If you Google “Flying Keys” today, you’re more likely to get references to a certain wizarding world. Back in 1935, however, the Flying Keys were famous aviator brothers who made a record-breaking flight of 23 days over Meridian, MS and worked out a way of refueling in the air without setting their plane on fire. Twenty years later, it seems they displayed the Ole Miss at Meridian’s Key Field one last time before flying her to Washington D.C. and turning her over to the Smithsonian. My dad was on hand in 1955 and snapped these photos.
Thanks to Meridian residents who remember these folks, I can identify a few. The man in the dark suit below, second from the right, was then the Mississippi Attorney General James P. Coleman (later Governor). Al Key appears in his military uniform, and his brother Fred Key is the tall man beside Al, holding a hat.
Below, from left to right are: Senator John Stennis, Congressman Jamie L. Whitten, unknown 1, Fred Key, Attorney General James P. Coleman, Al Key, unknown 2, unknown 3.