Historic Markers Across Florida

Dale Mabry Field

Marker ID: FLHM F-444
Location: At the Tallahassee Community College, Appleyard Dr and W Pensacola St, Tallahassee, FL
County: Leon
Coordinates: N 30° 26.495    W 084° 20.312
  30.44158333    -84.33853333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM6Y5T


In October 1940, hundreds of laborers began clearing swampland for temporary quarters for Dale Mabry Army Air Base, named in honor of a young Tallahassee dirigible pilot who died in 1922 after serving in World War I. In 1941, America entered World War II. The need for a place to train pilots prompted the federal government to set a 90-day completion deadline. Eventually, the base became a nearly self-sufficient city, with several runways, barracks, officers´ quarters, mess hall, hangers, a hospital, a church and a bowling alley. Some sections of the base´s asphalt runway are still visible, as are several concrete tie-down pads. Over 8,000 pilots from Europe, China and the United States trained here in P-39s, P-40s, P-47s and P-51s. This marker is at the edge of the NW/SE runway near the point where planes took off or landed. Over a dozen pilots died in accidents while learning how to fire at targets such as a giant, plywood “bull´s eye” at Alligator Point to the south. During 1943, 79,000 family members came to Tallahassee, then a town of 16,000, to visit pilots-in-training. The base was deactivated in 1945 and served as a commercial airport until 1961, when Tallahassee Regional Airport opened.

Sponsors: Tallahassee Community College and the Florida Department of State 2001


City: Tallahassee, FL