Memories of Malden

Do you have a story to share from your time at Malden Army Airfield or Malden Air Base? We'd love to hear from you! Meanwhile, here are some memories of Malden that have been generously shared with us and may sound somewhat familiar to you.

"Our class had several Italian students and they loved the soft American bread. I can still remember them in the mess hall with their trays stacked high with many slices of bread. And I remember the woman (Ma) who ran the mess hall."      

     - - H.D., Class 56-B, 1954-55

H.D., Class 56-B

"Remember the place like yesterday. Especially the cadet barracks that were like converted motel rooms. Remember the rooms housed four cadets to each and had windows that went sideways until Uncle Andy, Mr. Anderson the contractor, had the place redone and then the windows went up and down. One of our class also got a small radio station started there with a range of about five miles that we found the AF Tac Officers were listening to since we played Kenton, Brubeck and the like. That is, until one night they were having a party with Mr. Anderson and one of our guys said something disparaging about the old man!"

           -- A.D., Class 57-J, 1956

A.D., Class 57-J

"I remember that whenever someone did something stupid, a silence would fall over the cadet mess hall at dinner and there would begin a tinkling of spoons on glasses. Then the name of the guilty party would be chanted by all present until the guilty party stood on his chair for all to see, and announced his error for all to hear. I remember it well because I stood on a chair one evening.

         -- R.R., Class 54-K, 1953

R.R., Class 54-K

"Landing in one piece at MAB after the T-28 night solo cross-country to Paducah!"

          -- L.F., Class 57-A, 1955-56

L.F., Class 57-A

1944,missippi river flooded all of the land,at dorena mo,our family of sharecroppers was evacuated to malden base,we were like refugrees, living at the base,we lived better than we did living in the house where we were rescued, they fed us well there at the base,better than we had at home,powdered eggs & milk was a treat,loved it,what a nice place it was,compared to the cotton fields,you folks were our heros,even with the planes dive bombing us when pickin cotton.my mom would always say 'keep your head down",keep on picking,never mind those planes,they couldnt hit us anyway, guess she was right, they came close but no accidents, all this is some memoral times,thank you malden afb, my brother joe,was so inspired with the planes, he went into the air force, i was in the marine corps,due to the nature & way we were raised,always fighting & scuffling, i later on became a professional fighter,joe became a business man, had it not been for the malden afb,saving !
 our lives,none of this would never have happened, once again afb, thank you
J & J Newsom

Newson, Flood 1944

"During one solo night flight a student pushed the T6 prop control forward (like for takeoff) and quietly glided down toward a drive-in theatre. When he came to the theatre, he pushed the throttle of the T6 forward and, of course, the engine roared like it did on take-off. There was pandemonium at the theatre; rumor had it he was so low that the silouete of the plane appeared on the screen as he flew off. No one was caught."

          -- H.D., Class 56-B, 1954-55

H.D., Class 56-B

"In 1953 and 1954, Malden was a small, rural town of mostly mature, and friendly, genuinely good people. We were a bunch of young men, eager to become something to be respected, if only in our own analyses, and we were fortunate to have lived for about seven months among these good people of Malden, Bernie, Dexter, Poplar Bluff. We were treated well, and hope that there were but few times the locals wished that we actually weren't among them.

It was never hot while we were in Malden. We did experience some of the cold. Remembering the requirement for us to "shoot" landing qualification "stages", where we flew the traffic pattern solo with the canopy fully open for the entire flight, and we practiced for grade purposes repeated landings and takeoffs for periods up to three hours, in January, with the temperature hovering around eight degrees Fahrenheit and a 100 mph wind in your face. It might better be described as damned cold. Maybe even frigid.

But we made up for it on Friday night. And again on Saturday night. We covered much of the local and not-so-local areas on those occasions. It was never cold on Friday night. Or on Saturday night.

You know, we were never bored during our brief stay with you. And we never met a person in the Malden area that we didn't like. You treated us well. Missouri has some mighty fine folks. We were young then, but hopefully we always tried to be gentlemen. We hope we didn't cause you too much concern. Thanks for having us!"
          
    -- J.C., Class 54-Q, 1953-54

J.C., Class 54-Q

"I remember doing tail spins over a field of people who were picking cotton, and watching them hurridly run for cover as the downward spiraling plane approached the point of recovering from the spin."

          -- H.D., Class 56-B, 1954-55

H.D., Class 56-B

I was an Aviation Cadet with 55-A Class; the best time of my life was in Malden AFB. I remember one funny thing--I was the first Cadet to be a member of the Malden Ladies Club. I was graduated with 57B Class in Reese AFB. This year we have our 50th Anniversary. I am retired from the Peruvian Air Force with the rank of Colonel.

-R.V.M. Class 55-A

R.V.M., Class 55-A

I was an aviation cadet a MAB in December 1943 and January 1944 then went on to Stuttgart and stayed most of '44 as an instructor in twin engine advanced flying training.  I was teaching students that came from Malden and other basic training fields. I think that Malden was feeding cadets to us all during '44.

   -- L. Moore Class 44-C

L. Moore, Class 44-C