Flying history

Friday, June 18, 2010

In a fascinating four-part series this week about aviation at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, reporter Melissa Miller has given us a glimpse of the rich flying tradition this area holds. During World War II Harris Field, later taken over by the city, trained hundreds of military pilots. Over the years the airport has welcomed presidents, would-be presidents, entertainers and a host of famous men and women.

This background will help visitors to the Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival Saturday and Sunday have a better understanding of the airport's history and impact on Southeast Missouri over the years.

We are also indebted to Stan Crader, a Marble Hill native who resides in Jackson, for bringing us another bit of aviation history with area ties. He has collected details about Ira Biffle, a Bollinger County native who grew up on a farm near Patton and went on to become one of the first pilots in what became the Army Air Corps. Later, Biffle was a flight instructor in Lincoln, Neb. One of his students was a young Army colonel by the name of Charles Lindbergh.

The Cape Girardeau area is fortunate to have a first-rate airport. This weekend, join the celebration.

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