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Military


Fort Rucker Stagefields

Fort Rucker Stagefields
Stagefield Distance
(Miles)
Direction Size
(Acres)
BuildingsDate
Acquired
10-C Stagefield 13 W, SW 180 5 1987
Allen Stagefield S, SW 114 6 1960
Brown Stagefield 9 W, NW 176 5 1987
Goldberg Stagefield E, NE 100 8 1961
High Bluff Stagefield S 190 6 1966
High Falls Stagefield 10 S, SW 40 3 1967
Hunt Stagefield 5 E, NE 153 5 -
Louisville Stagefield 21 N 104 8 1970
Skelly Stagefield 15 W, SW 194 5 -
Stinson Stagefield 10 W 191 5 1987
TAC-Runkle Stagefield 14½ W 235 13 -
TAC-X Stagefield 13 SW 111 4 -
Toth Stagefield SE 128 5 -

Basefields and stagefields were added to Fort Rucker holdings as the years passed to support aviation training practices. The addition of new stagefields and changes to existing stagefields have been made to include additional acreage, update facilities and handle new equipment or other requirements.

The stagefields are located in several southeastern Alabama counties surrounding the Main Post. Allen Stagefield is the closest to the Daleville gate of Fort Rucker (about 4 miles SW) and Louisville Stagefield is the furthest from the same gate (about 20 miles NNE). There are 14 total stagefields including both the active and inactive sites. Most are within an eight-mile radius of the City of Enterprise. The stagefields are activated and deactivated in response to Army Aviation training requirements. The most recent additions were Brown, Stinson, and 10-C Stagefields in 1987.

10-C [Lucas] Stagefield - Lieutenant Colonel Lucas distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism while serving as the commanding officer of the 2d Battalion. Although the fire base was constantly subjected to heavy attacks by a numerically superior enemy force throughout this period. Lieutenant Colonel Lucas, forsaking his own safety, performed numerous acts of extraordinary valor in directing the defense of the allied position. On 1 occasion, he flew in a helicopter at treetop level above an entrenched enemy directing the fire of 1 of his companies for over 3 hours. Even though his helicopter was heavily damaged by enemy fire, he remained in an exposed position until the company expended its supply of grenades. He then transferred to another helicopter, dropped critically needed grenades to the troops, and resumed his perilous mission of directing fire on the enemy. These courageous actions by Lieutenant Colonel Lucas prevented the company from being encircled and destroyed by a larger enemy force. On another occasion, Lieutenant Colonel Lucas attempted to rescue a crewman trapped in a burning helicopter. As the flames in the. aircraft spread, and enemy fire became intense, Lieutenant Colonel Lucas ordered all members of the rescue party to safety. Then, at great personal risk, he continued the rescue effort amid concentrated enemy mortar fire, intense heat, and exploding ammunition until the aircraft was completely engulfed in flames. Lieutenant Colonel Lucas was mortally wounded while directing the successful withdrawal of his battalion from the fire base. This stagefield receives electrical service from Covington Electric Cooperative.

Allen Stagefield - Robert Lloyd Allen joined the Naval Reserve in October 1942 and served on active duty until June 1944, when he was discharged to accept a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He served with the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing during the Okinawa campaign in World War II. He also served in Korea. On 7 October 1960 he was commissioned in the Army and began service as an Army Aviator. He served at Fort Rucker until June 1963, when he was assigned to the U.S. Army Arctic Test Center. He died 10 August 1964 at Brooke Army General Hospital, Texas, as a result of burns and injuries from a plane crash on 4 August in Alaska. This stagefield receives electrical service from the Alabama Power Company.

Brown Stagefield - Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brown entered service as a UH-1 aircraft mechanic and was later accepted into the Aviation Warrant Officer Course at Fort Rucker. He served as an instructor pilot in Korea and then with the 101st Aviation Battalion at Fort Campbell, KY. He returned to Fort Rucker as a standardization instructor pilot and developed flight standardization procedures. He died in the crash of a UH-60 north of Elba, Alabama, while serving as an instructor pilot. This stagefield receives electrical service from Covington Electric Cooperative.

Goldberg Stagefield - Chief Warrant Officer Joseph A. Goldberg was the first cargo helicopter pilot killed in action in Vietnam. He died while flying a combat support mission. This stagefield receives electrical service from the Pea River Electric Cooperative.

Hatch Stagefield - First Lieutenant Steve E. Hatch was the first Army Aviator killed during World War II. He was a member of Flight B detachment of the Class Before One. This stagefield is currently unutilized, but receives electrical service from the Alabama Power Company when in use.

High Bluff Stagefield - This stagefield receives electrical service from the Wiregrass Electric Cooperative.

High Falls Stagefield - This stagefield is currently unutilized. This stagefield receives electrical service from the Wiregrass Electric Cooperative.

Hooper Stagefield - First Lieutenant Ono D. Hooper served with the 38th Infantry, 3rd Division, during World War II. This stagefield receives electrical service from the Pea River Electrical Cooperative.

Hunt Stagefield - William P. Hunt, Jr., enlisted in the Army on 1 July 1939 and served in a field artillery battery at Fort Monroe, VA. He was discharged to become a Cadet at West Point on 28 June 1940 and was commissioned a 2d lieutenant in the Regular Army on 1 June 1943. He served in the Coastal Artillery Corps until 1946, when he transferred to Infantry. He had brief overseas assignments in the Philippines and Korea from July 1945 through 1947. He served as the Assistant Professor of Military Science at the Citadel and at the Infantry School, Fort Benning, from 1947 to 1950. In 1951 he attended the Air Force Liaison Pilot School at San Marcos, TX. He then attended further training at Fort Sill. In February 1952 he was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division in Korea. On 21 June 1952 he was killed in action as the result of a plane crash. This stagefield receives electrical service from the Alabama Power Company.

Louisville Stagefield - This stagefield is currently unutilized. This stagefield receives electrical service from the Pea River Electric Cooperative when in use.

Skelly Stagefield - Major Thomas M. Skelly died in Germany on 11 March 1945 from wounds received in a plane crash in combat. This stagefield receives electrical service from by the Covington Electric Cooperative.

Stinson [formerly 5AB] Stagefield - Katherine Stinson was one of the true pioneers of aviation. She was an Early Bird--an association of pilots who soloed before 17 December 1916. She was the first of four children. Her initial interest in flying came from an expectation of winning prize money to pay for her education in music. After making a balloon ascent in 1911, she started taking flying lessons. Her instructor was Max Lilgenstrand (Max Lillie). He accepted her as a student after other schools rejected her because of her sex and small size. In 1912 she obtained her license, Number 148, from the Aero Club of America and became the fourth American woman to earn a license. She qualified in a Wright B. From the beginning she had a reputation for fussiness about aircraft maintenance. She blamed the death of her instructor, Max Lillie, on inattention to maintenance. In 1913 she and other members of her family formed the Stinson Aviation Company, and she began exhibition flying. She was the first woman authorized to carry mail by air, the first woman to do a loop-the-loop, and the first person in the world to make legible letters in the sky with fireworks and smoke. In 1915 she a flying school at San Antonio, TX, on 750 acres of land where they built the Stinson Municipal Airport. In 1916-1917 she became the first woman to fly in the Orient during an exhibition tour to Japan and China. Upon returning, she made a flying tour of the U.S. and raised $2 million for the Red Cross. In 1917 she set a new record for distance and duration. When the U.S. entered World War I, she wanted to fly at the front but was not allowed to do so. She served as a Red Cross ambulance driver in France, where she contracted tuberculosis and influenza. Resulting health problems forced her to retire from flying in the early 1920s. She moved to Santa Fe, NM, where she married Miguel Otero, a judge. She died in 1977 after a long illness. The company her brother founded in 1926 became part of Vultee Corporation and ultimately General Dynamics. Several Army liaison planes of World War II were made by the Stinson Division of Vultee. This stagefield receives electrical service from the Covington Electric Cooperative.

Tabernacle Stagefield - This stagefield receives electrical service from the South Alabama Electrical Cooperative.

TAC-Runkle Stagefield - This stagefield is currently unutilized. Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Runkle, enlisted and served on active duty in the Navy, 7 March 1944 to 26 June 1946. He then served in the Naval Reserve, not on active duty, until 23 December 1948, when he transferred to the Army Reserve. He served on active duty with the Army from 23 January 1949 until his death on 4 April 1968. He was appointed a Second Lieutenant of Infantry on 24 December 1948, and completed the basic officer course at Fort Benning. He then went to Korea as platoon leader and company commander with the 5th Cavalry until June 1951. He returned to the U.S. and served at Fort Jackson, SC, and Fort Bragg, NC. He completed airborne training in December 1951. In 1953 he was reassigned and spent 3 years in Germany in troop and staff duties. In 1956 he attended the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, then reported to Camp Gary, TX, for flight training. He was designated an Army Aviator on 17 January 1958. He was assigned to the Army Aviation School until 1961, when he went to Vietnam and the Army Utility Tactical Helicopter Company. In 1962 he returned to Fort Rucker and the Combat Development Command until December 1963. After Command and General Staff College, he returned to the Combat Development Command at Fort Rucker. He also served in other staff capacities until May 1967, when he left for Vietnam. He was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). On 4 April 1968, while serving as battalion commander when his aircraft was hit by hostile small arms fire, crashed and burned. This stagefield receives electrical service from the Covington Electric Cooperative.

TAC-X Stagefield - This stagefield is currently unutilized. This stagefield receives electrical service from the Wiregrass Electric Cooperative.

Toth Stagefield - Captain Toth died in the service of his country in a CH-21 U.S. Army helicopter crash during the early evening hours on a small island just south of Ben Tre, Republic of Vietnam. Medical reports from the scene of the accident indicate all seven members aboard the aircraft died instantly. Religious services were conducted on 14 January 1964 in Saigon. This stagefield receives electrical service from the Wiregrass Electric Cooperative.



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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:48:19 ZULU