Spalsbury Field Made Official At Dedication Ceremony

The crowd was lined on the tarmac Saturday to celebrate the newly named Safford Regional Airport-1LT Duane Splasbury Field. The City Council approved the name change in February.

“I’m very humbled and very honored that he’s been recognized for this; he loved this place,” said Julie Cluff, Spalsbury’s daughter.

Spalsbury’s family was on hand to receive the plaque honoring the name change, and see the city given a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from Fiona DeYoung, aid to U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz.

Guest speaker was State Senator Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff, who served as one of the U.S. Air Force’s first 100 female pilots and retired as a Lt. Colonel. She talked about her respect for Spalsbury, who was a fighter pilot with the Army Air Corps during World War II. She also talked his community engagement after the war.

“He dove right in to participate in civic activities,” Rogers said. “If not for him, we wouldn’t have the wonderful medical center that we have here in Safford.”

Following the dedication of Safford Regional Aiport-1LT Duane Spalsbury Field, particiapnts gathered for a group photo. Pictured are, from left. Fiona DeYoung, aid to U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani; Safford City Council members Luke Arbizo and Dusti Brantner; state Sen. David Gowan; Safford Mayor Richard Ortega, holding the Certificate of Congressional Recognition from Ciscomani; Airport Manager Cameron Atkins; Spalsbury’s daughter, Julie Cluff, holding the plaque with the airport’s new name; Safford Vice Mayor Arnold Lopez; State Sen. Wendy Rogers, who was the day’s keynote speaker; and Eric Swanson, owner of the T-6 Texan World War II training airplane behind the group. – David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

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