Savannah Municipal Airport (Savannah, Ga.) records
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Savannah Municipal Airport (Savannah, Ga.) records

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Savannah Municipal Airport (Savannah, Ga.)
Title: Savannah Municipal Airport (Savannah, Ga.) records
Dates: 1924-1945
Extent: 2.15 cubic feet (4 boxes, 4 folders, 2 oversize folders)
Identification: MS 2114

Biographical/Historical Note

The development of the Savannah Municipal Airport began in 1928 when the City of Savannah and Chatham County jointly purchased the 730 acre Belmont tract previously owned by J.C. Lewis for $35,000. Construction began on July 27, 1929 and the airport opened on September 20, 1929 with the inauguration of air service between New York City and Miami by Eastern Air Transport. The airport's first terminal building was a trolley car. In 1932, a city resolution changed the name of the airport to Hunter Field, named for Savannah native and World War I flying ace, Frank O'Driscoll Hunter. Lighting and paved runways were added to enable for all weather landings and takeoffs. Later, three runways were constructed running north-south, east-west, and northeast-southwest; each 3,600 feet long. The runways were aligned to different wind directions: southwest, northwest/southeast and east/west.

During World War II, Hunter Field was occupied by the army air corps. In 1940, Savannah acquired a tract of land at Cherokee Hill, where the city began construction of a new airfield as a Works Projects Administration (WPA) project. This new field, named Chatham Field by the army air corps, was also occupied by the corps until the end of World War II; it was used as a bomber base. In 1948, the Chatham Field became Travis Field in honor of Air Force Brigadier General Robert Travis and his brother Lieutenant Colonel William Travis.

During the 1950s, the Savannah Municipal Airport reopened as a civilian air facility at Travis Field, leaving Hunter Field. Hunter Field is currently Hunter Army Airfield.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of records arranged in five series: airport administration, 1927-1931; bids and specifications, 1928-1936; correspondence, 1925-1945; financial, 1924-1936; and visual materials, 1928-1931. Included are correspondence, contracts and agreements, administrative records, financial records, receipts, and visual materials. The visual materials series contains drawings and illustrations from bid proposals, including illustrations of lights and beacons, and drawings of the isolux curves for the airport. There is also a drawing of an airport building and one of the pump house roofs.

The folders containing visual materials are noted as "VM" in the collection inventory.

Index Terms

Administrative records.
Airport buildings--Georgia--Savannah.
Airport construction contracts--Georgia--Savannah.
Airport drainage--Georgia--Savannah.
Drawings (visual works)
Financial records.
Georgia--Politics and government.
Letters (correspondence)
Robertson, Billy, (William Henry), approximately 1881-1964.
Runways (Aeronautics)--Georgia--Savannah.
Savannah (Ga.). City Council.
Savannah (Ga.). Park and Tree Commission.
Savannah Municipal Airport (Savannah, Ga.)
Technical illustrations (images)

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Savannah Municipal Airport (Savannah, Ga.) records and visual materials, MS 2114, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information



Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List


SERIES 1:: Airport administration, 1927-1931

This series contains general correspondence and miscellaneous about installing wells and power equipment; printed documents and airway news from the Department of Commerce informing pilots and administrators of airway reports. Also included is information about airships' landings with times and dates of landings at the Savannah Municipal Airport runway, wages for employees with amounts, names, and dates and weather reports.



11General correspondence and miscellaneous
2Printed matter
3Ship landings
5Weather reports, 1929-1930

SERIES 2:: Bids and specifications, 1928-1936

This series contains documents pertaining to the assembly of airport hangars and include contracts and agreements as well as contractor notices between airport administration and companies that produce airport landing and safety materials. The drainage file contains plans for efficient drainage around the Savannah Municipal Airport. Lighting files consist of company agreements to place lighting in and around the Savannah Municipal Airport for safe landing and business purposes.



16Assembly of Hangar
7Contract and Agreement
8Contractor Notices

SERIES 3:: Correspondence, 1925-1945

This series contains letters to business official pertaining to plans and ideas for Savannah Municipal Airport, individuals writing letters to different companies and the City of Savannah City Council, and airport-related companies writing to the City of Savannah City Council members and administrators of Savannah Municipal Airport. Also contains responses from the business officials responding to letters of agreements or contracts sent from Airport administrators or City of Savannah Council members, individuals responding back to requested information, and companies that supply airport resources responds back to requested information from Airport Administrators, individuals, and companies.






35April 1945

SERIES 4:: Financial, 1924-1936

This series contains financial records such as itemized receipts for airport expenditures, tabs for lunch or dinner for employees, and administration pay-out record to companies for services.



38December 1929
48-57January 1931-November 1931
58December 1931
81Miscellaneous, undated

SERIES 5:: Visual materials, 1928-1931

This series contains drawings and illustrations. All of the visual materials were culled from the bids and specifications series; however most of the images are undated. Each visual materials folder bears the name of the corresponding manuscript folder from which the images were removed. Most of the material is related to airport lighting. There are proposals, illustrations of lights and beacons, and drawings of the isolux curves for the airport. There is also a drawing of an airport building and one of the pump house roofs.


1Assembly of Hangar, (6 items).
Images and drawings of lights and beacons; ad for Edwards All Steel Air Plane Hangar


2Contractor notices, (1 item).
Floor plan of airport building showing office, waiting room, and restrooms


3Equipment, (5 items).
Drawing of pump house roof; illustrations of beacon; photos of lighting at Newark, NJ airport


4Lighting, (11 items).
Photos and drawings of lights and beacons; drawings of ceiling projector and equipment; drawings of isolux curves and lamp placement; airway map; photo of lighting at Lambert-St. Louis airport


5Airway map originally located in the "Printed Matter" folder of the manuscript collection and 2 oversized wiring diagrams, (3 items)


6Lighting proposals
includes both oversized and standard size materials.

Each proposal starts with a folder of regular-sized materials which is followed by at least one oversized item

Graybar-Crose-Hinds (3 items in folder; 1 oversized item)

Sperry Floodlights (3 items in folder; 3 oversized items)

American Gas Accumulator Company (2 items in folder; 2 oversized items)