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Photo of the Week, 31: Visiting your aunts . . . 1935 style!

On September 9, 1935, a U.S. Army Air Corps Keystone B-5A biplane bomber touched down at the Bloomington Municipal Airport (Central Illinois Regional Airport). Though the bomber was part of the 49th Bombardment Squadron based in Langley Field, Virginia, the nature of this visit was personal. These bombers were developed in the late 1920s and were in production from 1930 to 1934. At the outbreak of World War II they had been relegated as observation aircraft.

Lieutenant Wilbur Denham (center) was here to visit his aunts, Florence Denham of 323 East Locust Street (second from left) and F. Belle Denham of 507 East Monroe Street (second from right). The two others are Denham's crew members, Cadet P.B. Williamson of Peoria (far right) and Private Carl W. Bean (far left). As to how Denham was able to make use of a U.S. Army Air Corps bomber to visit his aunts . . . the local press was silent!

Today, the 49th Bombardment Squadron is known as the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron, currently assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The snarling, drooling wolf head insignia on this Keystone bomber is nearly identical to the one in use by the squadron today.

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp is the Librarian at the McLean County Museum of History