The facility first was used by the United States Army Air Forces as Big Spring Army Air Field, opening on 28 April 1942 as part of the Central Flying Training Command.
Activated on 26 June 1942, the mission of Big Spring AAF was to train aviation cadets in high-altitude precision bombing as bombardiers. It was one of the "West Texas Bombardier Quadrangle" schools of the Army Air Forces Training Command. The other bases in the quad were Midland Army Airfield, San Angelo Army Airfield, and Childress Army Airfield.
Construction of the Army Air Forces Bombardier School began on 15 May 1942, and the airfield received its first class of cadets (118 men) on 16 September 1942. The 79th Bombardier Training Group was the USAAF instructional unit at Big Spring AAF; the 365th Base Hq and Air Base Squadron maintained the station and commanded the ground support units. Operational squadrons under the 78th BTG were:
812nd Bombardier Training Squadron
815th Bombardier Training Squadron
816th Bombardier Training Squadron
817th Bombardier Training Squadron
The base was declared surplus and was turned over to the War Assets Administration after being closed. It eventually reverted to city control, and it served as the Big Spring Municipal Airport for six years
English Heritage's record description
Not yet known
Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 385th Bomb Group
Shot down 11 November 1943 in B-17 42-30795 'The Wild Hare. ' Bailed out near Hausden, Holland. He was the only member of his crew to evade. He and another airman were escorted to Paris by an agent code name 'Diane' of the Comet line. Hidden ona...
Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 392nd Bomb Group
Felsenthal crew Individual photo
Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier, Navigator | 491st Bomb Group
Military | 93rd Bomb Group
Military | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
Joined Sqd 10/5/43. Completed tour 8/17/44. Trans/12 RCD 8/23/44. Pilot: Smith.
Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 96th Bomb Group
Assigned to 338BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF. Flew on B-17 42-5953 'Skin & Bones', would have completed his 25 mission tour with this crew, but was hospitalised due to his sinuses, tour length being extended to 28 whilst he was laid up. Failed to Return (FTR)...
Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier | 466th Bomb Group
Military | 390th Bomb Group
Crew Number 7
Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 93rd Bomb Group
On 18 September 1944, he was flying in B-24 Swt Chrt #4250829 when it ditched into the English Channel. Blankenship was killed and his body was not found. He is commemorated on the Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery.
Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 466th Bomb Group