Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 6, 2008
Sen. Aldridge and his wife DeeAnn admire the painting
following its unveiling on the Senate floor.
Painting of “Tinker
Field” Dedicated at Capitol
The state Senate dedicated another original painting Tuesday morning.
“Tinker Field”, by Midwest City artist R.T. Foster,
is sponsored by Senator Cliff and DeeAnn Aldridge and commissioned
by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund.
“DeeAnn and I are so honored to sponsor this beautiful piece
of art,” said Aldridge,
R-Midwest City. “Tinker has played a tremendous role not only
in our state’s economy being the largest employer, but over
the years and even today it continues to be a strong link in our
country’s military system.”
The history of Tinker Air Force Base began in 1940 when a group
of Oklahoma City businessmen learned that the War Department was
considering the central United States as a location for a maintenance
and supply depot. City leaders offered a 480 acre site with an option
of 960 additional acres of land. On April 8, 1941, the order was
officially signed awarding the depot to Oklahoma City.
“I love this painting because it memorializes an incredible
American, Major Tinker and at the same time honors all of those
Oklahomans who work or have worked at Tinker and helped make it
the outstanding Air Force Base that it is today,” said Ford,
President of the Senate Art Fund.
During World War II, Tinker’s industrial plant repaired B-24
and B-17 bombers and fitted B-29s for combat. In 1946, Tinker was
expanded to include the Douglas Aircraft plant, which produced approximately
half of the C-47 Skytrains used in WWII. The site also produced
a number of A-20 Havocs.
Throughout the Korean conflict, Tinker continued with aircraft and
supply support to the Far East. During Vietnam, Tinker supplied
logistics and communications aid to Air Force units in Southeast
Asia. In the 1990’s, Tinker provided front-line support to
the forces engaged in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Today, the base has more than 26,000 military and civilian employees
and is the largest single-site employer in Oklahoma. It is the home
of the Air Force Materiel Command, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center,
which is the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines,
missiles, software and avionics components.
Among its distinctions, Tinker Air Force Base was the site of the
first successful tornado forecast in history, which was issued on
March 25, 1948 about three hours before a tornado hit the southeast
corner of the base. A granite marker in the Heritage Airpark on
the base commemorates the event.
Tinker Air Force Base was named in honor of Major General Clarence
L. Tinker, a native of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. General Tinker lost his
life while leading a flight of LB-30 Liberators on a long-range
strike against Japanese forces on Wake Island during the early months
of World War II.
The base lies within Senate District 42, Senator Aldridge’s
district. His wife and he married in 1984 and bought a home in Midwest
City. There he began his career as an agent with Farmers Insurance
Agency where he has been for 23 years. The Aldridge’s have
three daughters, Cara, Courtney and Chloe. Cliff is an active member
in the Choctaw Kiwanis, Midwest City Rotary and the Midwest City
Chamber of Commerce. The family attends Del City Church of Christ.
For more information contact:
Pam Hodges' Office: (405) 521-5675