A Vision for San Angelo

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Col. Michael L. Downs, 17th Training Wing Commander, spoke during the Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Bentwood Country Club 14 June.

The luncheon supports businesses in and around San Angelo and congratulates outstanding Airmen from Goodfellow Air Force Base.

The luncheon began with an afternoon meal followed by presentations from Chamber of Commerce sponsors. Downs spoke about historicity of San Angelo and how it has been impacted by Robert Carr.

“Carr was a World War I veteran in the Army Air Corps. His contacts with the Army Air Corps was a way to support [the creation of Goodfellow],” said Downs. “With the backing of city officials and using Army contacts in San Antonio, he presented his case. He pointed out that San Angelo would be an ideal for climate training, but unfortunately, Carr was up against a pretty harsh reality, and that was that the Army had the money for the base but did not have money to procure the land.”

Downs went on to explain the relationship that was developed between Carr and the people of San Angelo and how they made Carr’s dream possible.
“Undeterred, Carr met with the board of city development, explaining that it would behoove San Angelo considerably if it somehow bought the land.”

Downs explained further that the 640 acres of land was procured for the construction of the Goodfellow even the name of the base is representative of the giving and receiving nature between Goodfellow and the community. He also used the opportunity to implore the Leadership San Angelo graduates to be visionary leaders like Carr.

“One of the differences between good and great leaders is that they have vision. Good leaders focus on the here and now. Carr was more than just a visionary leader. When they wanted to name the base after him he said, “Absolutely not.” He insisted that it be named after a local hero.” Referencing Lt. Goodfellow after whom the base became known. According to an eye-witness at least five enemy aircraft engaged Goodfellow's Salmson 2A-2 reconnaissance plane, shooting away one wing and downing the aircraft after a furious dogfight

After his speech, Downs recognized Airmen from the base. The luncheon finished with a presentation to the graduating class of LSA, recognizing them for their commitments in their courses and contributions to the community.