Last modified: 2020-12-08 by rick wyatt
Keywords: napier field | alabama | dale county |
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image by Masao Okazaki, 27 September 2020
This flag was posted by Vanja last year at
Napier Field (503 inhabitants in 2016) is located in the southeastern corner of Dale County in the southeastern corner of the state northwest of Dothan.
In 1939, public officials in Dothan and surrounding Houston County sought to have the Army Air Corps (AAC) establish a training school at the new Dothan Airport. It was one of several established by the AAC in the state in prior to U.S. entry in World War II. The Air Corps was not interested in locating an air field that close to Dothan, however, and a 1,500-acre site northwest of town was selected. Dothan and Houston County each pledged roughly $56,000 to purchase the land, which lay in Dale County, and work to erect the Napier Field Air Base began. The facility was used for advanced pilot training throughout World War II. It was named in honor of Maj. Edward Napier, the first aviator from Alabama to be killed in service to his country, in September 1923.
The U.S. Air Force deactivated the field on October 31, 1945, and turned custodianship of the property over to the city of Dothan and Houston County; Houston County immediately sold its share in the air field to Dothan. The city began selling the land to individuals and the former air base evolved into a town. The airfield remained dormant for most of two decades, but in the early 1960s, private investors began renovating the site, adding reinforced hard surfacing for new jet runways, buildings, and other facilities. On February 15, 1965, Napier Air Field became the new home of Dothan Regional Airport.
Napier Field incorporated as a town in September 1968. In 2004, the Air Force returned to Napier Field, establishing the 280th Combat Communications Squadron, a non-flying unit that functions in a guard tower alongside the civilian airport.
Encyclopedia of Alabama
The badge featured in the upper left part belonged to the Southeast Army Air Forces Training Center.
Aircraft No. 116709 featured in the upper right represents the former Napier Field Air Base and the Army Air Forces Advanced Flying School
The plane appears to be a North American T-6 'Texan', widely used by Flying Schools during the Second World War.
I have not been able to identify the building featured in the flag's lower part.
Ivan Sache, 27 September 2020