Rome, Ga., April 23, 2015 – The Georgia Historical Society announced today that they will dedicate a new historical marker recognizing one of the pioneer aviators of the United States Navy, Georgia native Admiral John Henry Towers.
On display at the dedication will be the original flag that Towers used on his flagship, the NC-3, during his historic trans-Atlantic crossing in 1919. Now owned by Berry College, the Flag was given to Martha Berry by Towers following the flight to serve as inspiration to students. This will be the first public showing of the flag as it was lost for many years and only recently discovered.
Speakers for the dedication include Mr. Howard Lowden, Chairman of the Admiral John H. Towers Memorial Committee, and Elyse Butler, Membership and Outreach Associate for the Georgia Historical Society.
The marker is erected by the Georgia Historical Society, the City of Rome, and the Rome Area Heritage Foundation. The dedication will be held at 10:30 a.m. on April 24 at 701 Broad Street, Rome (across from the Rome Chamber of Commerce).
The dedication is open to the media and to the public. The marker reads:
Admiral John Henry Towers
John Henry Towers was born at this site on January 30, 1885. Reared in Rome, Towers graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1906. As one of the Navy’s pioneer aviators, Towers set early records for flying. Preceding Charles Lindbergh’s historic solo nonstop flight in 1927, Towers organized and led the first successful group trans-Atlantic air crossing in 1919. His work in training naval pilots using land planes instead of seaplanes anticipated the use of military aircraft carriers. As Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics (1939-1942), Towers organized Naval aircraft procurement prior to and during World War II. Later he served as Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet. A Navy Cross and Navy Distinguished Service Medal recipient, Towers was the first career naval aviator to reach flag rank. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.