LETTERS  PCR #334      (August 14--20, 2006)

  • Reader corrects erroneous airport information (and Will Moriaty's response)
  • The Library of Congress calling! (and Will Moriaty's response)


    Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.

    READER CORRECTS ERRONEOUS AIRPORT INFORMATION

    To William Moriaty,
    Unfortunately your webpage states some erroneous information that has been picked up by Wikipedia. Someone keeps changing the Wikipedia page simply because your website has the wrong information. I have highlighted the erroneous information in bold and explain why it's wrong. (The writer copied extensive parts of an old La Floridiana article into his original email. --N)

    Thank you for your attention to this matter and correcting the erroneous information.

    Don Boyd,
    Miami Lakes

    Don, thanks so much for writing and for bringing this matter to my attention. I did not put anything on Wikipedia myself, but can understand how someone may have copied erroneous information from my website to do so. I forwarded your email to the original article's author (William Moriaty) for review and comment which appears below. (He's also directed me on how to correct which mistakes in which articles, which I am doing presently). It is our continued desire to bring the most accurate information to our readers, so, again, thank you for bringing this to my attention. ---Nolan

    WILL MORIATY RESPONDS:

    Dear Mr. Boyd:

    Thank you for your letter and interest in my column.

    One of the most fascinating things for me as a historian of sorts concerning Miami's aviation history is how complex and interconnected it can be. For instance, I never knew that Masters Field existed until your note, just as I never knew that Chapman Field in the Old Cutler area existed until I received a note from one of our reader, Mr. Bob Zahner.

    Adding to the mix is that I have at times read three different accounts on Miami's aviation history (two of them from official government publications, the other by a private author) that have sometimes drawn three different conclusions on the same subject.

    Whew!

    Not to mention that the same airfields have gone under various "aliases" (Miami International Airport for instance has also been known as Pan American Field, the 36th Street Airport, the 20th Street Terminal and J. Mark Wilcox Field). In addition to that, the Miami Army Air Depot (or the M.I.A.D.) was a next door neighbor (southwest of the 36th Street facility) to Miami International Airport which in turn annexed it after the Second World War..

    Nevertheless, additional research was once again needed to compare my accounting versus your own.

    You are absolutely correct that Miami Municipal Airport (a.k.a. Glenn Curtis School of Aviation, Glenn Curtis Field and Amelia Earhart Field) was on the east side of Le Jeune Road ("located on the east side of LeJeune Road between 105th. Street and Gratigney (s.i.c) Road" - Page 117, Great Airports, Miami International: 1986, Geoffrey Arend, Air Cargo News, Inc., New York, N.Y. 320 ppg.).

    On the Amelia Earhart Park confusion, I have been told by several lifelong Miami residents that the airfield bearing her name was converted into the park. Yet more research proved this to not be true either. Based on the Park's present location (basically west of LeJeune between Gratigny Drive (65th Street) and the Gratigny Parkway (SR 924) south of Opa Locka Executive Airport, it is not the same location as described immediately above and therefore can not have previously been the airfield facility.

    Therefore, score 2 for Mr. Boyd and 0 for yours truly!

    I believe that the confusion may again lie in the close proximity all of these airfields and the park had with one another.

    The most concise historical explanation I dug up on this was at a site by the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs entitled NAS Miami Opa-Locka Airport (http://dhr.dos.state.fl.us/wwii/sites.cfm?PR_ID=191). It states that by 1942, NAS Miami acquired Miami Municipal Airport and Master (or Masters) Field. The two fields were connected by a taxi way accross railroad tracks (the ones east of LeJeune that you mentioned in your letter-- a good acquaintance of mine, Davis Gandees, grew up near there in the 50's and remembers that feature).

    It later goes on to state that in 1947 Miami Municipal Airport was rededicated as Amelia Earhart Field. Inevitably the Amelia Earhart Field was closed and the site is the present day Gratigny Central Industrial Park, while Master(s) Field is the site of present day Miami Dade Community College.

    My only explanation for how people presumed that Amelia Earhart Field became the park is the fact that the City of Hialeah used the old airport's hangers to store Parks Department equipment ( Page 317, Great Airports, Miami International: 1986, Geoffrey Arend, Air Cargo News, Inc., New York, N.Y. 320 ppg.).

    There is no problem revising the text of the column, but getting it out of Wikipedia appears to be! I did not create nor Edit the April 8, 2006 References in the Opa-Locka site that you are alluding to. I tried to remove it today by logging on, but the text was encrypted in some wacky code that looked like it was from another planet. Maybe Mr. Canova can help me with that as he is a bit of a computer guru.

    Anyway, thanks for contributing to the enhanced accuracy of the article and hopefully to Miami's rich aviation history.

    Here are two other sites you might enjoy, and I'd have loved seeing those NAL 7's do t and g's myself! (my half brother piloted Boeing 727-200's for NAL close to twenty later).

    Opa-Locka Executive Airport
    http://www.miami-airport.com/html/opa-locka_facilities.html

    Race Car Schematic, Masters Field
    http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/tracks/miamimfi.html

    Sincerely,
    William Moriaty
    "La Floridiana"


    THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SEEKS OUR HELP!

    Dear William Moriaty,
    I'm an editorial assistant at the Library of Congress's Office of Publishing and I'm looking for information on the All-American Maneuvers for a book we're doing on American aviation history. Your webpage has been the only one I've come across that actually talks about what the Maneuvers were. If you know of a good source on the history of the Maneuvers, please let me know. I would surely appreciate it.

    Sincerely,
    Wilson McBee
    The Library of Congress Office of Publishing

    WILLIAM MORIATY RESPONDS:

    Dear Mr. McBee:

    Thank you for your interest in Nolan's Pop Culture Review and in my on-line column La Floridiana. It is indeed an honor to assist the United States Library of Congress on this noteworthy endeavor.

    My primary source for information on the All-American Maneuvers was the book "Great Airports, Miami International: 1986, Geoffrey Arend, Air Cargo News, Inc., New York, N.Y. 320 pg.

    Another resource who could prove invaluable is Mr. Don Boyd of Miami Springs, Florida. He has an incredible wealth on the history of aviation in the Miami area and the credentials to back it up. [His e-mail address was included in the original response. --N]

    Thanks for writing, and best of luck on your endeavors.

    Sincerely,
    William Moriaty
    La Floridiana


    To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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