Twentieth century photograph collection, Special Collections Department, University of Memphis Libraries
Hanger and offices of Mid-South Airways at Memphis Municipal Airport, Tennessee, 1932. Vernon C. Omlie was the manager.
Vernon Omlie, a flight instructor during World War I, and Phoebe Fairgrave began barnstorming in the Midwest in 1921. They landed in Memphis a year later, married and opened the first commercial aviation company in Memphis. Mid-South Airways, Inc. offered charters, cargo transport, aerial photography, crop dusting, and flight training. The Omlies taught hundreds to fly, including the author William Faulkner and his brothers. The Omlies and the Memphis Aero Club leased a field at Woodstock and established the first airport in the Memphis area, Armstrong Field, in 1927, Mid-South Airways offered $60 roundtrip flights to Chicago.
When Memphis Municipal Airport opened in June 1929, Mid-South Airways relocated to the new facility, part of the Curtiss-Wright complex, with Capt. Omlie as chief pilot and operations manager. Vernon Omlie continued in that capacity until his death in a plane crash in St. Louis in 1936.
"Mid-South Airways, Memphis Airport, 1932" (2021). Other images. 255.
Omlie, Vernon C.