Monday, October 20, 2014

Sid Johnson's Airport

The Johnson family moved to Marion in 1940.  Mr. Johnson first built an auto and truck repair garage and service business where he serviced and repaired cars and trucks.

He took flying lessons and became an excellent pilot and when WWII was over he built a small airport behind the service station, and taught G. I's to fly, which was sponsored by the G.I. bill.

The building on the left was the first building which was his auto and truck repair garage.  It was located about 4 miles from Marion on 641 before you get to Crayne.  The buildings are still there today.

Some of the men that Mr. Johnson trained to be pilots were: Keith Norman, Donald Clark, Barrett Little, William LaRue, Paul Belt, Leslie Freeman, Louis Myers, Thomas Leon Hughes, Blake Douglas Fritts, Lonnie Hodge, Guthrie and Roger Linzy.

This is a picture of the hanger in 1947 and one of Mr. Johnson's places.

On Sept. 5, 1947 there was a large air show sponsored at the air port.  The show featured parachute jumps, wing walking, stunt flying and contests of spot landing bombing, and many other exciting events.

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 strated a business of being the Packard Auto Dealer and when the Packard Company, in a couple of years went broke, he then started the John Deer Implement Dealership.  The John Deer Dealership was in business 27 years in this location.

Sid and Lucy Johnson were fine people, and are remembered still by many local citizens.

Pictures are courtesy of Joni Morris Durfey, granddaughter of Sid and Lucy Johnson.  Her mother was Joan in the picture above.

No comments: