U.S. Army Air Force
Keesler Field Mississippi Sweat Shirt
Keesler Field Physical Training Sweat Shirt, above photo.
All Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines were obligated to conduct physical fitness. Most
training commands marked clothing with the base or field name with the command
specific logo.
This sweat shirt is marked U.S. AIR CORPS KEESLER FIELD MISS.
The term Air Corps was changed to Air Force in 1942, but was still used throughout World
War Two.
All Army Air Force commands were titled as "Fields" and later changed to "Bases".
The Army Air Corps/Force "Winged Propeller" logo is printed in the center of the shirt.
Logo details, left photo.
This logo is silk screened on the front of the grey cotton shirt.
In early January 1941, Biloxi city officials assembled a formal offer to invite the United States Army
to build a base to support the World War II training buildup. The War Department activated Army Air
Corps Station No. 8, Aviation Mechanics School, Biloxi, Mississippi, on 12 June 1941. On August 25,
1941, the base was dedicated as Keesler Army Airfield, in honor of 2d Lt Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr.,
a Mississippi native and distinguished aerial gunner, killed in action in France during the First World

When the War Department activated Keesler Field in June 1941, not only was Keesler getting a
technical training center, but it would getting one of the Army's newest replacement, or basic
training centers. The first shipment of recruits arrived at Keesler Field on 21 August 1941. Many
stayed at Keesler to become airplane and engine mechanics, while others transferred to aerial
gunnery or aviation cadet schools.

Keesler continued to focus upon specialized training in B-24 maintenance until mid-1944. Thereafter,
the base was directed to expand its mechanics training curricula to include other aircraft.

By September 1944, the number of recruits had dropped, but the workload remained constant, as
Keesler personnel began processing veteran ground troops and combat crews who had returned
from duty overseas for additional training and follow on assignments. Basic training wound down
very drastically after the end of World War II, and it was finally discontinued at Keesler on 30 June