Napier Field Alabama (PDF)



Napier Field is one of the many fields of the Southeast Training Center with headquarters at Maxwell Field, Ala. One week after Pearl Harbor, ( December 15, 1941 ) the first class of Cadets lifted their wings off the long runway of Napier Field six months ahead of schedule. The impetus of the emergency …. the industry of America . . . and the grace of the Almighty … had literally presto-chango-ed” plowshares into silver wings. For Napier Field now one of the largest and most complete advanced flying schools in the Southeast Army Air Forces Training Center, was, in July of the same year, peaceful farmland covered with new peanut and cotton crops. Wartime censorship restricts information as to the size and cost of the field. Napier Field was named in honor of Major Edward L. Napier, a native of Union Springs, Alabama, who was in a crash of an Army airplane on September 15, 1923, while receiving training as a flight surgeon at McCook Field, Dayton Ohio. The Major had been a medical officer in World War I and had transferred to the Air Corps. The purpose of the field is to train cadets in all phases of advanced flying of single-motored planes … night flying, formation flying, blind flying, gunnery practice, navigation and altitude flying. This field marks the final stage of a cadet’s training, and it is here that he is awarded the coveted “Wings”. American and British cadets receiving training here represent every state in the Union and practically every part of the empire on which “the sun never sets.”