Over 700 newspaper clippings, historical photos, official correspondence and other memorabilia are now part of an online scrapbook detailing Chattanooga’s rich aviation history. Sam Hall of ChattanoogaHistory.com created the gallery in partnership with the Chattanooga Airport, Hixson Aviation Flying Club and former Chattanooga Flyer’s Club to document the area’s ongoing aviation efforts.
A portion of the collection was found and donated by Paul Iback of the Hixson Aviation Flying Club.
Additional content was provided by Jack McAfee, vice president of Operations at the Chattanooga Airport, through additional scrapbooks that were donated nearly two decades ago. The carefully maintained collections were curated by members of the Chattanooga Flyer's Club, established in 1939 and once considered the largest flying club in the country.
“The remarkable history of Chattanooga’s aviation pioneers, as well as the public enthusiasm for it, is a story worth telling,” said Mr. Hall. “I’m very appreciative of Paul and Jack, as well as the former Chattanooga Flyer’s Club, for their dedication to sharing this important part of history with our community.”
Mr. Hall has also preserved the area’s earliest aviation efforts with an online presentation of the Marr Flying Field, Chattanooga’s first commercial airfield dedicated in 1919. The original Marr scrapbook is now safely stored at the Chattanooga Public Library.
“It’s inspiring to see aviation enthusiasts across generations enjoy this glimpse into the history of flight in our area,” said Mr. McAfee. “From photos of the Chattanooga air shows in the 1940s to biographies of the most influential players in Chattanooga aviation, this online gallery is a testament to the tremendous strides we’ve taken as both an airport and aviation community.”
The gallery is now online and may be viewed at www.chattanoogahistory.com/CHA. More information and photos can also be found at www.chattairport.com/history with additional links to Sunshine Skies and the “Airport and Aerials” photo collection at the bottom of the page. “Airport and Aerials” was transferred from the Chattanooga History Center to the UTC Library in 2016.
Mr. Hall asks any area organization with legacy photo-centric collections to contact him and discuss historical preservation opportunities.