"William Calvin Maxwell was born Nov. 9, 1892 in Natchez, Ala. An Army ROTC student at the University of Alabama, he left in 1917 to enlist in the Army. He received his commission in April 1918, after completing flight training at Kelly Field, Texas. In 1919, he was assigned to the 3rd Aero Squadron, Philippines. On August 12, 1920, engine trouble forced Lt. Maxwell to attempt to land his DH-4 in a sugarcane field. Maneuvering to avoid a group of children playing below, he struck a flagpole hidden by the tall sugarcane and was killed instantly. On the recommendation of his former commanding officer, Maj. Roy C. Brown, Montgomery Air Intermediate Depot was renamed Maxwell Field on Nov. 8, 1922.
The Reserve Officer Training Corps was created by the National Defense Act of 1916. Air Force ROTC has its roots in seven Army Air Service ROTC units established at land-grant colleges in the 1920s. The program was significantly expanded after World War II and again in 1964. Air Force ROTC is the Service's largest and oldest source of commissioned officers, recruiting and educating thousands of officer candidates each year at colleges and universities nationwide. The Junior ROTC program provides citizenship training to high school students in the United States and the Department of Defense schools around the world. Maxwell Air Force Base has been home to Headquarters, Air Force ROTC since 1956." -Alabama Historical Association marker, 1995.