Texas World War II Army Airfields

Texas World War II Army Airfields

Infobox Military Structure
name=Texas World War II Army Airfields
partof = World War II
location=
coordinates=


caption=
type=Army Airfields
code=
built=1940-1944
builder=
materials=
height=
used= 1940-Present
demolished=
condition=
ownership=
controlledby=United States Army Air Forces
garrison= Army Air Force Training Command
commanders=
occupants=
battles=
events=
In today's United States Air Force, nearly every Airman and Officer has spent some of their military service being trained in Texas. Be it basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, technical training, officer training, or flight training, Texas is indeed, the "Home of the Air Force" with the headquarters of Air Education and Training Command being located at Randolph Air Force Base, near San Antonio.

Overview

This tradition of training goes back to the very beginnings of the Air Force, with early fight training being held at various Army camps and airfields in Texas prior to World War I, and in the 1920s and 1930s.

From the poorly armed and understaffed United States Army Air Corps that existed at the time the first bombs were dropped on Pearl Harbor, the United States produced, just a few years later, the greatest Air Force the world has ever seen. The effort to achieve this was unprecedented.

During World War II, the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) established numerous airfields in Texas for training pilots and aircrews of USAAF fighters and bombers.

Most of these airfields were under the command of Fourth Air Force or the Army Air Forces Training Command (AAFTC) (A predecessor of the current-day United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command). However the other USAAF support commands (Air Technical Service Command (ATSC); Air Transport Command (ATC) or Troop Carrier Command) commanded a significant number of airfields in a support roles.

To build the facilities needed to train personnel, a massive land acquisition program was carried out. Often families who had lived on their land for generations were forced to move with little notice, their homes and buildings sold off or bulldozed into the ground so construction could begin. Within six months a small city replaced the farm or vacant land and training would start.

Typically the airfields were built from scratch on farm or vacant land and contained several hundred buildings of all descriptions. These training fields were small self contained towns that differed according to their use, but in many ways were the same. They varied in size from about convert|2000|acre|km2 for a basic flight training base to more than convert|65000|acre|km2 for a base used to teach gunnery. Thousands of men and women lived and worked on the bases either as trainers, trainees, support personnel, or family members.

The facilities vital to the training mission were constructed first and that part took about six months. Throughout the war, they were constantly improved to make living more comfortable and the training more efficient. Construction was of wood, tar paper, and non-masonry siding. The use of concrete and steel was limited because of the critical need elsewhere. Most buildings were hot and dusty in the summer and very cold in the winter.

Most fields had hangars, barracks, warehouses, hospitals, dental clinics, dining halls, and maintenance shops. There were libraries, social clubs for officers, and enlisted men, and stores to buy living necessities. Some training fields had swimming pools, all had sport fields.

It is still possible to find remnants of these wartime training fields. Many were converted into municipal airports, some are industrial parks, and others were retained as United States Air Force installations. Hundreds of the temporary buildings that were used survive today, and are being used for other purposes.

Texas, due to its warm climate and excellent year-round flying weather, had numerous training airfields constructed there. The following list is a compilation of the major and minor airfields that can be determined. Numerous auxiliary airfields were also built, mostly to handle the excess amount of air traffic at the major bases, but also so pilots could practice touch-and-go landings without disrupting the traffic pattern at the main bases. I have not included these auxiliary bases, mostly because they cannot be found or located and they have long since returned to agricultural use.

After the war, many of the airfields were returned to civil control. Others became United States Air Force bases. Some retained their training mission as part of Air Training Command; some became massive storage depots of reserve aircraft; others became front-line bases with Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command.

Major Airfields

Army Air Forces Training Command
* Amarillo/English Field AAF, Amarillo: Western Technical Training Center: Was: Amarillo Air Force Base (1947-1969): Now: Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport Airport codes|AMA|KAMA
* Big Spring AAF, Big Spring: Central Flying Training Command: Was: Big Spring Air Force Base (1947-1952): Was: Webb Air Force Base (1952-1977): Now: Big Spring Mc Mahon-Wrinkle Airport Airport codes|BGP|KBGP
* Jones Field, Bonham: Central Flying Training Command: Now: Jones Field Airport Airport codes|F00
* Bryan AAF, Bryan: Central Flying Training Command: Now: Coulter Field Airport Airport codes|CFD|KCFD
* Childress AAF, Childress: Central Flying Training Command: Was: Childress Air Force Base: Now: Childress Municipal Airport Airport codes|CDS|KCDS
* Corsicana Field, Corsicana, Texas: Contractor Flying School: Now: Corsicana Municipal Airport Airport codes|CFD|KCFD
* Cuero Field AAF, Cuero: Now: Cuero Municipal Airport Airport codes|T71: Contractor Flying School
* Ellington AAAF, Houston: Central Flying Training Command: Was: Ellington Air Force Base (1947-1959): The facility was used by the USAF Reserve and Texas Air National Guard units
and was known as Ellington AFB until 1984: Now: Ellington Field Airport codes|EFD|KEFD|EFD
* Fort Worth AAF, Fort Worth: Central Flying Training Command: Was: Fort Worth Air Force Base (1947): Was: Griffis Air Force Base (1948): Was: Carswell Air Force Base (1948-1993): Now: (1993-Pres)
* Foster AAF, Victoria: Central Flying Training Command (1943-1946) : Was: Foster Air Force Base (1953-1969): Now: Victoria Regional Airport Airport codes|VCT|KVCT|VCT :: Aloe AAF, Victoria:: Sub-base of Foster AAF] :: Airfield Closed:: Matagorda Island Bombing Range:: Sub-base of Foster AAF:: Was: Matagorda Island Air Force Base (1949-1975):: Now: Closed
* Garner APT, Uvalde: Contractor Flying School: Now: Garner Field Airport Airport codes|UVA|KUVA
* Gibbs AAF, Fort Stockton: Contractor Flying School : Now: Fort Stockton-Pecos County Airport airport codes|FST|KFST
* Goodfellow AAF, San Angelo: Central Flying Training Command: Now: (1947-Pres)
* Harlingen AAF, Harlingen: Eastern Flying Training Command: Was: Harlingen Air Force Base (1947-1963): Now: Valley International Airport airport codes|HRL|KHRL
* Hondo AAF, Hondo: Central Flying Training Command: Was: Hondo Air Force Base (1951-1958): Now: Hondo Municipal Airport Airport codes|HDO|KHDO
* Kaufman County Apt, Kaufman: Contractor Flying School: Now: Flying G Airport (Private) Airport codes|28SX
* Lamesa APT, Lamesa : Contractor Flying School: Now Lamesa Municipal Airport airport codes|2F5 (Closed)
* Laredo AAF, Laredo: Eastern Flying Training Command (1942-1946): Was: Laredo Air Force Base (1952-1973): Now: Laredo International Airport Airport codes|LRD|KLRD
* Laughlin Field AAF, Del Rio: Central Flying Training Command: Now: (1947-Pres)
* Louis Schreiner Field, Kerrville: Joint USAAF/US Navy Contractor Flying School: Now: Kerrville Municipal Airport Airport codes|ERV|KERV
* Lubbock AAF, Lubbock: Central Flying Training Command: Was: Lubbock Air Force Base (1947-1949): Was: Reese Air Force Base (1949-1997): Now: Reese Airpark Airport codes|8XS8 :: Abernathy Field, Abernathy:: Auxiliary of Lubbock AAF:: Glider Training School:: Now Abernathy Municipal Airport Airport codes|F83
* Marfa AAF, Marfa: Central Flying Training Command: Now: Closed and abandoned
* Midland AAF, Midland: Central Flying Training Command: Now: Midland International Airport airport codes|MAF|KMAF
* Mineral Wells AAF, Mineral Wells, Texas: Contract Flying School: Was: Wolters Air Force Base (1947-1956): Now: Mineral Wells Airport Airport codes|MWL|KMWL
* Moore Field AAF, Edinburg: Central Flying Training Command: Was: Moore Air Force Base (1951-1962): Now: Moore Field Airport airport codes|7TE7
* Pampa AAF, Pampa: Central Flying Training Command: Now: Closed
* Pecos AAF, Pecos: Western Flying Training Command: Now: Pecos Municipal Airport Airport codes|PEQ|KPEQ
* Pounds Field, Tyler: Contractor Flying School: Now: Tyler Pounds Regional Airport airport codes|TYR|KTYR

Army Air Forces Training Command
* Perrin AAF, Denison: Central Flying Training Command (1942-1945): Was: Perrin Air Force Base (1952-1971): Now: North Texas Regional Airport airport codes|GYI|KGYI :: Gainesville AAF, Gainesville:: Sub-base of Perrin AAF:: Now: Gainesville Municipal Airport Airport codes|GLE|KGLE
* Randolph AAF, Universal City: Central Flying Training Command: Now: (1947-Pres):: Brooks AAF, San Antonio:: Sub-base of Randolph AAF:: Was: Brooks Air Force Base (1947-2002):: Now: (2002-Pres):: Alamo Field AAF, San Antonio:: Auxiliary of Randolph AAF:: Now: San Antonio International Airport airport codes|SAT|KSAT
* San Angelo AAF, San Angelo: Central Flying Training Command: Now: San Angelo Regional Airport airport codes|SJT|KSJT
* San Marcos AAF, San Marcos: Central Flying Training Command: Was: San Marcos Air Force Base (1947-1955): Was: Gary Air Force Base (1955-1956): Was: Camp Gary (United States Army) (1956-1963): Now: San Marcos Municipal Airport Airport codes|HYI|KHYI:: Kileen AAF, Fort Hood:: Auxiliary of San Marcos AAF:: Was: Camp Hood Air Force Base (1947-1949):: Now: Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport Airport codes|HLR|KHLR
* Shepard Field/Wichita Falls AAF, Wichita Falls: Western Flying Training Command: Now: (1947-Pres)
* Terrell Field, Terrell: Contractor Flying School: Now: Terrell Municipal Airport airport codes|TRL|KTRL
* Waco AAF, Waco: Central Flying Training Command: Was: Waco Air Force Base (1947-1951): Was: Connally Air Force Base (1951-1965): Now: TSTC Waco Airport Airport codes|CNW|KCNW:: Blackland AAF, Waco:: Sub-base of Waco AAF:: Now: Waco Regional Airport Airport codes|ACT|KACT|ACT:: Temple AAF, Temple:: Auxiliary of Waco AAF:: Now: Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport Airport codes|TPL|KTPL
* Wink AF Aux Field, Wink: Western Flight Training Center : Auxiliary of Hobbs AAF, New Mexico: Now: Winkler County Airport Airport codes|INK|KINK

Fourth Air Force
* Abilene AAF, Abilene (1942-1947): Was: Abeline Air Force Base (1953-1955): Now: (1953-Pres):: Avenger AAF, Sweetwater:: Sub-base of Abilene AAF:: Now: Avenger Field Airport Airport codes|SWW|KSWW
* Biggs AAF, El Paso: Was: Biggs Air Force Base (1947-1966): Now: (1973-Pres)
* Brownsville MAP, Brownsville: Now: Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport Airport codes|BRO|KBRO|BRO
* Dalhart AAF, Dalhart: Now: Dalhart Municipal Airport Airport codes|DHT|KDHT|DHT
* Galveston AAF, Galveston: Now: Scholes International Airport at Galveston airport codes|GLS|KGLS
* Majors Field AAF, Greenville: Now: Majors Airport Airport codes|GVT|KGVT
* Pyote AAF, Pyote: Was: Pyote Air Force Base (1947-1954): Now: Closed and abandoned
* Brownwood AAF, Brownwood: Auxiliary of Muskogee AAF, Oklaholma: Now: Brownwood Regional Airport airport codes|BWD|KBWD

Troop Carrier Command
* Del Valle/Bergstrom AAF, Austin: Was: Bergstrom Air Force Base (1947-1993): Was: Bergstrom Air Reserve Station (1993-1996): Now: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Airport codes|AUS|KAUS|AUS
* Dodd AAF, San Antonio: Part of Fort Sam Houston: Used for Troop Transport : Now: Closed, part of built-up area of San AntonioAir Technical Service Command
* Cox Field, AAF, Paris: Now: Cox Field Airport Airport codes|PRX|KPX
* Eagle Pass AAF, Eagle Pass: Maverick County Memorial International Airport Airport codes|5T9
* Hensley Field/NAS, Dallas: Joint use with United States Navy: Was: Naval Air Station Dallas: Now: Closed
* Duncan/Kelly Field AAF, San Antonio: Was: Kelly Air Force Base (1947-2001): Now: (2001-Pres)
(Controlled by Lackland AFB):: San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center, San Antonio:: Auxiliary to Kelly Field AAF (1946-1947):: Now: (1947-Pres)
* Palacios AAF, Palacios: Now: Palacios Municipal Airport Airport codes|PSX|KPSX
* South Plains AAF, Lubbock: Now: Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport airport codes|LBB|KLBB
* Stinson Field APT, San Antonio: Now: Stinson Municipal Airport airport codes|SSF|KSSF
* Van Horn MAP, Van Horn: Now: Culberson County Airport airport codes|VHN|KVHN

Air Transport Command
* El Paso MAP, El Paso: Joint Use USAAF/Civil Airport: Now: El Paso International Airport Airport codes|ELP|KELP|ELP
* Love Field, Dallas: Joint Use USAAF/Civil Airport: Now: Dallas Love Field Airport Airport codes|DAL|KDAL|DAL

See also

* Fourth Air Force
* United States Army Air Forces
* Oklahoma World War II Army Airfields
* Kansas World War II Army Airfields
* Nebraska World War II Army Airfields

References

* Freeman, Paul (2008) [http://members.tripod.com/airfields_freeman/TX/Airfields_TX.htm Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Texas]
* Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
* Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.
* Thole, Lou (1999), Forgotten Fields of America : World War II Bases and Training, Then and Now - Vol. 2. Publisher: Pictorial Histories Pub, ISBN 1575100517
* [http://www.airfieldsdatabase.com/WW2/WW2.htm Military Airfields in World War II - Texas]

External links

* [http://aafcollection.info AAFCollection.info] has class books from several WWII Army Air Fields in Texas.


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