Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

September 25, 2013

Found — World War II Army Air Corps recruitment banner

See it this weekend at the Crossville Fly-In


CROSSVILLE — A World War II recruiting banner, discovered in the historic Mitchell Building on Main St. in Crossville, will be on display at the Open House & Fly-In scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28, at Crossville Memorial Airport.

Early in 1941, under pressure to speed expansion of the U.S. Army Air Corps, the War Department directed its recruiting service to create a slogan that would serve as an inspirational rallying cry. On May 17, the Army's chief recruiting officer, Lt. Col. Harold N. Gilbert, coined the slogan, "Keep 'em Flying!"

The 70+ year old banner found in the Mitchell building carries the exact slogan, stitched in red on the white canvas banner. The Commemorative Air Forces adopted this red circle around a blue silhouette illustration of three fighter planes in the sky. History records its use as a way to rally all persons that have a passion to preserve and share the aircrafts that paved the way to victory during WWII.

During the early days of the war, the upstairs of the Mitchell Building was used as Cumberland County's Draft Board. According to Bob Mitchell, this exact banner flew at times both on the exterior and interior of the building. The antique banner was found in a cubby hole underneath the stairs that lead to the second level of the building.

The banner will be on display on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Open House and Fly-in at Whitson Field, Crossville Memorial Airport. The banner is in remarkably good shape for its age.

Visitors to the Fly-In will get to examine many planes and helicopters up close on the ground as well as watch them in the air. One of the top attractions for this year's Fly-In will be the two-bladed, single-engine AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter developed in the 1960s and used extensively in the Vietnam War.

The Open House and Fly-In on the 28th will also celebrate the Airport's 79th anniversary. If you and your family love airplanes and the great outdoors, you will want to attend this Fly-In at Crossville Memorial Airport, Whitson Field, on Saturday, Sept. 28, beginning at 9 a.m.

There will also be helicopter and plane rides for a fee, plus registration for free rides. One person will win a ride in the WWII warbird, a P51 Mustang; another person (and a friend) will win a ride in a Huey H1 Helicopter.

You are invited to bring your lawn chairs and umbrellas and spend the day at the airport. Many planes, including other WWII warbirds, will be on display for your inspection.

Food and refreshment will be for sale for the day and there will be inflatables for the smaller kids. Planes and helicopters will land and take off throughout the day and there will be static displays as well.  This is a great opportunity to get a close-up look at many different kinds of airplanes.

For more information, contact Chris Bennett at (931) 484-5016.