At Home Exhibit
What Things Cost in 1945:
Gasoline: 21 cents/gal
Bread: 9 cents/loaf
Milk: 62 cents/gal
Postage Stamp: 3 cents
Stock Market: 152
Average Annual Salary: $2,900
Minimum Wage: 40 cents per hour
The Veterans' Museum
War I - Louis K. Wheatley of Ripley,
Tennessee, sponsored this exhibit. Louis' Uncle and Father
were in WWI. The exhibit includes a complete uniform and field
gear of local resident C.C. Sumrow and is from the collection of
Memphis Belle Exhibit - sponsored by Judy
Beasley Hutcherson and Don Hutcherson of Nashville, Tennessee,
tells the story of the airplane, its crew, postwar history of the
Belle, and a look at the Altus Crew, who flew it to Memphis in
1946. If you're lucky, the pilot of that crew, Bob Little, just
might be at the Museum. Since we have copies of the Memphis Belle
to sell, sometimes he will sign them.
the Homefront Exhibit - sponsored by Mr.
and Mrs. Jerald Daws of Germantown, Tennessee, presents pictures and
uniforms of area veterans who served. Also included in this exhibit
are pictures of weddings where local ladies married soldiers in
training at the Base. One of these, Marty LaRoche Murphy, is on the
DAAB Board of Directors, and a staunch supporter.
DAAB Newspaper -The
Base newspaper was called Vox Prop so-named by Pvt. Erlin Lewis. Vox
Prop meant "the voice of the propellers." Thirty-six editions of the
newspaper are on display at The Veterans' Museum, located on the
former training base in Halls, Tenn. The newspapers provide a good
insight to life on the Base and in the surrounding areas as well as
their interpretation of the war news.
Exhibit - sponsored by Sonny and Pat
Higdon is literally what a living room looked like "at home" during
the '40s. From the radio and the coal stove, to the buffet and
other items, it provides a real look at rural homes in the '40s.
Even the wallpaper takes you for a walk down Memory Lane.
Another publication (not professionally published but nonetheless
interesting) was published by the Convalescent Training Program at
the Base Hospital. It was titled "On the Beam." The editor was Pvt.
N. J. Zampella. Volume 1, No. 6, dated 20 November 1944, is also on
display at the Museum. No doubt, it was typed on an Underwood
typewriter (manual, remember) that needed the keys cleaned.
The following activities were listed for the Training Program for
the week of November 20, 1944: Friday--Exercises, Current Events,
Group Games, Training Films (Military Courtesy and Personal Health
in the Jungle) classes on language, radio code, and plane
The only other publications found to date that tell about Base life
are Menus and special programs.
DAAB Art -
Pictures of at least three murals have been found. Only one mural
was left in a building on the sprawling facility that has been
preserved in the postwar period. Two were painted on 6' X 16'
wallboard in four panels. All were painted by Corporal Ernest
Berkowitz (now "Berke").
"Interrogation/Briefing" has only been located as a copy of a
picture. At the top of the picture is the following: "330BUCCTSHB.
March 8 1945 G-3925 Mural in School Building #5 Army Air Field
The mural "For the Want of a Nail" was destroyed when the Base
Library burned. It depicts how the industrial community responded to
the needs of war. It has been replicated and now is exhibited in The
Veterans' Museum on the former base.
The only original mural from DAAB is "Tribute", which depicts
combined operations on all fronts. The artist of "Tribute" was
located through an article in The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, June
10, 1945, furnished by Mrs. Ruth Baker of Halls during the first DAAB Reunion--Homecoming
"86, July 4, 1986.
The mural was, at that time, in the American Legion Building on the
former training facility. American Legion Post 161 allowed Reunion
organizer Pat Higdon to move the large mural to City Hall where it
was restored by artist Ted Lannom of Dyersburg. After searching from
July 4, 1986 until March 18, 1987, Higdon found Berkowitz (now known
as Ernest Berke) in Scottsdale, Arizona. He returned for a
rededication of the mural sponsored by The Halls High CloseUp Club
and hosted by The Town of Halls on October 25, 1987 and signed the
work of art. It will be relocated to The Veterans' Museum by the
summer of 2006.
All three murals now hang in The Veterans’ Museum in
and much more