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

Ellington Field

 
 
Ellington Field Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, August 16, 2012
1. Ellington Field Marker
Inscription. In 1917, during World War I, the Houston Chamber of Commerce lobbied the federal government to establish an air field here. Named for Lt. Eric Lamar Ellington, an Illinois aviator killed in a California plane crash in 1913, it opened in November 1917.

The site transferred to the National Guard during the 1920s, and following a fire and demolition, all that remained by the 1930s was a concrete water tank. The government retained ownership, leasing the site for grazing cattle. By the 1940s, the threat of another world conflict caused the U.S. to reactivate the base. Ellington was vital to American war planning during World War II due to its strategic location near oil refineries and the Houston Ship Channel. Construction began in 1940, and among the first improvements was a service apron believed to be the largest concrete slab in the world at the time. Troops began arriving at the modernized facility in April 1941.

Ellington was primarily a pilot training center, but navigators and bombardiers, as well as aviators from other countries, also trained here. Because the field was operational prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, one of every ten Army pilots went through its flying school in the first two years of the war. Later, the Army Air Force ran an advanced navigator training school here.

A KC-135 once used as the Zero-G Trainer for Astronauts image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, August 16, 2012
2. A KC-135 once used as the Zero-G Trainer for Astronauts
Sometimes called "The Weightless Wonder," more often called the "Vomit Comet" this is NASA's KC-135A aircraft, which was used to train astronauts and test equipment for spaceflight. The aircraft, nicknamed "the Vomit Comet," flew specific flight paths to mimic various states of microgravity. The KC-135A could fly a series of large parabolic arcs, allowing passengers to experience about 25 seconds of microgravity at the top. Elsewhere along the flight, the aircraft could give the sensation of approximately two times the force of gravity on Earth. The marker is on the other side of the display. If you look carefully you can see the back of the marker below the nose wheels.
After the war, Ellington was home to a Texas Air National Guard unit. During the Cold War, it again became an active Air Force base, primarily for navigator training. The Air Force abandoned the base in 1976, and the site has since been shared by the Texas Air National Guard, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Texas Army Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the City of Houston, which, since 1984, has used much of it for a municipal airport.
Texas in World War II, V+60

 
Erected 2006 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13820.)
 
Location. 29° 36.164′ N, 95° 10.468′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of Aerospace Avenue and Challenger, on the right when traveling north on Aerospace Avenue. Click for map. Located next to the large airplane display just inside the main gate of Ellington Field. Marker is in this post office area: Houston TX 77034, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Home and First Family (approx. 5.1 miles away); Fig Preserving Plant (approx. 5.3 miles away); Cecil and Frances Brown House
A Shot from Under the KC-135 Display Looking Out image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, August 16, 2012
3. A Shot from Under the KC-135 Display Looking Out
(approx. 5.3 miles away); First Business (approx. 5.3 miles away); Friendswood Postal Service (approx. 5.3 miles away); Friendswood (approx. 5.4 miles away); Quaker Academy (approx. 5.4 miles away); Oldest Structure Remaining (approx. 5.4 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Ellington Airport Official Website. (Submitted on August 16, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.)
2. Ellington International Airport (Texas). Wikipedia (Submitted on August 16, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.) 

3. Wings Over Houston Airshow. This annual airshow has been held at Ellington Field for many years. It is a terrific display and people come from all over to see it. (Submitted on August 16, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.) 
 
Categories. Air & SpaceWar, World IWar, World II
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. This page has been viewed 532 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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