Danny Wilson: Cadet Training

Danny Wilson started his Army Air Force career at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri (February 1943). By then, the army had started sending cadets to area colleges to get some of the “ground school” studies out of the way–something new since his older brother Dale had enlisted the summer before.

Danny was part of the first group to take classes at the Iowa State Teachers College at Cedar Falls, Iowa, from March to April 1943.


Then he was sent to Preflight at Santa Ana, California from May to August.


Ryan Field, Tucson, Arizona

Danny had been in the Army Air Corps for several months when he finally got to fly, During September and October, in a PT-22, logging almost 65 hours.


danny (2)

pt22 (2)

Caption for Dan’s picture: Minburn, Iowa. Probably posed for the “six months after” photo in the Charles Atlas ads–bulging muscles and Indian tanned, Dan could flick a bicep with the greatest of ease. . . .


Marana Field, Tucson, Arizona

During November and December, Danny trained in the BT-13 and the AT-6 in Basic, totaling 135 flying hours. His brother Dale also flew the BT-13 a year earlier.



Williams Field, Chandler, Arizona

Danny flew the AT-6 (see above, right) at Williams Field, with almost 217 hours before he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Force and awarded his wings.



  1. Dale and Dan sure had to work hard to get to fly those planes. Grandma and Grandpa Wilson must have been very proud. Thank you for another great story about the family.

  2. I love this description: “bulging muscles and Indian tanned, Dan could flick a bicep with the greatest of ease. . . .” Is “flicking a bicep” a midwestern turn of phrase? I’d never heard it before.

    • Someone at the Arizona base wrote that about him. Their oldest brother, Delbert Wilson, got them started lifting weights during the Depression. Danny and Junior especially enjoyed working out with them, delighted when they found some at a new base. Danny and Junior also did farmwork without shirts!

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