Thursday, May 16, 2013

Crittenden's First Airport

Crittenden County's first airport was made possible by Mr and Mrs. Sid Johnson. This airport was located about four miles south of Marion on Highway 641.

The Johnson’s moved to Marion in 1940. Sid first built an auto and truck repair garage and service station
where he serviced and repaired cars and trucks.

During this time he took flying lessons and became an excellent pilot. When World War II was over he built a small airport and taught G. I.’s to fly through the G.I. bill. The airport was known as the Marion Jaycee Airport.

In February 1947 Mr. Johnson had seven solo students that had became licensed to fly alone. They were: Keith Norman, Donald Clark, Barrett Little, William LaRue, Paul Belt, Leslie Freeman and Louis Myers. Other G. I. trainees who had enrolled were Thomas Hughes, Blake Douglas Fritts, Lonnie Hodge, Guthrie Tharp and Roger Linzy.

The airport continued to operate until 1949. When the government stopped the G.I. bill for flying instructions Mr. Johnson closed the airport. In it’s location Johnson became a Packard Auto Dealer and when the Packard Company, in a couple of years, went broke he then started the John Deere Implement Dealership. The John Deere Dealership was in business 27 years in this same location on Hwy. 641.

The building and part of the hanger are still in sight today. Steve Jones is the present day owner of these buildings.

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