View of the Past: The raising of the Army-Navy “E” flag in 1943

This week’s view shows the raising of the Army-Navy “E” flag, presented to Independent Engineering Company for excellence in the production of war equipment.  The presentation was made on Oct. 14, 1943 by Col. Malcolm Elliott in front of a crowd of about 2,000 who had assembled on the factory grounds. The company pioneered the development and manufacture of portable oxygen generators for military use during World War II.  The generators helped avoid the costly shipping back and forth of gas cylinders by bringing oxygen generation capability closer to the various battle fronts.  Independent received the award three more times on April 8, 1944, Oct. 21, 1944 and May 12, 1945.  The company, its buildings now gone, was located off of what is now Betty Lane in O’Fallon. 

(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society)