Makeover at Halls Reveals Some American History
A recent makeover to our Halls, TN facility reveals a pretty cool story behind the history of these buildings and the land it sits on. It all started almost 80 years ago during WWII when the War Department became interested in building an air base in Halls, TN. In just a years’ time and 2,400 acres of land, they built over 300 buildings of various sizes and uses, 3 long runways (6,167’), extra large parking ramps, navigational aids and taxi ways. Essentially, a city was built on what was cotton fields just a year earlier.
The airfield was in operation from 1942 – 1945. It’s primary purpose was to train pilots for combat flying in the war. This was where thousands of airmen took their last statewide training before going into combat overseas. Training received here in flying B-17 Flying Fortresses played a key role in preparing U.S. bomber crews for combat in World War II.
In 1946 soon after the war was ended, the land was dismantled and sold but some of the buildings, structures and runways remain today. In fact, 51 years ago our main plant here in Halls was built right on top of a large compass that was stamped into concrete and is still visible on our factory floor today. The compass, which could be seen through a window in the cockpit, would be used as a reference to line up the plane, as its points were all true, North, South, East, and West.
Additionally, what was the barracks on the base is now used as our sales office and is located right across the street from our main plant. We’ve since given it a fresh coat of paint and new windows, but the structure remains the same. The inside of the old barracks/new sales office is decorated with old pictures and memorabilia as a tribute to the old airbase. There’s even a museum on the grounds with its own historian. Most exciting is the runway that is still open (overseen by the county) today and sits right outside our main building. Some of our customers have even flown right in for a visit!
So, if you’re ever in need of some innovative packaging or displays, feel free to fly right in and check out our shiny new building and learn a little about American History in Halls, Tennessee while you’re here!