March 16, 1999
Thanks in large measure to a dynamic group of aviation enthusiasts in our community and a spirit of cooperation at all levels, Perry has one of the finest small town airports to be found anywhere in Oklahoma. The newly constructed hangar/administrative building at this city-owned field north of town is a good example of what can be accomplished when good planning is part of a growth pattern.
This fine facility has a comfortable passenger waiting room and covered space for aircraft, and it has drawn the praise and admiration of numerous visitors. They appreciate such amenities in addition to the durable landing strips, which were originally built for training military personnel during World War II. Incidentally, there are more airborne travelers in and out of here than you might imagine. Everyone may not be aware of the traffic at "Perry International," but many business and professional people now rely on private aircraft for their transportation. A lot of them pass this way. The international marketing and manufacturing operation at the Charles Machine Works, Inc., is one of the reasons for the heavy influx of private planes through here. Pilots and passengers rarely fail to brag about what Perry has to offer visitors who touch down at our airfield. Some of them were here a short time ago when the new building was formally unveiled.
The Airport Board, which oversees operations at the field for the mayor and city council, is seeking the public's help in providing a sort of "memorial" to be built in the lobby of the hangar/administrative building. They want the project to describe the history of our airport, identify and recognize individuals within Perry who have past ties with the airport, including military aviation service or aviation in general. Richard Haynes, a city councillor and member of the Airport Board, puts it like this: "I suspect we have an extensive and rich past of involvement with aviation and we would like to capture and display this experience."
Of particular value in establishing the display would be: Any photographs taken on (or above) the airport, especially those dating back to the airport's early days of being a training facility during World War II; photographs of any and all aircraft operated out of the airport over the years; photos and stories of Perry citizens in their military uniform associated with aviation and with their aircraft or flying groups; pictures or stories relating to the. construction and/or operation of the airport; any flying memorabilia such as old helmets, goggles, gloves, flight logs, aircraft pilot operating manuals, and the like; and old newspaper articles relating to the airport or servicemen in aviation on duty.
If requested, the board will return any photos and other information after they have been copied. I think this is an exciting project. Surely there is a wealth of this kind of information, enough to build a comprehensive story of at least part of Perry's history in the field of aviation. If you can assist in this project, contact Ty Engel, airport manager, or Richard Haynes. With your help, we can have a memorial worthy of our airport.
Other members of the Airport Board are David Henry, chairman; Phil Albertson, Frank Lawson, Jerry Ackerman, Mark Uhlman, Bruce Force and Don Keating. Any of them will be glad to answer questions about any aspect of this effort.