Wedell-Williams Airport in Patterson

James R. Wedell and Harry P. Williams established the Wedell-Williams Air Service in Patterson, Louisiana, in 1929. The company expanded its transport routes as far as Dallas, Houston, and St. Louis. Wedell's aircraft designs brought the company renown through air races held across the country. The renamed airport and its museum preserve Louisiana's aviation history.

Origins of the Wedell-Williams Air Service

In 1928, Harry Williams, lumberman and former mayor of Patterson, LA, met Menefee Airways pilot James (Jimmy) Wedell. Wedell gave Williams flying lessons. The two instantly became friends despite their highly dissimilar backgrounds. Wedell came…

Origins of the Patterson Airport

After the formation of the Wedell-Williams Air Service, Harry Williams established a base of operations on what was once Calumet Plantation by clearing a sugarcane field. This airport offered hangars and a grass landing field, but it also featured…

Duties of the Wedell-Williams Air Service, Patterson

The air service at Patterson performed transportation and maintenance services and built the racing planes which brought fame to Wedell-Williams. The Air Service’s routes usually started and terminated in New Orleans, but Patterson’s connection to…

Wedell-Williams Air Service Makes Its Mark

The Wedell-Williams Air Service pilots entered air races across the country from 1928 through 1935. These races kept the viewers in suspense as the aircraft circled the pylons that marked the race course. The crowds usually only saw a portion of the…

End of the Wedell-Williams Air Service, Patterson

Jimmie Wedell would never enter the MacRobertson Race from England to Australia. The Gypsy Moth in which he was giving a lesson crashed just outside of Patterson on June 24, 1934. Wedell died instantly. The funeral procession led from Patterson to…