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Big Spring Army Air Field

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

From Wikipedia

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.[2]

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[3] 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,[4] and it served as the Big Spring Municipal Airport for six years

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known



  • Thomas Applewhite

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 385th Bomb Group
    The Evasion of Tom Applewhite ...

  • Lonnie Babb

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 392nd Bomb Group
    Felsenthal crew Individual photo

  • Franklyn Bachman

    Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier, Navigator | 491st Bomb Group

  • Howard Bacon

    Military | 93rd Bomb Group

  • David Barlow

    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.

  • John Bedell

    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)...

  • David Bennell

    Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier | 466th Bomb Group

  • Charles Bennett

    Military | 390th Bomb Group
    Crew Number 7

  • George Blankenship

    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.

  • Frederick Bogue

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 466th Bomb Group

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Date Contributor Update
02 March 2021 18:16:45 pamccolgan Changes to person associations

Gyro Yearbook

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2021 18:13:23 pamccolgan Changes to person associations

Gyro Big Spring

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2021 15:29:58 pamccolgan Changes to person associations

Gyro Class 43-15, Big Spring Army Air Field, Big Spring, Texas. (1943). New Orleans, LA: Army Navy Publishing. doi:

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2021 14:38:59 pamccolgan Created entry with name, number, known as, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date, closure date, history, person associations and media associations

Private Collection