In what may have been the first instance of jet planes landing at what is now Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, two P-80 jet-propelled Army aircraft landed at former Harris Field on May 24, 1946.
The field at the time was being used by the government to sell off retired military airplanes. But the P-80s weren’t war surplus. Running low on fuel, the pilots landed here just ahead of a rainstorm, and one plane was damaged as a result. While the damaged craft was dismantled and shipped to Scott Field, Illinois, the other jet was flown out, the pilot using U.S. 61 as his runway.
Here are two stories about the incident. My apologizes that the photograph, copied from microfilm, isn’t of better quality.
Published Saturday, May 25, 1946, in the Southeast Missourian:
ARMY ROCKET PLANE DAMAGED IN LANDING
One of the two jet-propelled Army planes which landed at Harris Field late Friday in…