Dale Mabry Army
Air Field Museum
~ Tallahassee, Florida ~

Imagine a time when Tallahassee was a military town and war planes of all sorts constantly buzzed overhead. Dale Mabry Army Air Field (DM) was a major fighter pilot training base during World War II with sub-bases in Perry, Florida, and Thomasville, Townsend and Waycross, Georgia. Silver Lake was used for survival training and Alligator Point for target practice. At a time when there were only 16,240 Tallahasseans, 4,300 service men and women lived on base and 800 civilians were employed there.  All told, over 8,000 pilots trained at DM, including British, French and Chinese flyers--even members of the reknowned, all African-American Tuskegee Airmen. Believe it or not, German Prisoners of War were held there too! 
"Tallahassee's Pompeii"
Like Pompeii, a buried city once lost to time, Dale Mabry Field lies beneath modern-day Tallahassee waiting to be rediscovered.  A few remnants are evident to the trained eye, but most Tallahasseans are surprised at its mention.
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Aerial photos from then and today reveal the old runway areas and the buildings complex. The first picture shows runways where Tallahassee Community College now sits. In fact, Appleyard Drive lies over the north-south runway​, and asphalt from the NW-SE runway can be found at the Messer Softball Complex. Tallahassee's Fire Station #4 is built where the control tower once stood. Today, at the center of the old buildings complex, shown in the second picture, is Sabel Palm Elementary School.
Goals
  • To advocate for, and establish a best-in-class museum that preserves artifacts from Dale Mabry Army Air Field (DM), and creates an accessible repository of historical records for future generations
  • To tell the inspirational  stories of our WWII generation, which has come to be known as "The Greatest Generation"
  • To help the community understand the linkages between DM, WWII and Tallahassee as a whole, and particularly the conversion of Florida State College for Women (FSCW) to the co-educational Florida State University
  • To tell history in a balanced and inclusive manor to attract diverse audiences and inspire all to greatness
  • To tell factual, not romantized history, as it was--the good, the bad, and the ugly
  • To create  an immersive experience through displays and age appropriate programming that bring history alive, taking visitors on a journey back in time
  • To honor WWII veterans and in so doing bring honor to all who have and will serve in defense of our country
  • To teach the lessons of war and geo-political conflict because, "those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it"
  • To leverage the magic of the "Golden Age of Flight," to appeal to and inspire the imaginations of younger generations in the areas of aviation, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)
  • To create historical linkages to place (Tallahassee generally, and the communities overlaid on Dale Mabry Army Air Field), knowing that vibrant, historical landmarks bring a certain charm, create community pride, identity, branding, affinity, and ultimately economic development
  • To join the chain of Tallahassee museums and contribute to the synergy which makes Tallahassee an important tourist destination for those interested in history and tradition
Help Us Share our Story
Donations
Memorabilia
Stay Connected
We are available to present to large or small groups, to display at special events, or meet one-on-one with interested community leaders. Use the Contact link to request a speaker. Help us to spread the word by using the social media links.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to accept monetary donations. We encourage all interested parties to donate--no donation is too small--and show support for this effort. Your support will be used to  further assess museum feasibility and to garner additional support and momentum. 
We are also prepared to accept donations of artifacts, memorabilia or collect stories related to Dale Mabry Army Air Field, and the U.S. Army Air Forces, particularly the 3rd Air Force. Use the Contact link to make arrangements.
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The Men, the Women and the Times


Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. led the reknowned all African-American Tuskegee Airmen, and brought the original squadron to Dale Mabry Army Air Field in late 1941 for advanced training in the AT-6. He is pictured receiving a medal from his father, General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. during assignment in Italy. Irene Fremd was a student at the Florida State College for Women when she learned to fly in 1942. She would go on to be a member of the U.S. Army Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). 
The story of Dale Mabry Army Air Field is one of human drama. Feelings of aerial mastery were occasionally tempered by fatal accidents, romances led to marriages, but also to an epidemic of venereal disease, and war brought out the best and the worst in mankind. There were laughter and tears, good times and bad. Segregation was challenged both within the ranks, and without in the community, with one step forward often resulting in two steps back.  Necessity bred opportunities for women and minorities.