Chattanooga Flyers

Explore the development of Chattanooga’s municipal airport in over 700 newspaper clippings, photos, and spectacular annual air show memorabilia.

Noting the presentation of the Marr Flying Field scrapbook, Jack McAfee, of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority , worked with me to present newspaper scrapbooks donated to the airport over 15 years ago.

Additional content was found and donated by Paul Ibach of the Hixson Aviation Flying Club.

All content comes from collections created by members of the Chattanooga Flyer's Club, established in 1939. Once one of the largest flying clubs in the country, its membership dwindled and was inactive by 2011.

Newspaper Clippings
Air Show Memories
John Lovell

Sourced from a Dec 9, 1929 article in the Chattanooga News titled FOLKS YOU OUGHT TO KNOW:

Meet John Lovell, a native Tennessean. Through his affiliations with many organizations, Mr. Lovell has done much for the civic life of this community, and has headed and sponsored movements which have resulted in bringing thousands of dollars into Chattanooga. Born in Big Creek, Giles County, Tennessee, this Chattanoogan never even saw a train until he was 7 years of age, and had only been inside a hotel a couple of times when he was made assistant manager of the Maxwell House in Nashville.

Mr. Lovell came to Chattanooga in 1910 as auditor of the Hotel Patten, promoted to assistant manager in 1912, and in 1918 was named vice-president and general manager. Lovell was president of the Kiwanis Club, Community Advertising Association, Chattanooga Golf and Country Club, Chattanooga Convention Bureau and Tennessee Hotelmen's Association. He was vice-president of the Dixie Highway Association.

Among Lovell's outstanding accomplishments was his fight for an adequately equipped and fully funded airport. He carried on this work as chairman of the airport committee of the Chattanooga’s Chamber of Commerce. In recognition of his service the city named the new municipal airport "Lovell field."

Lovell’s magnetic personality and drive propelled many projects for the city. At his passing in 1947, The Times wrote that “ the 25 years preceding his passing, Mr. Lovell assisted and guided practically every important civic project in Chattanooga.”

“I can see John Lovell now – shaking hands with people as they wandered in and out of the Hotel Patten...”

Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (IATA: CHA, ICAO: KCHA, FAA LID: CHA) (Lovell Field) is owned and operated by the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority.

Major improvements were completed in 1964 to ensure Chattanooga would be ‘jet age’ ready.

In May of 2021, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport officials said work could start early next year on a $28 million terminal expansion – the largest in more than three decades.

Smilin' Jack Mosley

Zack Mosley (1906-1993)

This look back cannot be told without mentioning the master of ceremonies at Chattanooga air shows of the 1940s.

Inspired by a mail plane that flew over his boyhood home in Oklahoma, Mosley created a comic strip full of characters based on real people and drawings portraying aircraft in realistic detail.

The aviation adventures of 'Smilin' Jack' was syndicated in over 300 newspapers for 40 years, 1933 to 1973. As much admired for its delineation of contemporary aircraft as for its pretty girls - Mosley called them 'de-icers' - the strip inspired many young male readers to become air-minded during the depressed Thirties and war-torn Forties, and received honors and citations from both the United States Air Force and the Civil Air Patrol.

Correspondence from the later years of the CFC


 This is where history comes to live.

Far too often, history is lost in settlement of estates or thrown away by well-meaning family members. Many public institutions and organizations are not set up to share, but rather to archive and garner donations.

 Why Chattanooga­ is different.

No-charge photo & negative scanning is available for qualifying materials such as true photo (non-digital) prints, negatives, glass plate negatives, and 35mm slides.

I started this website in 2014 with the goal of sharing high-resolution historic photos from this region; invested in professional digital scanners, and other tools to ensure donated or loaned photos are quickly digitized. Originals and/or digital copies are provided back to you.

You or the original photographer (if known) are fully credited.

 How to contact me.

If you have qualifying historical photos to digitize and share - use the CONTACT form for a quick response.

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