Second Sunday talk looks at Ft. Omaha role in WW1

Mar 5, 2014

An event this weekend in Omaha focuses on the city’s role in training for World War 1.

The Douglas County Historical Society is sponsoring the Second Sunday talk. It’ll focus on Fort Omaha’s role in military balloon observation training leading up to World War One.

Cassandra Zywiec, Community Outreach Manager for the Historical Society, says a balloon signal corps school opened at Fort Omaha in 1905.

"It was then closed down in 1913. But in 1917, when the United States declared war on Germany, it was decided that they would reopen the balloon school here at Fort Omaha due to the facilities that we had here, most notably the hydrogen plant."

Zywiec says anyone who wanted to pilot one of the balloons had to come to Fort Omaha for training.

Author David Bristow and John Ellis Peterson, whose father trained at Fort Omaha, are the Second Sunday speakers. More information is available at