Paying Homage to All Primary Flight Instructors in Americus, Georgia

I am getting back to Theodore Griffiths’ story.

Robert Shay Jr is the instructor in the back seat. A young cadet is flying a PT-17  over Americus, Georgia. He is not Theo because Robert Shay’s name never appears in Theo’s logbook.

PT17

Primary Flight Instructor Robert Shay Jr was teaching another young cadet to fly it. 

Flight Instructor Shay

Robert F. Shay Jr

The young cadet has to be a young RAF recruit training in Americus, Georgia, just like Theodore Griffiths DFC.

PT-17 in the background

Unknown instructor with Theo Griffiths

Stephen Shay was kind enough to send me some pictures with this message…

Pierre,

My dad was a US Army flight instructor stationed in Americus, GA from 1940-1941. He went down there from a small airfield he and others hewed out of an old orchard in Penn Yan, NY in upstate NY in the beautiful Finger Lakes. He and Harold Middlebrook and John Oliver Goodrich were from the same small town, were pilots and answered their countries call as instructors in the Army Air Corps. They all flew and instructed on Stearman PT17s. I have attached four photos taken by Robert Shay during that time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The picture of the lone pilot was Robert F. Shay Jr. He died at the age of 82 in FL in 2000. The photo of the two pilots includes Bob Shay and Johnny Goodrich, both instructors from Penn Yan, NY. The plane inflight over GA had Bob Shay in it at the time.

Dad’ flight log is extant, but I cannot locate it at the present time. I know that my Dad and his life long friend Johnny Goodrich rented a couple rooms from a family in Americus, GA. It seems that with very little seat time, many young boys were sent off to fight the war in Europe out of dozens of fields like the one in Americus. I thank God for the work these instructors and students did in preparation for combat.

Rev. Stephen Shay (USMC)

Americus-GA-700

PT-17s at Americus, Georgia

PT 17 Americus GA

Bob Shay and Johnny Goodrich

Now people looking for a PT-17 flying over Americus, Georgia, will find this blog.

I sure hope someone related to Harold Middlebrook or Johnny Oliver Goodrich would find it.

Next time Theo’s training at Americus, Georgia.

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Souther Field Revisited

This is a link to a webpage dedicated to Souther Field.

A few months ago I did not know anything about Souther Field.

Souther Field is where Theodore Griffiths got his primary training.

PT-17 in the background

A few months ago I did not know anything about Theodore Griffiths let alone he won a DFC and flew Mosquitos.

But you already know that don’t you.

Last week I did not know anything about this man who was a Primary Flight Instructor in Americus, Georgia.

Flight Instructor Shay

Robert F. Shay Jr is also seen here with a cadet in 1941 flying over Americus, Georgia. His son sent me this picture.

PT17

This is a section of the Website dedicated to Souther Field. This is one image from the Website.

There are more.

What is most interesting is that Theo left Americus on December 9th, 1941.

December 9 1941

Captain Pardue checked him out on December 6th. Theo did not fly on December 7th, 1941. On December 9th he flew in the review flight.

He rode in front…

There is the story about cadets who came to Americus in January 1942.

The Souther Cadet publication was produced by and for British Cadets receiving pilot training at Souther Field. The images below are of pages from one of the editions.

Click here.

Excerpt

T.R. and Charlotte Wellons’ Album

During WWII Souther Field in addition to being used as a training facility for U.S. pilots was also utilized as a training facility for British pilots of the RAF (Royal Air Force). During this time many local Americus families acted as hosts to these cadets. One such local couple was T.R. and Charlotte Wellons. The information and photos on this page are shared by their son Neal Wellons to whom we express our sincere thanks.

The following photos various British Cadets along with their hosts are from an album that belonged to T.R. and Charlotte Wellons.

 

Americus, Georgia, 1941

There are very few pictures of a PT-17 flying over Americus, Georgia, in 1941. I had found one yesterday. It was before December 7th, 1941.

Rare picture indeed…

Robert F Shay Jr

It was posted on this page of this Website. [broken links] I had to contact the webmaster.

Glad I did.

This is the original rare picture of a PT-17 flying over Americus, Georgia.

PT17

Primary Flight Instructor Robert Shay Jr was teaching a young cadet to fly it. 

Flight Instructor Shay

Robert F. Shay Jr

The young cadet has to be a young RAF recruit training in Americus, Georgia, like Theodore Griffiths DFC.

PT-17 in the background

Unknown instructor with Theo Griffiths

Stephen Shay was kind enough to send me some pictures with this message…

Pierre,

My dad was a US Army flight instructor stationed in Americus, GA from 1940-1941. He went down there from a small airfield he and others hewed out of an old orchard in Penn Yan, NY in upstate NY in the beautiful Finger Lakes. He and Harold Middlebrook and John Oliver Goodrich were from the same small town, were pilots and answered their countries call as instructors in the Army Air Corps. They all flew and instructed on Stearman PT17s. I have attached four photos taken by Robert Shay during that time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The picture of the lone pilot was Robert F. Shay Jr. He died at the age of 82 in FL in 2000. The photo of the two pilots includes Bob Shay and Johnny Goodrich, both instructors from Penn Yan, NY. The plane inflight over GA had Bob Shay in it at the time.

Dad’ flight log is extant, but I cannot locate it at the present time. I know that my Dad and his life long friend Johnny Goodrich rented a couple rooms from a family in Americus, GA. It seems that with very little seat time, many young boys were sent off to fight the war in Europe out of dozens of fields like the one in Americus. I thank God for the work these instructors and students did in preparation for combat.

Rev. Stephen Shay (USMC)

Americus-GA-700

PT-17s at Americus, Georgia

PT 17 Americus GA

Bob Shay and Johnny Goodrich

Now people looking for a PT-17 flying over Americus, Georgia, will find this blog.

I sure hope someone related to Harold Middlebrook or Johnny Oliver Goodrich would find it.