The Air-O-Mech is a newspaper published at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (known at the time as Seymour Johnson Field) during World War II. It is now on DigitalNC thanks to our partner Wayne County Public Library. The paper’s first issue was published on January 8, 1943 and asked readers to submit a name for the paper and have a chance to win $5 if their name was selected. The initial paper also quotes Brigadier General Walter J. Reed’s support of the paper, with him stating “This field newspaper widens the scope of our news service. It will let you know about changes in Army regulations which concern you. It will describe the services available to you and your dependents through the Red Cross, the Army Emergency Relief and other agencies. It will tell you about your fellow soldiers, and pass on to you information on what is happening on the field.”
The headlines in the paper display both the humor of those stationed at Seymour Johnson as well as the seriousness of serving during the war, alternating between things such as “Hold Your Hats, Gang, All-Girl Revue is Here!” and “GI Wash Day Blues to End” (on a story about a new laundry facility opening) to “In our time of trial give us strength.” On the whole though, the paper definitely leans towards a light-hearted take on life on the base, and even includes in one issue a handy guide on how to get married in Wayne County where the base is located and the excitement over a new soda fountain being installed in the service cafeteria
The issues now on DigitalNC cover January 1943 to January 1944 and joins a number of other military newspapers on our site.