Historic Markers Across Alabama

It Was Called “Dope”

Marker ID:  
Location: 1616 Chappie James Avenue, Tuskegee, AL
County: Macon
Coordinates: N 32° 27.414    W 085° 40.779
  32.4569    -85.67965
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


It Was Called"Dope”

During World War II primary training airplanes were built mostly of wood and fabric. Ground crews sealed and strengthened the fabric with several applications of a highly flammable, explosive acetate coating called "dope." This shed was used to store the dope.

Applying dope could be a messy job if not done correctly. The wear and tear on heavily used training aircraft gave ground crews plenty of opportunities to learn application and safety procedures.

...it was called dope. The fabric was a special linen...you'd paint it with this dope...and when the dope would dry, it would shrink tight on there...and the dope more or less made it waterproof.
George H. Carper, 2003

{Photo caption}
Ground crewmen coat a wing with dope.
Note "Tuskegee Institute" designation on
the mechanic's jumpsuit.

National Park Service, Department of the Interior.


More information:
NPS - Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
Wikipedia - Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
Wikipedia - Tuskegee Airmen
History.com - Tuskegee Airmen

End of It Was Called “Dope”