"Tri-County News " Sept. 4, 1941
"A quarter of a century
has rolled by since Souther Field was first the sight of plane training.
Now, cadets of the two greatest nations on earth are there, learning the
art of dealing death from the air to any foe seeking to enslave either
of the democracies.
"Many of these temporary guests,
from far and near, would know how and why and where the field got its
name. Several local citizens were asked and the library and Chamber of
Commerce were interrogated, but there was no available record here.
"Prof. J.E. Mathis appealed to
Rep. Stephen Pace, and he, in turn, appealed to the legislative
reference service of the Library of Congress. There from several sources
the following authentic record was obtained:
Major Henry Souther, U.S.R., son
of Henry and Mary (Wheeler) Souther, was born in Boston, Massachusetts,
on September 11, 1865. After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology and engaging in graduate studies at metallurgical schools
in Germany, he was employed at the works of the Pennsylvania Steel
Company, at Steelton, Pa. Later he was identified closely with large
bicycle production, in metallurgical and general consulting capacity.
From this field he went to the automobile industry, taking with him much
valuable engineering data, including the results of tests of pneumatic
tires of the fabric and of the cord types. He was for some time State
Chemist of Connecticut. He conducted for many years at Hartford a
chemical and physical testing laboratory. The laboratory was used in
much pioneering automobile engineering work.
At the outbreak of the World War,
Major Souther became deeply interested in the preparedness movements in
this country. Early in 1916 he assumed duties with the Government,
making intensive investigations in the airplane field, with regard
particularly to engines.
According to an eulogistic
article by Mr. Coker F. Clarkson in the Journal of the Society of
Automotive Engineers in August 1917, Major Souther's work while
associated with the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps, first as
consulting engineer and later as major, United States Officers' Reserve
Corps, was fundamental in character. From the very outset his foresight
and imagination led to a conception of the vastness of the problem and
to the evolution of an organization to cope with the work.
He died at Fortress Monroe,
Virginia, Hospital on August 15, not surviving an operation resulting
from an acute development of a recurrent malady. It was believed by some
that the assiduity with which he applied himself in the Government
service overtaxed his physical strength.
Sources: (1) Clarkson, Coker F.
A Pioneer in Standardization. In the Journal of the Society of
Automotive Engineers, Vol. I, No. 2, p. 129-131, August, 1917.
(2) Who's Who in
(3) New York Times, Aug. 16, 1917, p. 11, c. 7 (C.A. Quattlebaum, August
The item above was submitted
by Alan Anderson.
Click here for WWII era photo
Thanks to Jim Plante & John E Campbell for the image
of the emblem above.
Jeff Quirin for the image
of the emblem above.
Click above for images & text from a Graham Aviation....2147th
Army Air Forces Base Unit Souther Field Americus, Georgia.
Included are photos and names of many who served at Souther Field during
Click above for images & text from a Graham Aviation....Army Air
Forces Base Unit Souther Field Americus, Georgia. Included are
photos and names of many who served at Souther Field during WWII
including CLASS 44E.
Royal Air Force Cadets trying their hands at
The batter is George (Paddy) Alderdice of North
Ireland and Jack Hartley, Leeds, Yorkshire, England is the catcher.
Bill Dawson of Hampshire, England recently
identified the ballplayer third from the right as his Great Uncle, Pilot
Officer Ralph Henderson DFM RAFVR.