Dedication of the New Wright Field
The following article appeared in NCR News, October 1927
The Dedication of the New Wright Field
The dedication of the new and modern Wright Field on Wednesday, October 12th, holds peculiar significance to the National Cash Register Company family, in view of the strong and sustained interest manifested in this enterprise from its inception by the Founder, the late John H. Patterson, and his son and successor to the presidency of this company, Frederick B. Patterson.
Mr. John H. Patterson, being a man of wide vision and thoroughly abreast of the times, early foresaw the need of a dependable air service for this country. When the original McCook Field was established, he witnessed the beginning of a scheme which he had long entertained in his own mind as to the place of aviation in protective and commercial lines for the nation.
At the close of the war, there came about a general reduction in appropriations and spending of government money for so-called "war-time" activities. At this point Mr. Patterson looked with uneasiness upon the threatened curtailment of research work at the McCook Field, which had demonstrated during the war its efficiency and potential possibilities.
Then it was that Mr. Patterson, calling prominent citizens of Dayton into conference, disclosed his plans for not only retaining McCook field as a vital unit in the country's defense program, but went farther and proposed to elaborate upon the aviation research program of the nation by supplying within striking distance of Dayton a suitable field that could meet every possible federal requirement.
However, John H. Patterson did not live to see the fruition of his scheme. His sudden death might have left the whole program in chaos and probable defeat but for the fact that Frederick B. Patterson, his son, fired by patriotic zeal and determination, set about to carry to conclusion the plans of his distinguished parent.
It is now a part of history how Dayton citizenship under the fine leadership of Frederick B. Patterson, our President, subscribed $427,000 within forty-eight hours time, purchased 5,000 acres of land and presented it to the United States government. This provides the largest flying field in the world and affords the country, or will afford .when it is fully finished, the most complete experimental, engineering and research laboratory and aviation station in the world.
John H. Patterson's idea, as originally presented in the matter of aviation research work was so practical and efficiently worked out that it may be said to have been carried out entirely as formulated. In a statement written by Mr. Patterson and presented to the country as an argument in behalf of what he proposed, he said, among other things:
"Industry progresses in proportion to the research work done.
"In our business we have spent many years and millions of dollars in research work.
"Private industries cannot afford to carry on extensive research work for airplanes because there is small market for airplanes.
"Reduction in appropriations would result in the discharge of 50 per cent of the McCook Field employees on July 1, 1922. If they are allowed to scatter it would take years to build a new and efficient organization.
"Future wars are now being fought in the machine shops of the world. Give American industries an equal chance and they will lead the world in aviation. They are now leading in other lines of industry."
This was back in March of the year 1922. Mr. Patterson believed in encouraging research and scientific experimentation with aviation. Five years after he penned the words quoted above, the new Wright Field has come into existence, a prideful, practical station that already is attracting the attention of world aviation.
On the day of celebration Secretary of War, Dwight F. Davis, Assistant Secretary of War, F. Trubee Davison, Major General Mason M. Patrick, Chief of the Air Service, and his aide and successor eventually, Brig. Gen. James E. Fechet, will be numbered among the distinguished guests to be present. More than these there will be engineers and aviation experts from all over the country in attendance.
Wright Field and American aviation on October 12, 1927, definitely steps into a new era of progress. Nationally the circumstance offers many reasons for congratulations.
We of the factory have pride in what our own leaders have done toward affording to America a substantial and well-fitted aviation research department, the greatest the world has seen.