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    Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi Is Named After This WWI Hero. Do You Know His Story?

    Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi Is Named After This WWI Hero. Do You Know His Story?

    As one of the most important training grounds for the United States Air Force, Keesler Air Force  possesses quite a history. Yet, few are familiar with the man behind its namesake, 2Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler Jr.

    Keesler was born on April 11, 1896, in Greenwood, Mississippi to an affluent family. His father was a cotton broker and owned a mansion nearby nicknamed “Cottonlandia.”

    Throughout his high school years, Keesler proved himself an exceptional leader, student and athlete. He continued his academic pursuits at Davidson College in North Carolina, hoping to one day teach in secondary schools. During this time he also served as president of the student body.

    While Keesler pursued his studies,  became embroiled in the horrors of World War I. In the midst of the global conflict, airplanes emerged as a powerful tool of warfare, evolving from reconnaissance planes to heavily armed fighters and bombers engaged in dramatic aerial battles.

    With the sinking of the Lusitania and German attempts to manipulate  into attacking the U.S., America joined the Allied forces in April 1917. Although millions enlisted in the military, only a select few embraced the field of aviation.

    Eager to contribute, Keesler enlisted on May 13, 1917, even skipping his college commencement to do so. He underwent training as an aerial observer at Sill, Oklahoma, and was commissioned as an officer on August…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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