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World War II

World War II

Shortly before World War II Tulsa began gearing up for war in a serious way. Spartan School of Aeronautics was training U.S. and British pilots in Tulsa, Miami and Muskogee, Oklahoma as early as 1940. City fathers had worked feverishly to insure that an aircraft manufacturing plant would be located at Tulsa Municipal Airport.

As President Roosevelt called for the training of pilots in the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) and the build up of the "Arsenal of Democracy" to supply the materiel of war to England, Tulsa was also gearing up for war. In early 1941 Royal Air Force troops began to appear at Tulsa Municipal Airport. Secretly funneling the troops down into the U.S. they would begin pilot training at ten British Flying Training Schools (BFTS), two of which were in Oklahoma.

Spartan operated BFTS #3 at Miami and Darr operated BFTS #6 in Ponca City, Oklahoma. Douglas Aircraft Company was selected to operate Air Force Plant #3 in Tulsa which was known locally as "the bomber plant". Construction of the plant began in March of 1941 and by fall of 1942 Douglas Tulsa was producing A-24s and B-24s. By wars end Spartan had trained over 16,000 pilots and mechanics and Douglas had built thousands of aircraft.