If you are interested in
attending flight school, in
the U.S. Army, please visit the
The U.S. Army - at www.army.mil
This web site does not have any direct connection to the US Army or any other Government Agency or Department.
PLEASE - DO NOT SEND EMAILS TO THIS WEBSITE for the U.S. ARMY
This brief synopsis is only a simple outline of the events of history for Army Flight Schools. You will find more complete and accurate information by visiting the following websites:
Fort Rucker Alabama - http://www-rucker.army.mil/
U.S. Army Aviation Museum – Fort Rucker Alabama - http://www.armyavnmuseum.org/
Fort Sill Oklahoma - http://sill-www.army.mil/
Fort Stewart Georgia - http://www.stewart.army.mil/
Fort Wolters chapter of VHPA- http://www.fwcvhpa.org/fw/fw.htm
Camp Gary, Gary Air Force base - http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/GG/qcg2.html
Viet Nam Helicopter Pilots Association – http://www.vhpa.org
Flight Class Photos for Officers and Warrant Officers - http://www.vhpa.org/products.htm#fltclpic
Warrant Officers http://www.vhpadata.org/wocpics/classpics.htm
History of the U.S. Army Aviation Flight School
Army Aviation is “ABOVE THE BEST”
As widely presented, man has always wanted to fly. Man made many attempts and failed until slowly, and at great cost of life and limb, he became successful. Today we see the results of those failures and successes as more and more people experience flying. Those experiences are shared by all who look up to the stars as our next frontier.
In the beginning of aviation if someone wanted to fly they would purchase books and try to build their own airplane and learn from trial and error or find someone to teach them the basics. Later flight schools were set up to train them.
The U. S. Army’s first exposure to, help from above, was with hot air balloons for observation. Next was the airplane to be followed by the helicopter. History shows how the Army Air Service has evolved over the years. The need to integrate aviation in the planning and execution of military plans were essential to winning a war.
Flight training for the Army was sporadic at best in the beginning. The first pilots received their training from the Wright brothers. Slowly the Army pilots began training their own. The flight training in the Army was not well organized and the Army posts that had aviation assets were given the task to train their own new pilots. Later as Army Air Service grew, and after the initial flight training, pilots were transitioned into other aircraft at their own units.
Fort Sill, the Home of Field Artillery served as the School for Aerial Observers, the Air Service Flying School, and the Army Aviation School. As the variety of aircraft entered the Army inventory the need to expand flight training became apparent and the over crowding of Fort Sill, pilot training was moved. During the Korea War, helicopters were becoming the main air asset of the Army, even though the Army continued to keep airplanes for artillery spotting and aerial observation. The need for pilots and aircraft continued to grow and flight training was moved to Camp Rucker, soon to become Fort Rucker.
As remembered by Maj. Leonard (Rod) Rodowick, Retired, Class of 58-1. Maj Rodowick served with the US Army Air Corp and in 1948 reenlisted and into the US Army, after the US Air Force was created. As an enlisted man in the Army Air Corp he attended numerous maintenance courses to repair airplanes. After he reenlisted, He was sent to Fort Sill and rose in rank to Sergeant three strips up and three down. He later applied for and attended Flight School beginning at Fort Wolters and continued on to Fort Rucker. He explained that Brigadier General Ford, Assistant Commandant of Fort Sill Artillery was not a pilot but he knew the value of aviation in the world of artillery. He work hard to petition the Army to fund the Artillery aviation assets. He devoted many weeks and months in his effort and in 1946 Fort Sill was allowed to begin training students to fly. Fort Sill had the only Army Airfield and it was called Post Field, it was one mile square. Brigadier General Ford could be considered the real father of army aviation. The first batch of aircraft, in 1949, that arrived at Fort Sill were twelve L5, about 50 L16s, 4 L17s Navions, 4 H13 with wooden blades and a couple LC126 Cessna Radial Engine cross-wheel landing gear.
The Army Air Service, which became the Army Air Corp and then Army Air Force had the overall responsibility to train pilots. Two bases were established to accomplish the task. They were Gary, at San Marcos, Texas and Wolters at Mineral Wells, Texas. During this time the Army Air Force evolved and eventually the US Air Force was created. The Air Force continued to train Army pilots until mid 50's” when the Army moved their training to Camp Rucker, later to become Fort Rucker, and took over the two bases. The initial pilot training was accomplished by the Air Force at Gary Air Force based to be followed by advanced training at Fort Sill. In 1955 the flight classes were sent to Fort Rucker for Tactical Training.
Due to the increase of use of helicopters in Viet Nam the Army’s need for trained pilots were ever increasing and a second Aviation training post was setup at Hunter Army Airfield, Fort Stewart in Savannah Georgia.
Flight training has remained consistent from the beginning. Flight schools were broken into two parts, the ground school and the actual flying. The ground classes taught the aerodynamics of flight, weather, communication, and aircraft safety. The “in-air” training applied what was learned on the ground from startup through takeoff, flight and landing. As aircraft became more complex the ground school became longer and more involved. Tactics were expanded and Instrument flying was added.
Today, as from the beginning, training pilots and to use the equipment they fly to accomplish the mission is essential. Flight School still teaches the basics up to advanced tactics to make the pilots as mission ready as possible. From flight school to unit, the unit than fine tunes and hones those skills.
Who was trained by the U.S. Army? Who were these individuals that wanted to fly? Where did they come from and where did they go? Find out!
“ABOVE THE BEST”
In the beginning it was Gary Air Force Base, San Marcos, Texas
Here is a good website for Army Aviation - US Army Aviation - CREATED BY CW2 ROBERT GOEBEL
By request, here is a Guestbook similar to the one we lost.
New armyflightschool.org Guestbook Page (Click Here)
Also, visit www.armyflightschool is now on Facebook
This is why we serve and defend our country.
The Declaration of Independence
The Constitution of the United States of America
"Success is how
high you bounce when you hit bottom."
General S. George Patton Jr.
considers the unprincipled enemy we have to to cope with, will not hesitate to
declare that nothing but arms or miracles can reduce them to reason and
Thomas Paine, Thoughts on Defensive War, 1775.
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© 1998-2011 Timothy E. Wilkerson,CW3(retired). All rights
Last updated May 04, 2012