Airport hosts thrills, saves pilots

Wood County court to buy Route Two airport location

Money From Other Funds Added to $12,000 Approved by State Tax Commissioner for Out-right Purchase of 400 acres; “Not a Cent More Taxes” to be Laid.

The Wood County Court yesterday put an end to a long, drawn out period of public suspense and voted unanimously to purchase the 400 acre site …

Court President Earl Eaton and Commissioners W.O. Holliday and John B. Yeager made the decision to buy the property in the county’s name in a brief session yesterday morning.

The Parkersburg News,

March 23, 1939 (in part)

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Plane to bring orchid corsage

Through Air Express facilities, the first regular westbound flight of American Airlines into Parkersburg Sunday will bring in an orchard corsage – prepared only four hours earlier at Bound Brook, N.J. for Miss Thelma Gates, the “Miss Parkersburg” who will christen one of the company’s airliners at the airport dedication ceremonies on that day.

Arrangements for the special shipment were made by J.W. Dudley and Sons, local florists, and the presentation will be made to Miss Gates by Judd Dudley. The corsage will be worn by Miss Gates when she christens the airlines “Flagship Parkersburg” at ceremonies at 2 p.m. immediately preceding a giant navy air show.

The Parkersburg News,

Sept. 5, 1946

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Two P-47 planes forced to land at county field

Two of a group of P-47 Thunderbolts, which were flying over Parkersburg from Dover, Del., to a surplus property depot at Independence, Kan., were forced to make a landing at Parkersburg’s city-county airfield on Williamstown Pike, it was revealed last night by Richard “Dick” Life, manager of the airfield.

The two “war-weary” ships were piloted by Lt. John Kozey and Lt. Bob Shick, Life said.

Life said the pilots told him they “were sure glad to see a field” when trouble developed in the oil system of Lt. Kozey’s plane. Lt. Kozey told Life he was considering “bailing out” when he saw the white runways.

The Parkersburg News,

Jan. 15, 1946

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Airport show is a thrilling event; estimate 25,000 witness exhibition

Before an estimated crowd of 25,000 – the largest throng to ever assemble in the Parkersburg area – the new $4,000,000 City-County airport off Williamstown pike was formally dedicated Sunday with impressive ceremonies that preceded a thrilling air show demonstrating the naval might in America in the skies.

Under boiling sun and cloudless skies, the thousands heard such speakers as Rear Admiral Felix Budwell Stump, Parkersburg’s highest-ranking military officer in World War II, as well as governor’s of West Virginia and Ohio and Vice President C.R. Speers of American Airlines, commend Wood County for achieving the gigantic project, which establishes this city as an important mid-Ohio Valley terminal on the air lines of the world.

The Parkersburg News,

Sept. 9, 1946 (in part)

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The Wood County Historical Society works to preserve yesterday for tomorrow. For more information, contact P.O. Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102