Scope and Content Note
Cadets on the flight line at the Lodwick
Aviation Military Academy in Avon Park
The materials in this collection were donated to the Special Collections unit of the Lakeland Public Library by some of the thousands of cadets, instructors, and military and civilian staff (or surviving family members) assigned to the Lodwick School of Aeronautics in Lakeland and Lodwick Aviation Military Academy in Avon Park. The donations were generated as a result of an exhibit at the Lakeland Public Library and the publication of Pilots in the Sun, a pictorial history of the two schools by former Special Collections Librarian, Waneta Sage-Gagne.
Both the book and the exhibit were to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Lakeland (later Lodwick) School of Aeronautics in 1940. As many of the cadets, instructors, and staff as could be located were invited to attend the opening of the exhibit at the Lakeland Public Library in September 1990. They were also invited to bring with them, and to consider donating to the Special Collections unit of the Lakeland Public Library, any memorabilia and/or photographs from their days at either of the two schools.
This collection is the result of that solicitation. More than eighty former cadets, instructors, and staff from the two schools donated originals or photocopies of photographs, letters home, samples of v-mail, diplomas, flight log books, identification cards, shoulder patches, written and oral reminiscences of their days at the schools, flight manuals, school yearbooks and other publications, and a cadet's uniform cap.
After processing, the collection was divided into two series: Memorabilia and Photographs. Series I, Memorabilia, 1940-2005, contains everything donated by the former students and staff of the two schools except photographs. Series II, Photographs, 1941-1945, contains photographs and photocopies of photographs documenting activities at the two schools.
Much more detailed photographic and documentary information relating to the Lodwick School of Aeronautics can be located in the Albert I. Lodwick Papers, RG 2700 and the Albert I. Lodwick Photo Collection, P700.