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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Grand Prairie in Dallas County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Grand Prairie Airfield

(U.S. Navy Flight Training Facility)

 
 
Grand Prairie Airfield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kayla Harper, July 26, 2020
1. Grand Prairie Airfield Marker
Inscription.  

The Curtiss Flying Service Corporation of New York purchased 275 acres of land one mile west of the Grand Prairie city limits in 1929. The Curtiss Wright Airport of Fort Worth-Dallas was opened on this site in 1930. Though the airport and flying school were a sensation, they closed late in 1930 due to the Depression and the field became the Grand Prairie Municipal Airport. In 1940 Lou Foote purchased the property to establish his own flying school.

The U. S. Navy chose the airfield as a primary training facility and purchased the land from Foote in June 1942 for $120,336. The naval development cost was approximately $823,000 which included two 1,500-foot hexagon landing mats, two personnel barracks, a hangar, new maintenance and operations buildings, roadways, sidewalks and utilities. About 1,000 men trained on this site during World War II, some flying at night without permanent landing lights. The field was regarded as an excellent training ground for its capabilities.

At the close of World War II, the Navy discontinued its training operations at the Grand Prairie site, using it instead as an emergency landing field.
Grand Prairie Airfield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kayla Harper, July 26, 2020
2. Grand Prairie Airfield Marker
In 1953 the Navy authorized the Department of the Army to use the installation for the air section (later the 149th Aviation Battalion) of the 49th Armored Division of the Texas National Guard. In 1962 the Army authorized the City of Grand Prairie to use 195 acres as a public airport. The city sold 127 acres in 1964 and built a larger airport south of this site. The 19th Aviation Battalion remained until 1976, when the airfield was closed.
 
Erected 1998 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 11826.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceWar, World II.
 
Location. 32° 44.255′ N, 97° 1.07′ W. Marker is in Grand Prairie, Texas, in Dallas County. Marker is on Conover Drive, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 901 Conover Drive, Grand Prairie TX 75051, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. LiveStone Lodge No. 152, F. & A. M. (approx. 0.6 miles away); Dr. H.V. Copeland Home (approx. 0.8 miles away); Old Southland Cemetery (approx. 0.9 miles away); Avion Village (approx. 1˝ miles away); Arlington Downs Racetrack and Fountain (approx. 3 miles away); P.A. Watson Cemetery
Additional Grand Prairie Airfield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kayla Harper, July 26, 2020
3. Additional Grand Prairie Airfield Marker
Dedicated to the personnel of the 149th Aviation Battalion 49th Armored Division of the Texas National Guard that served at the Old Grand Prairie Airfield from 1954 until 1976. During this period, the 149th Aviation Battalion & associated units were commanded by Col. Jack M. Plemons, Col. Norman C. Wilmeth, & Col. Dean Murray. All officers and enlisted personnel that served as pilots, machinists, mechanics and support duties, did so with honor, patriotism, and dedication in the support of their countries defense. July 1998
(approx. 3.1 miles away); Site of Arlington Downs Racetrack (approx. 3.1 miles away); Jordan-Bowles House (approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grand Prairie.
 
More about this marker. The marker is on the east side of the Grand Prairie Library.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 29, 2020, by Kayla Harper of Dallas, Texas. This page has been viewed 62 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 29, 2020, by Kayla Harper of Dallas, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 7, 2021