Guide to the Town of Napier Field (AL) Collection

Record Group 075

Date Span:1939-1998.

Extent: 4 scrapbooks and 24 reports, all scanned into PDFs.

Creators: Carl H. Petersen, mayor of Napier Field 1997-2000; US Army Air Corps; Dr. I. C. Bates, of Dothan.

Historical Sketch: In 1939, the United States Army Air Corps built Napier Field  to train pilots and other Army Air Corps personnel to fight in World War II. Napier Field was named in memory of Major Edward L. Napier, one of the first Army Flight Surgeons. The Field was located in Dale County, Alabama, and operated October 1, 1940 through October 31, 1945. Squadrons A, D, I, and H, and other units trained at Napier Field, including British Royal Air Force and Mexican Army pilots. (Source:  Dothan Regional Airport, Dothan Regional Airport History and Information. URL http://www.flydothan.com/about_dhn.htmll.  Accessed 20 November 2006).  The USAAF abandoned Napier Field after World War 2.  In 1968, residents incorporated to become the Town of Napier Field.

Scope / Content:  Collection consists of Scrapbooks of photographs, newsclippings, and other materials reflecting the history of Napier Field and official US Army Air Corps unit histories of the training squadrons A, D, I, and H at Napier Field as well as histories of the 73rd Base Headquarters, 15th and 16th and 429th-433rd S.E.F.T. group, 1023rd Guard, 21st Aviation Squad, , 2062nd Ordinance Co., 907th Q.M. Co., 957th Q.M. platoon, 4th Airways Communication Detachment, 856th Signal Service, 4th Weather Squadron, and 599th Band and the 2116th AF Base. Also contains Dr. I.C. Bates "History of Napier Field" written in January 31, 1944.

Organization:  Organized into 2 series:  1. Scrapbooks2. US Army Air Corps Reports

Provenance:  Scrapbooks assembled by Mr. Carl H. Petersen, former mayor of Napier Field;  USAAF Reports were classified documents on file at the Air Force Historical Research Facility at Maxwell Air Force Base.  They were declassified on September 27, 1958, and provided to the The Wiregrass Archives on microfilm by Carl Peterson and Tina Bernath.

Processing Note:  The The Wiregrass Archives director scanned the scrapbooks in Fall 2006, omitting the USAAF reports, Dr. I. C. Bates's history of Napier Field, and a few photocopied maps that were illegible when scanned.  The Wiregrass Archives returned the scrapbooks to Mr. Peterson who displays them at the Napier Field Town Hall.  Archival assistant C. Funk scanned (June-November 2006) the microfilmed USAAF reports and Dr. Bates's history.  Tina Bernath donated her microfilm reels of these reports.

Location of Originals:  Scrapbooks in possession of Mr. Petersen; USAAF Reports at Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell Field, Montgomery, AL.

Access and Use: Open (Public Records)

Date processed:   November 2006

Processed By: Caroline B. Funk, Martin T. Olliff


INVENTORY 

Series 1:  Scrapbooks

File Number Title and Description
075 06-1106 FF 001

Title:  Scrapbook of Napier Field as USAAF Installation

Description:  11 pages.  Contains obituaries, memoirs, post card, matchbook, photos of artifacts, and one letter re: Major Edward LeRoy Napier, 1883-1923.

075 06-1106 FF 002

Title:  Scrapbook of Napier Field after USAAF decommissioned it.

Description:  95 pages.  Pgs. 1-46 are miscellaneous photos, handwritten histories, newsclips, information on Napier Field United Methodist Church and history of Grimes United Methodist Church; Pgs. 47-62 Yearbook for Grimes Elementary School, 1947-48; Pgs. 63-86 are two Hayes Aircraft Co. pamphlets for Napier Field Division; Pgs. 87-95 are miscellaneous materials including photographs, incorporation papers, maps, info on Arthur Johnson.

075 06-1106 FF 003

Title:  Scrapbook entitled "Town of Napier Field, Incorporated September 11, 1968." 

Description:  48 pages of newspaper clippings and photographs about people and events in town.

075 06-1106 FF 004

Title:  Scrapbook commemorating Herbert Beumer, Napier Field mayor, 1984-1986. 

Description:  64 pages of photographs and newsclips related to Mr. Beumer or donated by his family to Mr. Peterson (scrapbook organizer).


Series 2:  USAAF Reports (microfilmed)

File Number

Frame # & Length

Class. #

Title and Description

075 06-1106 FF 005

MF Reel 1 1714

8 pages

Index

Title: (History of Aviation) INDEX 

Description: General history about the Air Force Pilot School and the Index for Reel 1.

075 06-1106 FF 006

MF Reel 1 501-576

65 pages

286.78-1

Title: History of Napier Field (Installment 1) Jan/39-Dec/41

Description: This report includes a forward by the Commanding Officer, a preface by the Historical Officer as well as other documents which include a description of the region, early development of aviation in Dothan, the inspection and selection of the Napier site, contracts and construction, aviation command and personnel, and the naming of the field.

075 06-1106 FF 007

MF Reel 1 577-650

72 pages

286.78-1

Title: Photos and Charts 1941-1942 

Description: This report is made up of a letter from Colonel Clapham on the reassignment of a group of officers, a chart on housing capacity, as well as various reports and photographs of unintelligible nature.

075 06-1106 FF 008

MF Reel 1 651-695

43 pages

286.78-1

Title: Flying School Historical Outline 1940-1942

Description: Includes Napier Field site selection data, acquisition of land, start of construction, completion date of current housing plan, cost of construction, troop capacity  for housing, housing facilities as well as assorted maps and documents concerning the above topics.

075 06-1106 FF 009

MF Reel 1 696-734

37 pages

286.78-1

Title: Dr. I. C. Bates, "Early History of Napier Field,  1940-1943"

Description: A description of the history of Napier Field by Dr. I.C. Bates of Dothan.

075 06-1106 FF 010

MF Reel 1 735-860

124 pages

286.78-1

Title: Album of Station Information May/41-Feb/44 

Description: Report includes name of the station (Napier Field), location, airport activities and usage, ownership of the station, and assorted documents, charts and photographs concerning the above topics.

075 06-1106 FF 011

MF Reel 1 861-1029

167 pages

286.78-1

Title: History of Squadrons and Detachments (Installation 1) Aug/41-Jan/44

Description: Contains the histories of:  73rd Base Headquarters, 15th and 16th and 429th-433rd S.E.F.T. group, 1023rd Guard, 21st Aviation Squad, Cadet Detachment, Detachment Medical Department, 2062nd Ordinance Co., 907th Q.M. Co., 957th Q.M. platoon, Detachment Finance Department, 4th Airways Communication, Detachment 856th Signal Service, 4th Weather Squadron, Chemical Section, Veterinary Services, and599th Band.

075 06-1106 FF 012

MF Reel 1 1030-1165

134 pages

286.78-1

Title: Station Dispensary/ Master file Sep/41-Oct/45

Description: Contains information on the Post Surgeon, C.O. Squadron, the Registrar, Medical supply, Flight Surgeon, Dental Service, Out-Patient Service, Venereal Disease, V.D. education, Veterinary Service, as well as Medical History, Convalescent Training Program, the Post Medical Inspector, Sewage and Waste Disposal, and several Hospital Orders.

075 06-1106 FF 013

MF Reel 1 1166-1186

19 pages

286.78-1A

Title: Squadron "D" History Jun/43-Oct/45 

Description: This report contains a detailed daily (sometimes weekly) account of the squadron's progress in various areas.

075 06-1106 FF 014

MF Reel 1 1187-1137

149 pages

286.78-2

Title: History of Napier Field (Installment 2) Dec/41-Jan/43 

Description: This section is a continuation of the first installment and adds on sections including: After Pearl Harbor, Continuing Construction, Napier Training programs, Organization of Squadrons and Detachments, Functions of Squadrons and Detachments, Personnel and Functions of Key Departments, as well as a bibliography.

075 06-1106 FF 015

MF Reel 1 1338-1501

162 pages

286.78-3

Title: History of Napier Field ( Installment 3) Jan/43-Jan/44

Description: Includes Further Construction and Prevention Methods, Overall Organizational Changes, Development of Morale and Education, Progress in Training, Academic Training, Military Training, Physical Training, and Summary and Evaluation.  Photographs and Maps are also included.

075 06-1106 FF 016

MF Reel 1 1502-1613

110 pages

286.78-4

Title: History of Napier Field (Installment 4) Feb-Jun 1944 

Description: Includes a Preface by the Historical Officer; Administration, Organization and Services, Post Air Inspector, Training, Supply and Maintenance, Units, Summation and Evaluation, and List of charts.

075 06-1106 FF 017

MF Reel 1 1614-1683

68 pages

286.78-4

Title: History of Squadrons and Detachments (Installment2) Feb-Apr/44

Description: Contains the histories of:  73rd Base Headquarters, 15th and 16th and 429th-433rd S.E.F.T. group, 1023rd Guard, 21st Aviation Squad, Cadet Detachment, Detachment Medical Department, 2062nd Ordinance Co., 907th Q.M. Co., 957th Q.M. platoon, Detachment Finance Department, 4th Airways Communication, Detachment 856th Signal Service, 4th Weather Squadron, Chemical Section, and Veterinary Services.

075 06-1106 FF 018

MF Reel 1 1684-1709

24 pages

286.78-4

Title: A History of the Women AF Pilots Jan-Dec 1944 

Description: Includes Station WASP history, Flying Proficiency on Arrival, Station Training, and Flying Duties, Accident Record, Physical Standards and Stamina, Discipline and Control, General Adaptability and Personal Record, Desirability of Large-Scale Emergency Utilization, General Statistics, Individual Statistics, and a photograph.

075 06-1106 FF 019

MF Reel 2

4-21

16 pages

286.78-4A

Title: Squadron "A" History Apr/44-Oct/45 

Description: Contains the squadron's progress report by date

075 06-1106 FF 020

MF Reel 2

22-139

117 pages

286.78-4B

Title: Section "I" & "H" Progress Book (2116th AAF Base Unit) Apr/44-Oct/45

Description: Progress Report done by date, also includes Functions and Organization, several pages are handwritten and a few are illegible.

075 06-1106 FF 021

MF Reel 2

140-232

91 pages

286.78-5

Title: History of Napier Field (Installment 5) Jul-Aug/44 

Description: Includes a forward by the Commanding Officer, preface by the Historical Officer, Administration and Services, Air Inspector (Administrative), Training and Operations, Supply and Maintenance, Units, and Summary and Evaluation.

075 06-1106 FF 022

MF Reel 2

233-257

122 pages

286.78-6

Title: History of Napier Field (Installment 6) Sep-Oct/44 

Description: Includes Administration and Services, Training and Operations, Supply and Maintenance, Units, Summary and Evaluation.

075 06-1106 FF 023

MF Reel 2

358-484

124 pages

286.78-7

Title: History of Napier Field (Installment 7) Nov-Dec/44 

Description: Includes Administration and Services, Training and Operations, Supply and Maintenance, Units, Summary and Evaluation.

075 06-1106 FF 024

MF Reel 2

485-661

175 pages

286.78-8

Title: History of Napier Field (Installment 8) Jan-Feb/45

Description: 2116th AF Base, Training and Operations, Flying Training, Operations, Military Training, Ground School, Administration and Services, Personnel, Finance, Chapel, Public Relations, Information and Education, Post Exchange, Photography, Messes, Chemical Warfare Services, Physical Training, Intelligence, Provost Marshall, Post Office, Supply and Maintenance, Purchasing and Contracting, Maintenance, Supply, Summary and Evaluation.

075 06-1106 FF 025

MF Reel 2

662-805

142 pages

286.78-9

Title: History of Napier Field (Installment 9) Mar-Apr/45 

Description: 2116th AF Base Unit, Training, Flying Training, Ground Training, Military Training, Administration, Overall Station Changes, Personnel, Public Relations, Intelligence Section, Security Provost Marshall, Fiscal, Publications, Losses, Post Exchange, Supply and Maintenance, Overall Changes, Supervisor of Supply, Maintenance, Purchasing and Contracting, Salvage, Quartermaster Property, Clothing and Equipage, Post Engineer, Summary and Evaluation.

075 06-1106 FF 026

MF Reel 2

806-993

186 pages

286.78-10

Title: History of Napier Field (Installment 10) May-Jun/45 

Description: 2116th AF Base Unit, Training, Flying Training, Ground Training, Military Training, Administration, Overall Station Changes, Personnel, Public Relations, Intelligence Section, Security Provost Marshall, Fiscal, Publications, Losses, Post Exchange, Clothing and Sales, Supply and Maintenance, Overall Changes, Supervisor of Supply, Maintenance, Purchasing and Contracting, Salvage, Quartermaster Property, Clothing and Equipage, Post Engineer, Summary and Evaluation

075 06-1106 FF 027

MF Reel 2

994-1139

144 pages

286.78-11

Title: History of Napier Field (Installment 11) Jul-Aug/45 

Description: 2116th AF Base Unit, Training, Flying Training, Ground Training, Military Training, Administration, Overall Station Changes, Personnel, Public Relations, Intelligence Section, Security Provost Marshall, Fiscal, Publications, Losses, Post Exchange, Clothing and Sales,  Supply and Maintenance, Overall Changes, Supervisor of Supply, Maintenance, Purchasing and Contracting, Salvage, Quartermaster Property, Clothing and Equipage, Post Engineer, Summary and Evaluation

075 06-1106 FF 028

MF Reel 2

1140-1156

15 pages

286.78-11

Title: Napier Field (Events) Aug/45

Description: Troop Training, Personnel and Aircraft assignments.

075 06-1106 FF 029

MF Reel 2

1157-1259

102 pages

286.78-12

Title: History of Napier Field (Installment 12) Sep-Oct/45 

Description: 2116th AF Base, Administration, Training, Supply and Maintenance, Summary and Evaluation.

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