Stearman PT-17 training
aircraft on the taxiway at
the Lodwick School of Aeronautics
The Lodwick School of Aeronautics in Lakeland. Florida and the Lodwick Aviation Military Academy in Avon Park, Florida were two of the many civilian owned flight schools in the United States under contract to the Army Air Corps in the years before and during World War II. Both of the schools, owned by aviation executive Albert Lodwick, were contracted to provide primary flight training to aviation cadets for service in the Army Air Corps. The Lodwick School of Aeronautics accepted its first students in September 1940 and the Lodwick Aviation Military Academy opened in October of 1941.
The Army Air Corps contracted with the civilian aviation schools in response to the outbreak of war in Europe and the shortage of trained pilots in the Corps. The agreements with the schools stipulated that the army would provide the cadets, the aircraft, and an approved curriculum. Everything else was to be provided by the civilian contractor. Everything else included army approved instructors, flight and ground school instruction, food, office space, recreational facilities, medical facilities, hangars, and an adequate airfield.
The Lodwick Aviation Military Academy closed in August 1944 and the Lodwick School of Aeronautics the following August. During its three years of operation, the Lodwick Aviation Military Academy hosted 5098 cadets, of whom 3418 graduated. The Lodwick School of Aeronautics had nearly 9,000 trainees, of whom 1,327 were British Royal Air Force cadets. More than 6,000 of the Lodwick School of Aeronautics cadets graduated and went on to advanced flight training and service in the Army Air Corps.
What was once the site of the Lodwick School of Aeronautics is now known as Tiger Town, the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers. baseball team.