O'Fallon Progress

Scott Field’s first name was ‘Aviad’

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

Scott Air Force Base and its predecessor, Scott Field, was named after Cpl. Frank S. Scott, the first enlisted man to lose his life in a military aviation accident.

But during the few months before its official naming in 1917, it was unofficially called “Aviad,” which was also the name of the Southern Railroad station there.

Before “Scott” was settled on, there was apparently some local debate as to what it should officially be called. In late June 1917, the Progress reported that the Belleville Board of Trade suggested the name “Belleville Aviation Field.” Progress editor Marcel Kuehn was not keen on that idea.

“Even though the Board of Trade secured the option on the site, the land owners made the deal a possibility,” he noted. “It would be just as feasible to connect O’Fallon with the name, as we are closer by three miles.”

Kuehn suggested “Shiloh Valley Aviation Field,” since that’s where it was actually located. Ultimately, the Army Signal Corps chose “Scott Field” instead.

75 years ago June 18, 1942

O’Fallon’s streets are undergoing scarifying preparatory for the application of a coating of oil to eliminate the dust nuisance. Oiling will begin next week, providing it quits raining. Many housewives will be disappointed, however, as the city is unable to secure a supply of sawdust which was applied in other years to eliminate the considerable mess being carried into homes.

50 years ago June 15, 1967

The O’Fallon fire department is cooperating with the Civil Defense storm warning alert system but (the siren) will not be sounded unless there is definite information of a funnel cloud sighted in the area. The signal is a steady three-minute blast of the fire siren. When the signal is given, a piece of mobile equipment will be moved to the remote parts of town where the siren is not normally heard.