It was the summer of 1941. World War II was raging in Europe. While not involved in the conflict directly, the US was doing what it could to help. This included training British pilots.
Very rapidly, the acreage provided free of charge by George L. Coleman would be transformed into barracks and hangers. In a matter of months, Miami had this proud facility in place.
By October 26, the RAF pilots had arrived and begun training. But pilot training was a dangerous business, and in all 13 British students lost their lives, and are buried in Miami’s cemetery.
On December 7, of course, the US entered the war. The Spartan School was ramped up to include training for American pilots.
There was a shortage of able-bodied men during the war, so Spartan sought out their own version of Rosie the Riveter.
The school began training civilian pilots in June, 1944.
After the war ended, the school closed up shop. It was still a useful place, though, being used to house veterans taking advantage of their GI bill to get an education at NEO.
In 1947, the school reopened, with services offered in servicing and repairing airplanes as well.
On May 24, a mid-air collision took place involving a Spartan student who was soloing, killing three. This incident evidently cast a pall over the school. While no official closing was announced in the News-Record, this was the last time the school was referred to as a running business. Five years later, in 1954, Crane announced that they would be opening up shop in the empty Spartan facilities, that would permanently close the chapter of the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Miami.