During World War II, Black Hills State University, then known as Black Hills Teachers College (BHTC), became a training ground for the U.S. air power needed to win the war. Now, artifacts from that time in the University’s history will return to campus through a gift from Terry Neil King of Barrington, Ill.
Beginning in March 1943 and continuing for 14 months, 1,000 cadets were stationed and educated on the BH campus with the U.S. Army Air Force 93rd College Training Detachment (CTD). Nationally there were 150 CTDs. BHTC was the only college in South Dakota that provided this cadet training.
Terry Neil King, the person donating the artifacts, is the son of the late Neil L. King who served as the adjutant and later the commanding officer of the 93rd CTD stationed at BH. Neil L. King saved newspaper clippings and photos from WWII and also wrote a history of the detachment.
With help from the late Roberta Sago, special collections librarian and archivist at the Leland D. Case Library for Western Historical Studies at BHSU, Terry Neil King connected with Paul Higbee, local author and historian, also a BHSU alum, and the two are currently writing a history of the collection.
Earlier this month, Terry Neil King and Paul Higbee gave a presentation on the collection for the Spearfish Area Historical Society. BHSU President Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., attended the presentation. Terry Neil King brought a unique artifact to the presentation – the flag of the 93rd CTD that flew while the detachment was stationed on campus.