“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pyote in Ward County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Rattlesnake Bomber Base

(Pyote Army Air Base)

Rattlesnake Bomber Base Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, June 2, 2009
1. Rattlesnake Bomber Base Marker
Inscription. Nicknamed for the numerous rattlesnake dens that were uncovered during its construction, Pyote Army Air Base was established in 1942 to train replacement crews for bombers during World War II. Located on 2,700 acres of University of Texas land, the base consisted of two 8,400-foot runways, five large hangars, and hundreds of buildings used to house 3,000 to 4,000 soldiers and 2,000 civilians.

On Jan. 1, 1943, the 19th Bombardment Group (later known as the 19th Combat Crew Training School), a heavily-decorated fighting unit from the Pacific Theater, arrived to begin training B-17 bomber crews. Pyote came to be highly regarded as a top training field, and its crews set many new records for flying hours. This reputation continued after the transition to B-29s was made in July 1944.

During the post-war years, the base served as a storage facility, at one time housing as many as 2,000 aircraft, including the “Enola Gay”, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb. Pyote also was used for a short time as a radar station, but by 1966 it was no longer economical to maintain such a large base for so small an operation, and the facility was closed.
Erected 1984 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 4204.)
Rattlesnake Bomber Base Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, June 2, 2009
2. Rattlesnake Bomber Base Marker
Once the entrance to the bomber base
31° 31.749′ N, 103° 7.866′ W. Marker is in Pyote, Texas, in Ward County. Marker is on Avenue A (Texas Route 57) 0.4 miles west of Pyote Street (Texas Route 247), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pyote TX 79777, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 381st Bomb Group (H) B17 (a few steps from this marker); Ward County (approx. 3.8 miles away); Willow Springs (approx. 11.5 miles away).
Categories. Air & SpaceWar, World II
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. This page has been viewed 392 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on October 20, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide view photo of the marker and the surrounding area in context. • Can you help?
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