[Source: Cindy Barks, Daily Courier] — Prescott’s long and storied aviation past was apparent this past week during a presentation on the history of Ernest A. Love Field Airport. Not only did the city’s Historic Preservation Specialist Nancy Burgess offer a report on the 80 years since the first dedication of the Prescott Airport, but a local octogenarian offered a real-life look at how the airport had affected his life. Burgess’ presentation took place during the February 13 meeting of the local chapter of the American Aviation Historic Society at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
As Burgess was describing one of the airport’s signature events – the staging of a training school for fighter pilots during World War II – one of the audience members, 83-year-old Cal Cohen (pictured), offered to give a first-hand account. “I was here in 1942 for flight training,” Cohen told the crowd of more than 75 that gathered for the monthly aviation-oriented program. While he downplayed the training. “Mostly, we chased antelope,” he joked, the training obviously helped shape Cohen’s future. So much so that some 60 years later, he returned to Prescott as a retiree and has lived in the community for the past five years. Burgess explained that Prescott’s airport officially formed in 1928, with a dedication on the prairie-dog-hole-riddled land northeast of Prescott. But, Burgess said, “Prior to that dedication, the Prescott Airport already had a history.” As far back as 1913, she said, “there was a need for some kind of landing field in Prescott.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]