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Aircraft sought for Henry Post Army Airfield centennialAircraft sought for Henry Post Army Airfield centennial

Oklahoma airport was Army aviation’s first homeOklahoma airport was Army aviation’s first home

A historic Army airfield at Fort Sill, Oklahoma—just north of Lawton—is celebrating its centennial this year, and will mark the occasion with an open house and airshow. Organizers are seeking former military aircraft to participate in the event.

Photo by Mike Fizer.

Henry Post Army Airfield was named for 2nd Lt. Henry Post, assigned to the Signal Corps Aviation School at Rockwell Field in San Diego, California, where he set an altitude record for Air Service aviation in December 1913, reaching an altitude of 10,500 feet. He died in an airplane crash on Feb. 9, 1914, after reaching an altitude of 12,140 feet.

Eight Curtiss JN–3 biplanes from the 1st Aero Squadron arrived at Fort Sill from Rockwell Field in July 1915. The installation was selected for a primary pilot school when the United States entered World War I and Henry Post Airfield was formally established in 1917. Early activities supported observation balloons and airplanes for the U.S. Army Field Artillery School. During World War II, the airfield was used to train pilots and mechanics of liaison aircraft, primarily L-4 Grasshoppers and L-5 Sentinels, that performed artillery spotting missions. After the war, it was the location of all U.S. Army aviation training until those operations moved to Fort Rucker, Alabama, in 1954.

Although no aviation units currently are based there, the historic airfield still has a balloon hangar—listed on the National Register of Historic Places—that was transported on railroad cars from the Navy’s Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, and reassembled at Fort Sill in 1935.

Fort Sill is marking the airfield’s centennial April 6 and 7. On Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. the post will host a free concert, open to the public, featuring Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band and other musical performances.

Gates open at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday for the airfield’s centennial celebration. An airshow and flyovers of military and historic aircraft will begin at 2 p.m. The celebration is free and open to the public. Fort Sill will post event updates online.

Maj. Michael Taylor is coordinating the event and is specifically interested in aircraft from the World War I and II eras. He has commitments already from a variety of World War II liaison and transport aircraft, a few helicopters, and some current military aircraft. Owners of appropriate aircraft interested in participating can email Taylor or call him at 580-442-4268.

The airport is not open to nonparticipating general aviation aircraft, Taylor noted. Pilots who wish to attend can fly in to Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport and arrange ground transportation from there.

Mike Collins

Mike Collins

Technical Editor
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
Topics: Aircraft, Warbird, Airport

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