Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina (PDF)



36 pages
History of the Field ……. It was summer of 1942 . . . America had rolled up its sleeves to deal with the Axis. In the heart of North Carolina’s rich Wayne County, rows of wooden barracks blossomed amid the cotton and tobacco fields. The first contingent of officers and men who had arrived on May 20, 1942, from Chanute Field, Ill., parent school in the Technical Training Command, moved in. Soon, thousands of men were hard at work in new classrooms. Seymour Johnson Field, named after a naval flier killed while testing a combat plane, had been born. First commanding officer of the field was Brig. Sen. Walter J. Reed, then a colonel. In the spring of 1943 he was succeeded by Colonel Donald B. Smith, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a command pilot. In October, 1943, Brigadier General Francis M. Brady, an overseas combat veteran, assumed command of the field. General Brady, a World War I flyer, has served in the Philippines, Java, Australia, China, Burma, India and England since the outbreak of the present conflict. In England, he was in command of American medium bomber forces. A glance at service records quickly discloses the diversity of the men who attend this Aircraft Mechanics School of the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command. The Cohens, Kellys, Johnsons, Kuboskis and Pattersons are all represented. Peoria, Elwood, Shreveport, Spokane and Brooklyn are also here. Lawyers, accountants, newspapermen and longshoremen, despite the extremes of their professions, are taking the same course. These men, in short, represent a cross-section of America