Category Archives: Air travel

Louie Mitchell, pioneer aviator

Louis “Louie” Mitchell not only was one of America’s first air pilots; at 210 pounds, he also was the heaviest. Mitchell had no connection to Sangamon County in life, but his final resting place is in Oak Ridge Cemetery’s Abbey … Continue reading

Posted in Air travel, Transportation | Leave a comment

Southwest Airport

Craig Isbell, who once told Charles Lindbergh he’d never make it across the Atlantic, helped bring Springfield into the age of air. Isbell and a partner, Gelder Lockwood, founded the Springfield Aviation Co., which operated Southwest Airport, on Chatham Road … Continue reading

Posted in Air travel, Airport, Business, Prominent figures, Transportation | 6 Comments

Earle Baker Perce, Antarctic explorer

Perce Point, a headland on an island on the west edge of Antarctica, commemorates a Williamsville man’s role in exploring some of the last unknown places on earth. Earle Baker Perce (1910-68) was a U.S. Navy radioman and pilot when … Continue reading

Posted in Air travel, Military, Prominent figures, Science | Leave a comment

John E. Hickey (pioneer aviator)

John E. Hickey (1890-1970), a founder of aviation’s Silver Wings Fraternity, had been a pilot for longer than anyone else in Illinois when he died in 1970. Hickey’s first flight took place in a hot-air balloon in 1908. He told … Continue reading

Posted in Air travel, Airport, Prominent figures | 6 Comments

Victory Loan Flying Circus, 1919

The Victory Loan Flying Circus, a barnstorming group of World War I pilots using WWI combat aircraft, put on a show for thousands of central Illinoisans in front of the Illinois State Fairgrounds Grandstand on April 15, 1919. An unbilled … Continue reading

Posted in Air travel, Journalism, Media, Military, Prominent figures, Spectacles, Women | Leave a comment

Adelaide O’Brien Rentschler (aviator)

Adelaide O’Brien (1915-99) of Springfield was the first licensed woman pilot in downstate Illinois. During World War II, O’Brien was a local ground instructor for U.S. Army Air Corps flight cadets. O’Brien also was widely known in central Illinois for … Continue reading

Posted in Air travel, Airport, Arts and letters, Military, Women | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Opening of Commercial Airport, 1928 (photo)

     

Posted in Air travel, Airport, Business, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Endurance flying record, 1939

Brothers Hunter and Humphrey Moody beat the world record for endurance flying in a light aircraft — nearly 344 hours — in July and August 1939. The brothers, who lived in Dalton City, set the record flying out of Springfield … Continue reading

Posted in Air travel, Airport, Transportation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lyman Hubbard Sr.

Lyman Hubbard Sr. (1927-2012) was a career U.S. Air Force pilot and the only Springfieldian to be a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the famed all-black World War II air squadron. Hubbard, who flew B-25 bombers during World War II, … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Air travel, Ethnic groups, Military, Prominent figures | Tagged | Leave a comment

Howard Knotts

Howard Knotts (1895-1942) shot down six German planes in less than a month during World War I, winning the U.S. Distinguished Service Cross and the British Distinguished Flying Cross. He was downstate Illinois’ only “flying ace” during World War I. … Continue reading

Posted in Air travel, Airport, Military, Prominent figures | Tagged | 1 Comment