Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Corry Field Columns Mystery Update!

Well - I was very fortunate to make a little headway into the mystery of the Corry Field Columns that i posted on just a few weeks ago.  I sent out emails to several different people and organizations in Pensacola and received a reply from Curt Lawson, Buehler Library, NNAM, NAS Pensacola, FL.  Here's his reply:

The pillars, now south of the new Veterans Hospital, were once one of the field boundary light arrangement to enable safe night flying from the early days of Corry Field. They were used between 1927 and 1934 to light the southern edge of the landing field that was only a grass area at the time (i.e. no runways). The lights had electrical and a gas system for added light augmentation as needed. The pillars are 15 to 20 feet tall and each held a 7 foot tall light as shown in an attachment.  Two additional sets of shorter pillars were located along the western and northern field boundaries. These lights permitted safe clearance of trees and lit the landing areas for the early biplanes (without any on-board lights). Additional lighting and runway construction was started after 1934 as aircraft and airfield development proceeded.

He also included a photo of the original lights that topped the columns:


  1. To mark the southern edge of Corry Field? What about Bronson Field? It's been many, many years since I was politely chased off a Bronson Field runway for picking wild blackberries. (They grew up profusely between cracks in the runway pavement.) But wasn't it Bronson Field that was just about there in the 30s? I'm probably in error. Gosh, those concrete posts are almost Art, architecturally speaking--and certainly precious bits of local history! I remember them well and used to drive past them almost every day. Let's hope they're preserved. Thank you for doing the research. All the best. Di from Tasmania

  2. Bronson Field is several miles west of Corry Field. These concrete pillars are near the southern edge of Corry Field, barely hidden by the trees south of US Highway 98.