Monday, August 29, 2011

Wilmington's Bluethenthal Airport: World War II Connection Part 2

Plus, there are actually rocking chairs to enjoy.

Bluethenthal Airport was dedicated May 30, 1928, and named after World War I fighter pilot Arthur Bluethenthal, who was killed in an aeriel fight with German planes June 5, 1918.

He was born in Wilmington Nov. 1, 1891 and was an All-American football player at Princeton University.

In 1916, he joined the French Foreign Legion and took part in the Battle of Verdun. The following year, he joined the French flying corps. While directing artillery fire, he engaged four German planes and was killed when he was shot down about 50 miles north of Paris. he became the first North Carolinian killed in the war.

His body was brought home in 1921 and buried at Wilmington's Oakdale Cemetery.

During World War II, Bluethenthal Airport was used by the US Army Air Force's 3rd Air Force. Training and anti-submarine missions took place there. In my history blog, I wrote about one plane crash and it is estimated that over twenty planes from the field crashed during the course of the war.

Commercial flights from the field began with Piedmont Airlines in Feb. 1948.

From Wikipedia.

Fly Into Wilmington. --RoadDog

No comments: