The municipal airports in Southeast Missouri, Sikeston, Malden, Cape Girardeau, Gideon, and Campbell, all had their start during WWII. Sikeston, Malden, and Cape Girardeau all were primary training bases. Of the three, Sikeston was they only one with our paved runways. Its runway was turf.

At the height of its train the MIA had 520 cadets and 170 planes. Of the 7,000 hopeful pilots entering training at Sikeston 5,000 graduated. During training, the pilots had several auxiliary air fields they could use. One of these auxiliary air fields may be listed twice under different names. Matthews, which was the sight of 15 accidents; West Auxiliary had 3 accidents; South Auxiliary, 1 accident; North Auxiliary, 1 accident; Bertrand Auxiliary,5 accidents; Kewanee, 2 accidents. Harvey Parks had much more traffic, therefore the most accidents with 30 either on sight or within 12 miles of the field. All the listed fields were turf.



Dexter, was one of the six local auxiliary airfields ( for Malden) in the vicinity for use in emergency and overflow landings. Elevation was 315 feet, with two asphalt runways; 4,500 x 100 feet running N/S and 4,500 X 300 NE/SW. Accident report show nine accidents accursed here. Dexter Auxiliary Field #1 was. It was located one mile southeast of the city. This field later became Dexter Municipal Airport.

Parma was the location of auxiliary field #2. At 286 feet above sea level, the runway for this airfield was turf some 5,700 x 5,640 feet. No accidents were reported here. This airfield, located 3.8 miles north of town, no longer exist.

Auxiliary Air Field #3 was at Risco and was located two miles west of town. No evidence of the airfield remains. At 276 feet elevation, the runway was a 5,500 x 5,125 foot field. One accident was reported in this area.

Gideon Auxiliary Field #4 was 0.8 of a mile southeast of the city. Now the Municipal Airport has two asphalt runways, both 4,500 feet long, one runs N/S, the other NNW x SSE. No reported accidents in the area.

Advance Auxiliary Field #5 is another World War II airfield with no physical evidence remaining. One accident happened near here. At an elevation of 355 feet, it was located 0.8 of a mile west-south-west of the city.

Campbell, the site of Malden’s auxiliary field number six (has also been listed as #2) is now the city’s airport. It is located 3.5 miles east of Campbell with an elevation of 284 feet. The runway was turf; 7,380 by 4,800 feet. Two accidents were reported as happening here or close by.

Harris Army Airfield (Cape Girardeau) had three auxiliary air fields. All were turf fields. All are now closed. Benton was the site of 12 accidents; Chaffee had nine, with Lee, all the way across Missouri, recording seven.

Just across the state line in Arkansas was the 2,600 acre Blytheville Army Airfield (BAAF). Here more advanced training took place with pilots training on two-engine aircraft, to fly bombers, and cargo planes and female WASP pilots trained to be co-pilots as B-25 and other aircraft. BAAF had auxiliary airfields in Hornersville, Cooter, and Steel, Missouri, as well as Manila and Luxora, Arkansas. The Blytheville Army Air Force Base closed in 1945, to open again during the Cold War

Cooter Army Airfield was designated as BAAF Auxiliary # 5. It was the only BAAF auxiliary in Arkansas to have paved runways. On the 699 acre irregularly-shaped property, southwest of Cooter, were two asphalt 4,000 foot runways, oriented north/south and northeast/southeast. Hangers were never constructed here. As Cooter Airfield closed in 1953, evidently, to field was used during the meanwhile in some capacity after the base in Blytheville closed.

The other Auxiliary fields supporting the BAAF Base were all sod fields. Hornersville reported the most accidents with 12, Cooter next with ten, Steel had five. Other accidents, in Missouri but not at a Blytheville support field were Hayti and Gideon both reported two. Advance, support field for Malden, reported three accidents related to aircraft from Blytheville AAF. Ten accidents occurred here involving military training.

 


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The metropolitan airplane terminals in Southeast Missouri, Sikeston, Malden, Cape Girardeau, Gideon, and Campbell, all had their begin amid WWII. Sikeston, Malden, and Cape Girardeau all were essential preparing bases. Of the three, Sikeston was they just a single with our cleared runways. Its runway was turf.

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04/21/2017 10:47pm

The civil airplane terminals in Southeast Missouri, Sikeston, Malden, Cape Girardeau, Gideon, and Campbell, all had their begin amid WWII. Sikeston, Malden, and Cape Girardeau all were essential preparing bases. Of the three, Sikeston was they just a single with our cleared runways. Its runway was turf.

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The common plane terminals in Southeast Missouri, Sikeston, Malden, Cape Girardeau, Gideon, and Campbell, all had their start in the midst of WWII. Sikeston, Malden, and Cape Girardeau all were fundamental get ready bases. Of the three, Sikeston was they only a solitary with our cleared runways. Its runway was turf.

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The other Auxiliary fields supporting the BAAF Base were all turf fields. Hornersville announced the most mishaps with 12, Cooter next with ten, Steel had five. Different mishaps, in Missouri however not at a Blytheville bolster field were Hayti and Gideon both revealed two. Propel, bolster field for Malden, announced three mishaps identified with flying machine from Blytheville AAF. Ten mishaps happened here including military preparing.

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    Having grown up on Little River, I have been fascinated with it. Over the past several years, as a local historian, this area has been a special interest. 

     These areas have been treated much like step-children by Jefferson City and Little Rock. They seem to believe nothing has ever happened here.  Our history has been long and varied. Hope you enjoy my trip.  

    Near Puxico is the swampy Mingo Wildlife Refuge. One hundred and fifty year ago, most of the Little River Valley appeared that way. This valley covering two million acres was part of the largest wetland in America.

    Floods frequently intimated the Valley. Between 1815 and 2011, 15 major floods covered or threatened the area.

    Timber companies came in at the end of the 19th Century to clean cut the forest. Louis Houck, a Cape Girardeau lawyer and railroad builder, envisioned a rail network that covered the wetlands.

    Little River Drainage District (LRDD) Corporation was established in 1907 by an act of the Butler County (MO) Circuit Court. 

    Between 1909 and 1928 the LRDD dug nearly 1000 miles of ditches and constructed 30 miles of levees to drain 1.2 million acres of swamp and overflow land in Southeast Missouri. More dirt was moved than in building the Panama Canal.

    One surprise I had was the number of settlements in the area before 1811-1812. Another was the water connection between the Mississippi River and the St. Francis and I had no idea that Little River had enough current to run a grist mill.

    Norman Vickers

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