Delta Celebrates 80 Years that Began in Monroe

Cranky is on vacation, but I’ve lined up some excellent guest bloggers for you while I’m gone. Today I have Delta’s Marie Force with a look at the past. Frequent readers know that I love the archive pieces she writes on Delta’s blog.

Here’s a little jog down Delta’s memory lane:

Monroe, Louisiana was our home from 1925—when predecessor crop-dusting company Huff Daland Dusters Delta Original Terminalmoved there from Macon, Georgia—until 1941 when headquarters moved to Atlanta. It continued to be the hub for our crop-dusting operations until 1966.

When Delta Air Service started in 1928—thanks to a $40,000 investment of the Monroe business community—operations continued in the same small building and hangar at Selman Field in Monroe. Inside the white stucco building were offices for general manager C. E. Woolman, his secretary Catherine Fitzgerald and the entomologists for the crop-dusting work. Soon, they sectioned off a small Travel Air 1929 Ad.psdwaiting room for passengers. Our first airline service was taking off!

We flew our first passengers on June 17, 1929, in a Travel Air S-6000-B monoplane from Dallas to Jackson, Miss., with stops in Monroe and Shreveport, La. Johnny Howe piloted the five-passenger plane, which had wood paneling inside the cabin, woven wicker seats, handholds instead of seat belts and windows that could open. Talk about onboard amenities!

Although our first headquarters building no longer stands, several museums in Monroe tell the story of Delta and its birthplace.

Thank you for the opportunity to post, Cranky Flier. I’m a big fan of yours too!

Marie Force is archives manger for the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum and regular contributor on Delta’s blog, Under the Wing. In celebration of 80 great years of service, Delta is offering $80 fares for travel between Monroe and select domestic cities.

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