Path Home Shows 2009 Show Archive May 2009 Show 0920 Oklahoma Moment 3

Oklahoma Moment 3

We take a peek at a moment in Oklahoma's History from the Oklahoma History Center. This peek showcases Oklahomans Thomas Cox Allen and J. Herman Banning who became the first black pilots to fly across the continent.
Oklahoma Moment 3

Aviation in Oklahoma

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Oklahoma History Center

Show Dates

Show 0920: Oklahoma Moment 3

Air date: May 17, 2009

 

Transcript

1932 was the year that Oklahomans Thomas Cox Allen and J. Herman Banning became the first black pilots to fly across the continent.  The 30s was a heady time for aviation in Oklahoma, with all of the aviation greats flying into the state.  Here, Amelia Earhart was seen demonstrating her auto gyro at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds.  World War II boosted aviation like never before.  Douglas plants at Tulsa and Oklahoma City began mass production of war planes.  Military airfields popped up all over the state including Tinker, Altus, Ardmore, Clinton, Enid, Frederick, Woodward, Ponca City, Will Rogers Field, Mustang, Norman, Chickasha, Durant, Muskogee, Tulsa, Miami, Gage and Perry.  Future Tuskegee airmen left for training in Alabama, and WASPS took basic training in Stillwater.  After World War II, facilities, like, Will Rogers Field was converted to the future FAA Center.  The Douglas plant at Tinker became part of the new air force base.  Many of the military airstrips became civilian airports around the state.