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Junior Civitans Learn About Roscoe Turner at Airport

Members of the Junior Civitan Club pose next to a jet at the Corinth-Alcorn County Airport Monday. (Photo by Josh Mitchell/Corinth Today)

By Josh Mitchell

Corinth Today News Editor

The Corinth/Alcorn County Junior Civitan Club visited the local airport Monday to learn about famous aviator and Corinth native Roscoe Turner.

Rob Price with the Corinth-Alcorn County Airport spoke to the approximately 20 youth about Turner’s impact on aviation.

Turner was born in Alcorn County in 1895 and farmed soybeans as a child. He attended school until the 10th grade and moved to Memphis where he worked as a mechanic. He later served as an ambulance driver in World War I.

After the war, Turner promoted aviation across the United States by taking part in airplane races and appearing in movies. He would even climb on the wing of an airplane that flew upside down, Price said.

Turner opened a flight school in Indiana and trained thousands of pilots for World War II, said Price.

He piloted airplanes for the governors of California and Nevada and was also active with the Indianapolis 500. He had a pet Lion named Gilmore who flew with him. Turner achieved world records in flying, and one of his airplanes is part of the Smithsonian.

The airfield at the Corinth-Alcorn County Airport is named in Turner’s honor.

The Corinth/Alcorn County Junior Civitan Club is brand new. It is controlled by the youth members, who are encouraged to complete three projects annually. One deals with raising awareness of a social cause, another is about the environment and the third involves providing food for families around the holidays.

The junior club has representation from all four local high schools and homeschool.

Civitan International has a center in Birmingham, Ala. that researches disorders such as autism, brain tumors, Down syndrome and epilepsy. Civitan International celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, and the local club recently marked 60 years.


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