out, and at the present time only pilots receive their wings here.
As part of the "Hands Across the Sea" policy, cadets of the Royal Air Force come to Turner for their advanced schooling. The first RAF class to receive training and wings from the United States Army Air Forces was stationed here. They have met all requirements and have proven themselves in ace-high form.
Turner Field has formidable basketball and baseball teams, a colorful band, drum and bugle corps, and a popular dance orchestra. Softball, basketball and volleyball leagues within the post make for friendly rivalries.
Constant improvements have been made on the field since the early days of its existence. The enlisted personnel have had more and more recreational facilities built for their use, and still more are in the process of construction. Among those soon to be completed are six modern bowling alleys, a fully equipped recreation hall, and three clay tennis courts.
Officers, too, are well supplied with means for passing their spare time. An athletic field with facilities for all sports is at their disposal, and this field, in conjunction with regular calisthenics keeps the officer staff of Turner in top notch physical condition. Then too, the Officers' Club, with its well appointed lounge rooms and dining room is a second home that is the scene of frequent Saturday night dances.
Non-commissioned officers also have their club, located several miles outside the Post. The NCO Club was formerly a night club, and it has proved a popular social meeting ground for the men with the grade of Corporal and above. It is spacious, well furnished, and has ample room for dances. A regular restaurant is maintained, where good food is sold at prices that are usually lower than can be obtained in civilian restaurants.
Thus, out of which was merely an empty field and a pecan grove--has emerged a thriving military airdrome.
Turner Field is contributing greatly to the "Wings of Liberty" that are polka-dotting the azure skies throughout the nation, and its men are armed with teeth-gritted determination to stand by their two-fold battle cry of: "Prepare For Combat--Keep 'Em Flying"!
Source: Transcribed from Army Air Forces Collection, "Turner Field: Turner Field, Albany, Georgia" (item 000563), AAF Collection, http://AAFCollection.info/items/list.php?item=000563 (accessed 19 February 2014), 1942, page 51.
Source: Location and map from Wikipedia contributors, "Turner Air Force Base," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Turner_Air_Force_Base&oldid=594261046 (accessed February 19, 2014).
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Base personnel book for Turner Field, Albany, Georgia.
New: Items added or revised in the last 30 days.
Series: Different items with the same title.
Copies: Identical items, with different attributes.
Collection: A group of related items.
Quick Link: http://aafcollection.info/items/list.php?site=TURNER
Curator: Mike Voisin
All items in the Army Air Forces Collection are licensed by Mike Voisin under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.