Souther Field – Americus, Georgia



36 pages
History of Souther Field ……. The tract of Georgia land which, in two wars, has been one of the largest training schools in military aviation, was named in honor of Major Henry Souther, a pioneer in the development of airplane engines and close associate of General “Billy” Mitchell in the last war. The property was purchased by the citizens of Sumter County and deeded to the United States government in 1917. An airfield was constructed immediately, and scores of pilots trained here, during the war and immediately after. Important names in aviation can trace the beginning of their careers to Souther Field. Charles A. Lindbergh made his first solo flight here, and later purchased his first airplane, a “Jenny,” at the government auctions following the war. Another bidder to take his first plane home with him was Colonel Robert Scott, author of “God Is My Co-Pilot,” and dubbed the “one-man air force” in the American Volunteer Group in China. In 1928 Sumter County purchased the field from the government, and used it for peace-time activities. When the war clouds gathered again in Europe, Souther Field was again activated by the Graham Aviation Company, under contract to the government. The first class of Flying Cadets arrived in March, 1941, and since that time Souther Field has graduated more than 4000 pilots for both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Force. Capable today of training 600 students simultaneously, Souther Field continues to serve the nation, developing the pilots who today and tomorrow strike the blows for freedom against Germany and Japan, and will make the United States lead the war in aeronautical achievement in the years to follow.