An hour before famed aviator Charles Lindbergh spoke on “Air Power” in Oklahoma City on August 29, 1941, 8,000 people already spread across the Sand Lot Field at N.W. 10th and May Avenue. Most sat on wooden benches laid across stacks of roof shingles. The crowd grew to 10, 12, then 15,000 from all over Oklahoma and the surrounding states.
Scores of men in uniform sat throughout the vast throng. According to Lindbergh, the crowd began as “skeptical,” but by the end, “at least eighty percent of the crowd was with us, cheering and applauding.”
As often they did, the words of Charles Lindbergh in Oklahoma City that hot evening when the world was at war packed as much import for future generations as for his own:
“The greatest inheritance we can pass onto our children is a reasonable solution of the problems that confront us in our own time—a strong nation, a lack of debt, a solid American character free from the entanglements of the Old World.”
President Roosevelt’s feelings toward Lindbergh apparently never changed. Even though the aviator privately lamented America’s own culpability in getting itself dragged into war, he immediately volunteered to serve his country in any helpful capacity. FDR, though, refused to allow him even to enlist.
Eventually, his friend Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in the Pacific Theater, got him involved. A character in my World War II historical novel Mustang (https://www.johnjdwyer.com/mustang) accurately celebrates Lindbergh’s wartime deeds, for which he never received even an official acknowledgement from the government, much less a decoration:
“So after helping design and perfect the B-17 and correct the deficiencies of the B-24, he’s now taught Mac’s boys how to double the bomb load of their Corsairs and get nearly twice the distance on the same fuel in their P-38s, while managing to fly a few dozen combat missions with a Lightning Mac gave him, strafe (Japanese) garrisons, bomb trains and barges, and shoot down a (Japanese) plane piloted by a group commander in a one-on-one dogfight. All while forty-two years of age and not even a member of our armed forces!”
The above article is a bonus to the fascinating historical content found within our book
Oklahomans Vol 2 :
Statehood - 2020s
which can be purchased HERE.
View the inspiring 2-minute preview video HERE.