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Maxwell Through the Years

Three Men on a Flying Trapeze
SSgt. William McDonald, Lt. Haywood Hansell, Jr., Capt. Claire Lee Chennault and SSgt. John H. Williamson formed the “Three Men on a Flying Trapeze,” an early Air Corps aerial demonstration team at Maxwell Field, 1933 to 1935. The tactics developed by these men helped pioneered many of the World War II fighter tactics. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Maxwell Field 99 two-story houses in the French provincial style
From 1932 to 1935, Maxwell Field constructed 99 two-story houses in the French provincial style for the officers assigned to Maxwell Field. The largest of these houses, the Curry House, was the residence of the post and Air Corps Tactical School commander. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Air Corps Tactical School
From September 1931 to June 1941, the Air Corps Tactical School provided professional military education to field grade officers and developed airpower doctrine. The War Department suspended classes in July 1941 and closed the school in October 1942 with the onset of World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Air Corps Tactical School opens first class at Maxwell Field
On September 1931, Maj. John Curry, post commander and Air Corps Tactical School commandant, Maj. Gen. James E. Fechet, Air Corps commander and U.S. Rep. Joseph Lister Hill, Maj. Van Nostrand and Maj. Peabody opened the first class of the ACTS, transferred from Langley Field, Virginia. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Maxwell Field horse stables
In 1932, the horse stables on Maxwell Field were completed costing $20,000, which housed 45 government and five private horses with all the modern conveniences including hot and cold running water. Equestrian training was required for all aviation cadets in order for them to feel comfortable in the saddle, should the need arise. In 1940 the stables became a recreational outlet for soldiers to ride during their leisure time as a way to improve the quality of life for Maxwell Field Soldiers. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Maxwell 1931 Polo Team
On 23 Nov 1930, polo, last played in Montgomery during World War I, began at Maxwell Field when the Montgomery "Blues" played the Maxwell Field "Reds." The two teams played the match under the joint auspices of the Montgomery-Maxwell Field Polo Club and the Montgomery Little Theater. The civilian team included Murray Woodbury, Dick French, Julian McGowah and Warren Andrews. The service team comprised Lieutenants Borden, Sly, Roll, and Tyndall. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Flood Relief
In Mar 1929, after severe flooding in southern Alabama, Maj Walter Weaver, post commander, directed Maxwell aircraft to provide disaster relief to the flood victims. Maxwell’s aircraft, joined by others, flew 281 missions in the five-day relief effort and received praise from Washington and thousands in southeast Alabama. This operation marked the first time food and supplies were airdropped by the U.S. military during a major civilian emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo)
First Permanent Building late 1920’s
In 1926, Maxwell Field received $250,000 in federal funds, through the efforts of US Congressman Joseph Lister Hill, for 13 permanent NCO houses (bottom of picture) and a two-story barracks (top of picture), built between 1927 and 1928. The War Department constructed two additional barracks in 1931 and 1934 in the same architectural style as the one constructed in 1928. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Air Mail
On 16 April 1925, the 22nd Observation Squadron, assigned to Maxwell Field, participated in a trial flight for the US Post Office Department. This flight helped set the stage for the establishment of an airmail route between the Gulf Coast and northern Great Lakes area. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Crop Dusting
Between August 1922 and May 1923, aircraft, pilots and a mechanic from Maxwell Field worked with the US Department of Agriculture Research Laboratory, Tallullah, Louisiana, on experiments to eradicate the boll weevil through aerial pesticide spraying. Their efforts significantly contributed to proving the feasibility of aerial crop dusting. (U.S. Air Force photo)
2Lt William Maxwell
On Nov. 8, 1922, the War Department renamed the Montgomery Air Intermediate Depot to Maxwell Field in honor of 2nd Lt. William C. Maxwell, born in Natchez, Alabama. Maxwell received his aviator’s wings and officer commission in October 1919. In 1920, he was reassigned to the Philippines. While in the Philippines, on Aug. 12, 1920, his DH-4 aircraft developed engine trouble, and he attempted to land on a road. However, after seeing a group of children on the road, he swerved his aircraft to avoid hitting them and struck a flagpole, causing his aircraft to crash and killing Maxwell. (U.S. Air Force photo)
22 Obs Sq & 4th Photo Section
With the urging of U.S. Alabama Congressman Joseph Lister Hill, the War Department relocated the 22nd Observation Squadron and the 4th Photographic Section from Post Field, Oklahoma, to Montgomery Air Intermediate Depot, Alabama, on Nov. 30, 1921. These units provided battlefield observation and imagery for the Fourth Army Corps. The transfer of this unit gave the depot a semi-permanent mission and kept the depot open as the War Department sought to close unneeded military installations in the postwar period. The squadron later helped establish an airmail route between the Gulf Coast and northern Great Lakes area and the foundation of a permanent airmail service. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Depot Workshop WW I
Soon after the United States entered World War I on April 3, 1917, the U.S. Army began to look for suitable sites for military airdromes. Frank D. Kohn sold 302 acres of land, the same land as the Wright brothers’ civilian flying school, to the U.S. government for $35,000. On April 4, 1918, the War Department established Aircraft and Engine Deport # 3 to repair training aircraft assigned to the six training airfields in the Southeast United States, including Taylor Field, located near present-day Pike Road, Alabama. After World War I ended, the depot remained open, although the workload and assigned personnel dropped by 50 percent and went through a number of name changes until it became the Montgomery Air Intermediate Depot on Jan. 25, 1921. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Wright Brothers Workshop Feb-May 1910
Between February and May 1910, Wilbur Wright operated the first civilian flying school in the United States on a part of a cotton plantation owned by Frank D. Kohn Field near Montgomery, Alabama. Prominent Montgomery businessmen donated the land, built a hangar-workshop, and then extended the city’s trolley line to reach the school, located on a site where the current Maxwell operations building is located. Unfortunately, the school closed in early May because of unseasonably high winds and protracted time to bring replacement parts from the Wrights’ workshop in Dayton, Ohio. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Maxwell Centennial Events

Maxwell Centennial Kickoff Ceremony
Date: April 6, By-invite luncheon for former 42nd Air Base Wing commanders, command chief master sergeants/senior enlisted advisors and other distinguished military and civilian visitors.
Date/time: April 6, 1:30 p.m. Centennial Kickoff Ceremony, open to all with base access, centennial artwork presentation, cake cutting, refreshments
Place: Maxwell Club

Maxwell Centennial Tribute-Montgomery Biscuits Baseball Game
Date/time: April 6, 6:35 p.m.
Place: Montgomery Biscuits baseball stadium
Military flyover, military first pitches, historic photos/video, Centennial Art & Essay Contest winners on-field recognition and more

Maxwell Centennial Bash
Date/time: April 7, 2-5 p.m.
Place: Riverfront Park, downtown Montgomery
Who: Open to the public
Hosted by the city of Montgomery and the Montgomery County commission, this free event is to celebrate Maxwell and the River Region’s 100 years’ of friendship and close community partnerships. Food/beverage vendors, family friendly activities, live music by the Air National Guard Band of the South, Maxwell Honor Guard presentation, classic car show, military service representatives and more.

Maxwell Centennial 5K/1M walk-run
Date/time: June 9, 7 a.m.
Place: Gunter Annex, Enlisted Heritage Museum
Who: Open to the public
Registration fee: $25,

https://mmstiming.com/race/centennial-5k/
Awards: Top male/female and male/female age groups: up to 29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60 and older
5K will be “chip timing race” for all registered runners. Immediate and accurate times. Parking for those without military access will be at a designated off-base location, with shuttle service to start location. All bags are subject to search before getting on the shuttles. Only a small diaper bag/stroller will be allowed.

 

 

Maxwell Centennial Art and Essay Contest
Local county schools, Maxwell Elementary-Middle School and Maxwell Youth Centers have been invited to take part in the Maxwell Centennial Art and Essay Contest. The contest theme is “100 Years of Leadership in Airpower.” Prizes will be awarded, and winners will be recognized at the Montgomery Biscuits’ Maxwell Centennial Tribute baseball game on April 6.

Faces of the Centennial Celebration
Grand Opening Reception Date/Time: April 6, 4 p.m.
Place: Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center, Bld. 1405
The Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center launches the opening of the Faces of the Centennial Celebration exhibit. Through photographs, books, and artifacts this exhibit documents the 100 years of Maxwell's contribution to leadership, innovation, and learning.  After very brief remarks, there will be a reception to follow.  Co-sponsored by the Muir S. Fairchild Research and Information Center and the Air University History Office. The exhibit is open through September 2018.