Keesler Field Mississippi 1942 (PDF)



40 pages
From the very beginning, only one thing was expected of Keesler Field. That was a steady flow of highly trained airplane mechanics, men qualified for the important task of keeping this nation’s warplanes in first-rate fighting condition. Today, as the world’s largest Army Air Forces Technical School, Keesler Field has lived up to that expectation and established itself as a fitting memorial to the late 2nd Lt. Samuel R. Keesler of Greenwood, Miss., who died a hero in World War I, and for whom the Field was named. Keesler Field grew from an old golf course, ball park, airport, Naval Reserve Park and swampy woodland on the outskirts of Biloxi, Mississippi. Ground was first broken June 13, 1941, before war clouds burst over the Pacific. In February, less than eight months later, it made its first direct reply to the bombing of Pearl Harbor with the graduation of several hundred mechanics, the first to complete the intensive 19-week course in the AAFTS. Keesler’s work did not end there, however. In addition to supplying thousands of mechanics, it teaches new men the basic fundamentals of warfare in its Replacement Training Center. Regardless of their duties here or overseas, the men of Keesler Field have the same goal in mind, they intend to “Keep ‘Em Flying!”