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Viewing 3 items for Amarillo Army Air Field; Amarillo, Texas, USA

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Mechanics Training

History of Amarillo Air Field

Amarillo Air Field

Amarillo Air Force Base, formerly Amarillo Army Air Field, is located six miles east of Amarillo, Texas.

One year after the start of its construction, Amarillo Army Air Field typifies the determination and energy of the Army Air Forces Training Command, with a completed building program and a steady production of graduate mechanics and technicians, guardians of the Flying Fortresses, realized even during the latter days of 1942.

Amarillo Army Air Field is located ten miles east of the City of Amarillo, deep in the heart of the Panhandle of Texas.

Since the field was built on a typical barren plain, great care has been taken to enhance its living conditions. More than 25,000 trees, shrubs and bulbs have been planted and carefully nurtured, and in addition a systematic program of soil-erosion prevention has been established and elimination of dust during the windy season has been accomplished by sowing the entire area with native grasses.

On April 1, 1942, Colonel Edward C. Black was relieved of his command at Sheppard Field, Texas, and ordered to activate the AC Technical School at Amarillo, Texas.

Colonel Black issued General Order No. 1 on April 20 and set up his headquarters in the Amarillo Building; the permanent party was housed in the Amarillo Hotel. Field construction was started at the same time. On May 26, the War Department desginated the new installation as Amarillo Field.

The first large contingent of permanent party men arrived on the field on September 2 and the first group of potential students arrived the following day. Headquarters offices were moved to the field on September 6 and the first class of students entered upon their course of studies on September 7, under direction of Lieutenant Colonel Paul T. Hanley.

On October 22, Brigadier General Julian B. Haddon assumed command. Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin E. Cheney, the Executive Officer, soon followed the Colonel, who had been transferred to Grand Rapids, Mich. Colonel Cheney was succeeded as Executive Officer by Colonel Edgar T. Selzer, who had just returned from foreign service. Major N. C. Voshel, the Adjutant, was one of the first officers to arrive after headquarters were established.

The field was so near completion by Armistice Day, November 11, that General Haddon opened it on that day to the public, and a crowd of Panhandle citizens, estimated to number 40,000, visited the technical school to view some of the results of their outlay for war expenditures.

The official name of the field was changed on December 2 to Amarillo Army Air Field.

On December 23, the first class of graduating students were complimented upon the successful completion of their studies at the technical school by Major General Jacob E. Fickel, commanding the Third District, AAF Technical Training Command, Tulsa, Okla.

On March 6, General Haddon was ordered to Washington, D.C., for temporary duty. He was succeeded on March 18 by Colonel Edward W. Raley, with Colonel Selzer serving as Commanding Officer in the interim.

On April 19, Brigadier General H. S. Burwell brought the benefits of many years of distinguished leadership to Amarillo Army Air Field. He continued to stress the primary function of this technical school: The training of expert mechanics and technicians to service Flying Fortresses and keep them flying around the globe to assure an Allied victory.

Late in May a new activity was added to the Field with the assumption of basic training. This branch of training has grown to be one of the major activities of the Field and has as its mission the education of Army Air Forces personnel in the fundamentals of soldiering.

On July 19, Colonel John K. Gowen, Jr., assumed command, becoming the Field's sixth Commanding Officer. He succeeded Brigadier General Burwell.

Source: Transcribed from Army Air Forces Collection, "Amarillo Army Air Field: Historical and Pictorial Review: 409th Technical School Squadron, Amarillo, Texas" (item 000471), AAF Collection, (accessed 09 January 2014), July 26, 1943, page 2.

Source: Location and map from Wikipedia contributors, "Amarillo Air Force Base," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed January 9, 2014).


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Result NumberImageLocationsTitle


Amarillo Army Air Field; Amarillo, Texas, USA

Amarillo Army Air Field: Historical and Pictorial Review Click for Details
409th Technical School Squadron, Amarillo, Texas

Class book for mechanics class, 409th Technical Squadron at the Amarillo Army Air Field, Amarillo, Texas.


Amarillo Army Air Field; Amarillo, Texas, USA

Amarillo Army Air Field: Historical and Pictorial Review Click for Details
418th Technical School Squadron

Pictorial of Armarillo Army Air Field, Armarillo, Texas.


Amarillo Army Air Field; Amarillo, Texas, USA

Amarillo Army Air Field: Historical and Pictorial Review Click for Details
420th Technical School Squadron

Pictorial of Amarillo Army Air Field, Armarillo, Texas.

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