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Carl Stengel bought his first plane in 1930, long before most people even imagined getting into one. Involved in air service as early as 1924, Mr. Stengel operated Stengel's Flying School from the late 1930s until 1952. The school was first located northeast of Gainesville, in the area of today's Gainesville Municipal Airport. When the Alachua Army Airbase took over the Airport in 1941, Stengel moved to Stengel Field, located on the Archer Road on the present-day site of Butler Plaza. His students came mostly from the University of Florida; in 1937 his students made up 10 percent of UF's enrollment. Stengel was the first manager of the Gainesville Municipal Airport. This photograph preserves the beginning of regularly-scheduled airline service into Gainesville in 1945 at Stengel Field. The fare to Jacksonville was about $5. Shown are Ernest Marquis (pilot), Jack Frierson (Stengel Field operator), and Don R. Dobbins (field business manager).
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