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World War ll

Contributed by Frances Clark Cronin January 22, 2006

     The terminal building at Hawkins field in Jackson was constructed in 1936 using WPA labor.  It is of national importance as one of only a few relatively intact civilian aviation facilities serving from the 1930ís.  It is an example of the facilities built in smaller cities in the decade before World War II at the dawn of commercial aviation in the United States.  In 1941 Hawkins Field was designated as the Jackson Air Base and the Netherlands Military Flying school used the base to train Dutch Pilots during World War II.
     In April 1942, the Dutch government in exile (London) decided that the flying school should continue its activities in the United States.  Thanks to the cooperation of U.S. authorities, the Dutch could settle down in Jackson, Mississippi, under the command of Major General L.H. van Oyen.  The base commander at the time was Colonel Mayer, USAAF.  All aircraft were made available by the U.S. government under the conditions of the lend-lease program, with the exception of all twin-engined aircraft, which were bought by the Dutch government.  The flying school became a tremendous success with
army and navy personnel brought together in one organization.  The school included not only training for flying but also training for navigators, bombardiers, air gunners, and other specialists.

Note from Frances: Source, Imformation from Netherlands military web site and another web site showing endangered places in Mississippi and my own personl information.

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