...On December 27, 1943, Aubert was transferred to the Army Air Corps
and was assigned to Keesler Field, Biloxi, MS, from December 28, 1943 to
February 11, 1944. During this time he sent Shirley a fold-out group of
postcards from Biloxi which showed his return address as “59th
Training Group, Class 598-16, Keesler Field, Mississippi.” His next
training assignment was for advanced flight training at Scott Field,
LOCATION: Keesler AFB (then known as Keesler Field) is located
on the north side of the intersection of US Highway 90 and White Road,
Biloxi, MS. Telephone: (601) 377-1110.
SIGNIFICANCE: Aubert spent 1 and 1/2 months in basic aviation
training at Keesler Field (Dec 1943 - Feb 1944) before being sent for
advanced flight training at Scott Field, Belleville, IL.
HISTORY: Keesler Field (now Keesler AFB) in Biloxi, MS, was
founded 1941, when the city of Biloxi deeded 685 acres of land to the
government for an Army Air Corps training base to train airplane and
engine mechanics and basic trainees.
The base was named for 2nd Lieutenant Samuel Reeves Keesler Jr., an
aerial observer from Greenwood, MS, who was killed in action in France
during World War I.
During World War II, 142,000 aviation mechanics and 336,000 recruits
were trained at Keesler Field. The majority of B-24 Liberator bomber
mechanics were Keesler graduates. Other schools operating during the war
were an Air-Sea Rescue School, using OA-10A amphibians and modified
B-17s, a Chemical Warfare School, and the world's first Rotary Wing
School which trained helicopter mechanics.
Women began training at Keesler Field in 1943, as did foreign
nationals. Following the war, the aircraft mechanics school was moved to
Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX.