Texas Swifters Visit The
Globe Plant


Texas Swifters visit the Globe Plant

by Phyllis Moses

The Red River Swift Wing hosted a special event on Saturday, November 3rd. It was a reunion of a sort. Many Swift owners and friends of the Swift met at the Saginaw, Texas Airport, some driving in from all parts of the State, and some flying in their Swifts, to visit the old Globe plant, where these unique aircraft were produced. A total of seven Swifts flew in including one from Denver and another from the Houston area.


Stan Price, President of the Wing, had been planning this for a long time, and the weather was more than favorable – it was perfect.  The plan was to meet at 10:00 AM, drive over to Blue Mound where the old Globe plant is, tour the plant, then go to lunch. Members of the Kennedy family, (descended from John Kennedy, founder of Globe Aircraft Corporation), met with the group. They were all enthusiastic about touring the plant, and seeing all the Swifts. Representing the Kennedy family were Tom Kennedy and his sons Dan and John J.; Jason Kennedy, son of the late John Clay Kennedy was also present. Great-grandchildren of the late John Kennedy also came to visit this historical place.



Everyone enjoyed the stories told by the Kennedy family, recounting earlier years of the Globe plant. Dan, grandson of the founder, said, “Right there is where my grand-daddy’s horse barn was. It later burned, but a building replaced it, and that’s where they built the AT10s.”  

Two former Globe employees attended the event. Herman Warkentin, former Aerodynamics and Structural Engineer, and Red Crowley, who worked in Jigs and Fixtures, enjoyed the return to the old plant.

Tennesseean Will Roberson brought a rare photo album that belonged to his grandfather, C.W. Carter, former employee of Globe. It was full of history and memories. Will also donated a booklet,  “Handbook for Employees of Globe Aircraft,” which brought a nice price in the auction. This handbook not only gave instructions about how to be a good employee, but also appeared to be a good rule of life book. One of the more humorous rules was: “Employees are prohibited from spitting on the floor of the factory or in the water fountains.” 

As our tour ended, many took one last look into the dark, empty plant. Somehow, it was easy to imagine the production line of 1946 with Swifts in various stages of completion. There were thoughts of former years when the prettiest and best of all aircraft were ready to roll out that hangar door into the bright Texas sunlight. Even though there are no lights, no sounds of busy workers, nor any promise of future manufacturing, yet what is seen and heard are the echoes of long ago when all those who worked at Globe were creating history.

The group left the Globe plant and drove back to Saginaw where lunch awaited at Pulido’s Mexican Food Restaurant. We filled the special party room and while everyone enjoyed great food, Stan presided over a little light-hearted fund raising to keep the Wing in stamps for the newsletter for one more year.

The magic of flight and romance of yesteryear formed a perfect combination for the success of the reunion--a glimpse back into the history of the Globe plant, a chance to meet with former employees and family members and a get together of RRSW members. It doesn’t get much better than that!