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The Fort Sumner Army Air Field Museum Exploratory Committee

On Saturday, July 27, 2013, the first meeting of the FSAAF MEC was held in beautiful, historic Fort Sumner, New Mexico.  We had six persons present.  Our next meeting will be in September or October.  This article appeared in the DeBaca County News as a follow-up to the meeting.

FSAAF Museum Exploratory Committee held a very good first meeting

John W. McCullough, Graduate Student in History, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

 July 31, 2013

The Fort Sumner Army Air Field Museum Exploratory Committee (FSAAF MEC) held its first meeting on Saturday, July 27, 2013 and had very good results.

Currently, the committee has twelve members:  Karla Hunt, City Councilman Joe Lovato, Denise Cones, Dan Craig, Josephine Lucero, and Betty Berry.  Laurie Pettigrew of the Fort Sumner Chamber of Commerce is a member as well as Allen Sparks of the Fort Sumner Community Development Corporation.  Johnny Eastwood and his wife Aileen are members from Clovis.  John McCullough is a member from Lubbock.  Bill Stepp of NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility also is a member.  Dr. Steven Gamble, President of Eastern New Mexico University, is a supporting member.

At the first meeting, these six persons were in attendance:  Karla Hunt, City Councilman Joe Lovato, Johnny and Aileen Eastwood, Hugo Franco of NASA CSBF (substituting for Bill Stepp), and John McCullough.  Many committee members could not attend due to vacations, business commitments, or personal engagements.

The meeting was held at the Fort Sumner Library Activity Center.  The meeting started at 1:00 p.m. and ended at 3:00 p.m.

Karla Hunt took on the positions of Secretary as well as interim Chairperson.  City Councilman Joe Lovato will handle Government Relations.  Other positions on the committee and the persons who hold them will be announced in the next article.

Several goals were discussed about the future WWII museum and those will be announced publicly in upcoming articles after more members have had a chance to review them.

Two of the ancillary goals for the committee will be to research and submit the paperwork to the New Mexico Historical Society for historical markers to be placed at the Coronado Motel and at the former front entrance to FSAAF.  The cabins of the Coronado Motel came from barracks at FSAAF.  John McCullough will take the lead on this goal.

Another goal of this committee will be to have murals painted on several buildings in Fort Sumner which will tell the various stages of the history of FSAAF.

An international goal of the committee will be to request that the city of Fort Sumner become “sister cities” with a similar sized city in Normandy, France.  John McCullough will head up this goal and select some candidate cities in Normandy where a glider landing occurred during the D-Day operations which started on June 6, 1944.

The next meeting of the FSAAF MEC is scheduled tentatively for Saturday, September 21 or Saturday, October 5, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. at the Fort Sumner Library Activity Center.

More about FSAAF and the Museum Exploratory Committee’s work to open a museum are available online at under the FSAAF link.

Readers are reminded of the National WWII Glider Pilots reunion in Kansas City, Missouri September 12-14.  More information can be found online at

If you have information about FSAAF, please call John McCullough at 806-793-4448 or email him at

Those members of the FSAAF MEC present at the first meeting were:  (back row) Fort Sumner City Councilor Joe Lovato, Hugo Franco (sitting in for Bill Stepp of NASA CSBF, and John McCullough of Texas Tech; (front row) Aileen Eastwood and Johnny Eastwood, both of Clovis, NM.  Photo taken by Karla Hunt, Interim Chairperson and Secretary.

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