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PAGE, CLARENCE EDGAR (1897-1989)

Influential in Oklahoma aviation, Clarence E. Page was born February 21, 1897, near Oklahoma City, to George Washington Page and Lucy Belle Churchwell Page. Clarence Page first turned his attention toward the skies in 1910 when he witnessed one of Oklahoma's first airplane flights. During World War I he served as a pilot in the Army Air Service, an arm of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. In 1921 he married Dorthea White of Okmulgee, and the union lasted until 1938.

Clarence Page later became involved in non-aviation-related enterprises but managed to barnstorm on weekends. He also made the acquaintance of other noted Oklahoma aviators, including Orville "Red" Mosier, Wiley Post, and Bennett Griffin. As a member of the Aviation Committee of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce he helped establish early municipal airports in Oklahoma City. During World War II Page operated flight schools that trained hundreds of pilots for the war effort. At this time he also began Page Aircraft Maintenance, Inc., which performed aircraft maintenance during World War II, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam War.

Page was the driving force behind the establishment of the Oklahoma Air and Space Museum and Hall of Fame. Founded in 1979 in Oklahoma City, the museum tells the story of Oklahoma's involvement in aerospace history and honors Oklahomans who have taken part in aviation and space exploration. Page served as the museum's director until his retirement in 1988. By the time of his death in Oklahoma City on February 13, 1989, he had been inducted into the Oklahoma Air and Space Hall of Fame and was a member of the such pioneer aviation organizations as the OX-5 Club, Order of Daedalians, and the Quiet Birdmen. In his honor Oklahoma City's Cimarron Field was renamed Clarence E. Page Airport.

SEE ALSO: AIRPORTS, BENNETT GRIFFIN, TRANSPORTATION.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Robert F. Dawson, Born to Fly: The Story of a Barnstormer From Jennies to Jets (Stillwater, Okla.: New Forums Press, Inc., 1990). Odie B. Faulk, Jennys to Jets: The Life of Clarence E. Page (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Heritage Association, 1983).

Keith Tolman

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