This original 72' flagpole at the Sebring International Raceway marks the geographic center of Hendricks Field, a United States Army Air Force (USAAF) base that operated under the jurisdiction of the 76th Flying Training Wing from 1942-1945. Construction of the base began in July 1941, and it was named in honor of First Lieutenant Laird W. Hendricks in January 1942. Hendricks was a native Floridian and graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, who had been killed while training with the Royal Air Force in England before the United States entered World War II. The first B-17 Flying Fortress arrived at the base in January and Hendricks Field grew rapidly to accommodate the several thousand soldiers to be trained as combat crews, ground support personnel, and in other jobs essential to the war effort. Many Hendricks Field graduates paid the ultimate sacrifice in the European and Pacific fronts. The base was deactivated in January 1946, following the end of World War II. The airfield was turned over to the City of Sebring in May 1946, to become the Sebring Air Terminal. This site has been designated Hendricks Field Memorial Park to honor those who served here.