Not too long ago a gentleman, Phil Logan, emailed me about my site to say he really liked it and to tell me that in 1942 the Netherlands had a Military Flying School based in Jackson, Mississippi. The reason he knew about it was because his mother, who was known as Ruth Shedd at the time worked at the post exchange (PX) and she has often told him funny stories about the Dutch airmen who were stationed there, and to this day says she remembers them well. The book had belonged to her husband Eugene Logan, who passed away in 1990, and was stationed at the base as part of the 574th Army-Airforce Band. All of the army-airforce squadrons were later transfered to the China-Burma-India theatre.
I have to admit I was really surprised to find out about the school so I asked him if he would scan some of the pages from the book so I could add them to my website and he was wonderful enough to do so for me.
If anyone would like to contact Phil or his mom the email is Phil Logan
When we succeed in the shortest possible time to go to battle with well
trained squadrons, do we not only credit the instructors and trainees, but
the Lion-share of credit goes to the American Airforce Command and the
Commanding Officer and personnel of the Jackson Army Airbase.
When all is over and Holland and Indië will be free again, our thoughts will
remain forever with our American friends in Jackson, military as well as
civilian. A hospitable democratic society who enabled us to take part in a
battle for justice that will always prevail.
Immediately the name Jackson rang a bell. I have a friend, 85, he no longer communicates wishes to be left alone. We've known each other since our kids were little. He used to be a flight engineer in the Dutch East Indies Airforce. When the Japs invaded his squadron managed to fly to Australia. This is were his unit consolidated and operated from Australian Airbases. However there was another part of the Airforce that managed to escape to America and finished up in Jackson Army Airbase. Pete My mate often used to tell me funny stories about his and the other mob in America. Pete flew B25 bombers. Mostly on missions to New Guinea. They were a lively mob causing quite a stir at times. Like the time they flew a B25 under Sydney Harbour bridge, for a bet. Or the time they had an Australian member with their crew. On a return-trip from New Guinea the Australian, son of a station owner, asked the skipper could he make a detour to his family's property because he wanted to drop them some coconuts he'd picked up in New Guinea. "Sure" said the skip. Mind you a detour of a few hundred miles. When they reached the station and circled low over the buildings. The whole family raced out and waved wildly. They then made another run over the property our friend opened the bomb-bay and let go of the coconuts. This was a friendly bombardment. Everyone, including cattle, scattered everywhere. The damage to the iron roofs was quite substantial. The American section were not much different. They used to have one fighter pilot who's only knowledge of English was "'Flight no: F64' coming in to land" He never waited for the control tower to give him permission, he just barged straight in! They soon dubbed him the 'Flying Cowboy' The control would just warn everybody "clear all runways the Flying Cowboy is coming in!! The Base Commander also got complaints from the local Girls High-school. When the girls were sun-baking on the roof. The boys used to buzz low over the school to get an eyeful. So that was Jackson Airbase for you.