O'Fallon Progress

“The Aerofoil” chosen as name for Scott Air Base’s first newspaper

Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president.
Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president. rkirsch@bnd.com

This week, we are continuing the story of Scott Air Force Base’s first newspaper begun in 1918.

“(Cadet V.M.) Andrews must have been an experienced solicitor or a natural born circulation manager for he made the circulation jump from zero to something over 2,000 almost before we knew there was to be a paper. The job of printing the paper was given to Mr. Herman Semmelroth, Belleville’s leading printer and one of her prominent citizens. ‘The Aerofoil,’ was the name decided upon for the paper. It means an uplifting surface, but Lt. Hoffman was very careful to assure us that he had no intention of making an ‘uplifting’ organ out of his paper. He was out after ‘pep’ and the first issue fairly shrieked with it. In one short week everyone at the field found himself the victim of ‘The Aerofoil Habit.’ It became an event to be looked forward to; we could hardly wait for the mail truck to bring the papers out to us on Saturday morning. Beside it, Saturday inspections and week-end fire guard dwindled to comparative unimportance.” (To be continued next week.)

75 years ago

Jan. 22, 1942

Volunteer solicitors this week launched a drive to raise funds for the American Red Cross War Relief Fund. O’Fallon’s quota has been set at $900, and the workers are exerting every effort to raise this amount to have O’Fallon go over the top. To accomplish this everyone is urged to give until it hurts.

50 years ago Jan 19, 1967

All telephone number prefixes in O’Fallon will change from the alphabetical ME (Mercury) to the numerical 63 followed by the remaining five numbers of the regular telephone number, according to Southwestern Bell. The changeover will be made in the next telephone directory published in October 1967. This new telephone numbering plan is known as All Number Calling (ANC) and is necessary because of the tremendous growth in the number of telephones.