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The Flying Squadron of Highland Home




What's in a name?
       by Danny Moore

          Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Crenshaw County is the small town of Highland Home, Alabama, the land of the Flying Squadron.

          Often the little school with the big moniker is found among the list of schools with the most unusual names. And certainly, in a high school football world of lions, and tigers, and bears, the aviation name sticks out like a sore thumb. But, as with most great names, the name "Flying Squadron" chose its school and not the other way around.

          In the late 1930's and early 1940's the world was in a state of turmoil with major world powers secretly strategizing against each other. Small-town newspapers scared citizens with headlines that hinted at rumors of a second world war. Farmers worried about the financial losses that a war would bring. Mothers worried about their sons being sent off to die on foreign soil. But groups of teen-aged boys all over America feared for a different reason, the loss of high school football.

          In 1941 the Highland Home team was led by coach W.E. Gregory and consisted of eleven players. They were led by quarterback Joe Tranum, with Clarence Mosely, Charles Lansdon, and Frank Daniel serving as running backs and completing the offensive backfield. On the offensive line, including the end positions, were Ben T. Cauthen, Leroy Cauthen, Raymond Stringer, Amos Sexton, A.J. Ryals, Woodrow Wilson, and James Lansdon.

          Before the Highland Home boys could fulfill their gridiron duty, a duty of a different sort beaconed. All eleven players were called to serve in the United States military, each entering into the airborne division, thus earning the name of The Flying Squadron.

          Football wasn't interrupted at every school though, as the eventual cross-county rival Luverne Tigers continued to play, posting a 4-2-2 record in the 1942 season. As for the Squadron team I'm not sure what became of the players other than the tight end, my great-uncle Woodrow Wilson. He went on to play college ball for the Troy Red Wave, which is now the Troy Trojans. In Highland Home, it is still an honor to don the blue and white uniform as my dad, and I, and my younger brother all have done, and to carry on the Flying Squadron tradition.









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