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tv   Military Aviation in Spokane Washington  CSPAN  September 9, 2017 9:43pm-9:59pm EDT

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immediately and in great quantity. bob is vice president of the first national bank of homestead. >> people literally had to walk out of the lobby with somewhere between $3000 and $5,000. many people needed more than that and got more than that. >> you didn't have cash, you didn't have nothing. mr. sullivan homes a service station in homestead. that town was hit especially hard. there was no water, phone service, electricity. just to buy ice, residents had to drive out of town and wait in long lines. brooks sullivan needed an emergency generator. pay $2000 or $2500 cash, no credit cards, no checks, cash. they wouldn't accept anything. suzy was ind, charge of shipping cost to local banks. tuesday, august 25, was the
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biggest day on record -- busiest day on record. >> $99 million was paid out that day. hectic. everything was done manually. no computers. >> the money was sent out to local banks around south florida , including the first national bank of homestead. >> we got deliveries every day, every morning early. we got large amounts of cash and lots of march bills. the fed essentially give us whatever we wanted, whatever we needed. >> thursday, august recess, south florida is just beginning the long process of rebuilding. hurricane andrew has left more than 300,000 people without homes. it is the most expensive natural disaster in u.s. history. many people did everything they could to help their neighbors, including workers at the fed. >> the federal reserve is like that main bank. you go to your mom for help. that is what they were doing.
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the banks were in need of cash. the people were in need of cash. we were there for all of the banks and all of the people. c-span, where history unfolds daily. 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. it is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> this year, c-span is touring cities across the country, exploring american history. next, a look at our recent visit to spokane, washington. you are watching american history tv. all we can, every weekend on c-span3. mr. walton: from the get-go, it was immediately behind in
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aviation. start -- they to decided to start a military base here. this area was a great spot, because at the time it was just an old municipal golf course that nobody was using. it had lots of open area, lots of space, and that is what you need to back then for taking off in different directions and different wind speeds. ever since then, spokane has been 100% behind developing aviation here. theently, we are in historic anger. -- hangar. it was created in 1933. it was finished in 1934.
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at the time, it was touted throughout the country as the most modern finger in america. in america.n hangar it was the home of our first squadron in 1924. the squadron with -- was first founded here in august of 1924. it was made up of former industry men and officers from the great war, the war to end all wars, world war i. it was pretty bare-bones. the first couple hangars that were here were sheet-metal hangers that were torn down from the battlefield trenches of france and brought over here by steamer ship and legal. -- and rebuilt.
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there was aerial photography. aerial photography was deemed crucial to the army back then, because it helped locate enemy movement behind and -- behind enemy lines. it was more of a strategic item. there wasn't an air force get. we fill underneath the army. to get bombs on target, the plane would spot the artillery and make sure it was going where it needed to go. the reef -- the very first aircraft that landed here was a famous american one. bomber fighter plane. huge engine, which was the biggest contribution to world war i. america was lagging behind as
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far as aviation technology, the european countries. we had invested in developing our aviation technology at the time. last manufactured here in the states and put into american jets. it was a huge engine. when that plane arrived here in spokane, pilots were fighting to get into that cockpit. it was the only one. the other planes that were -- were the jenny. that was the nickname. it was patterned framework held together by metal wire. if you offer that to a pilot of today, he would say, you were nuts. i'm not getting in that thing.
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these guys did. why feltsreasons thed is what it is today, casualty was james fel a jenning. when he came in on a low approach, the plane had a nasty flight characteristic of nosing over during stall speed, because the engines were so big and yet the body was light enough that a man could lift up the tale. when he was coming in for a landing, the plane stalled, they crashed in both perished. it was 1927. within a couple of months, they renamed this airfield pipe order to felts field in his honor.
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, theu visit the wild west 1920's was the expansion of exploration upwards. the era was the new frontier. promotingmes to , in my studieson here and other fields, it comes down to that unit commander who was in charge of the airfield at the time. locally, that was taken on by , and the commander road that leads here was renamed in his honor. huge name here between 90 attorney for a 1927. -- between 1924 and 1927. would purposely
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do something out here at the field. 1925 was our first airshow. 9026 they did aerial maneuvers at different fields. -- 1926 they did aerial maneuvers at different fields. 1927, he was instrumental in getting the air races here in spokane, which was a big deal. it was usually cleveland or chicago or new york. he personally flew his military plane all the way to new york city to talk to these promoters of the air races and said you want to have the next one in spokane. these people are enthusiastic. you are going to get big crowds. it is going to be a big show. it is going to get excited and you are going to get a lot of publicity. he successfully talk them into it. at the time, spokane was a small town that never hosted these. byn he came back, he was met
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charles lindbergh, who had just flown his famous flight to paris. charles and his famous spirit of st. louis was parked out front here. the commander was shaking his hand, working with him. that. a bigger it was a huge event, just like he promised. 99,000, almost -- it drew almost 10,000 people, which is almost the entire population of the town. people from all of the northwest came to this location. they were all come here to see that show for four days in september. it was the first time those air -- s had made it took spokane on the map as
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far as aviation. after the war, the squadron was reformed here at felts field ,nder the command of a general who was the first brigadier general right in aviation unit -- general rank in aviation unit. he was the first to do it as military. he was instrument in groundbreaking for what they , whiche super airport was being built out of what is now known as spokane international airport. field renamed geiger after a fee aviator from the air force. -- after a famous aviator from the air force.
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we were coming into the jet age. ageany kick started the jet with their jet fighters during the war. didn't roll them off of the assembly line fast enough. that these jet fighter planes were very advanced, and none of our planes , even atp up with them the best moments. it was clear to experts at the time that the jets were going to be the future. as technology develops, the first jets that came here had an engine that was underpowered. as good as felts field was, it wasn't quite long enough for these fire just to take off on.
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it would take the entire course of the runway and then you would need a little bumper at the end. airport, which was named geiger at spokane national were removed in 1948. in 1948.we moved for a while, it was the only squadron assigned to protect the northwest air for america. shieldadron was the keeping america safe for a long time. in 1976, the department of defense decided to repurpose those national guard squadron's and give them over to aerial refueling. .t was not new technology
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it was the -- well-developed and 9076. -- it was well developed in 1976. , these guys have been flying supersonic jet aircraft, fighter jets, fighter pilots. king of the skies. then, they are told, you are going to get these gigantic boeing 707 and fly those. what? you are taking me from a horse to a bus. what are you doing? when they told them where they , looks,ng to be going you are not going to be at home anymore. at the time, home defense was home. you never left. you may have flown out to seattle, but you came back.
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in this case, you were going places. to refueloing to guam planes going to japan, the philippines, great britain, germany. that is where these missions are taking you. the pilots are going, i can do some vacation time while doing my work. ok, we are in. doing1976, we have been the missions out there. there has been constants -- constant threat of military history to present day. -- a constant threat of military history to present day. >> our staff recently doubled to his backhand, washington to learn about its history. learn more about other stops on our tour at you are watching american history tv


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