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

Site of Marfa Army Air Field

 
 
Site of Marfa Army Air Field Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, December 23, 2009
1. Site of Marfa Army Air Field Marker
Inscription. During World War II, The U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) established a significant number of training airfields across the state of Texas. The USAAF Western Flying Training Command selected Marfa as the site for an advanced multi-engine flying school in 1942. Due to an initial lack of supplies and properly trained personnel, the USAAF struggled at first to establish the command effectively and to provide adequate housing for those who served here.

The airfield had four hangars, five runways and a unique angled parking apron. There were also several auxiliary fields in the area. Support personnel here included a Women's Army Corps unit established in 1943 and African American troops, assigned primarily to motor pool duties. Trainees included allied Chinese flying cadets, the first class arriving in September 1944.

After Germany surrendered in May 1945, the USAAF considered deactivating Marfa Army Air Field and placed the installation on standby status. However, the need for additional transport aircraft in the Pacific Campaign temporarily extended the mission of the airfield. In June 1945, the USAAF placed the airfield in the Troop Carrier Command as home of the 818th Army Air Forces base.

The USAAF formally deactivated the base in September 1945, and the gradual exodus of the military had a devastating impact
Marfa Army Air Field marker (left) and Marfa Lights marker (right) image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, December 23, 2009
2. Marfa Army Air Field marker (left) and Marfa Lights marker (right)
Marfa Lights viewing center in background.
on Marfa. The military sold off the buildings, many later used for civilian purposes in Marfa, Alpine and other locales. Today, all that remains of the once impressive site are foundations, runways and the memories of those who proudly supported the airfield during the war.

Texas in World War II - 2007
 
Erected 2007 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13844.)
 
Location. 30° 16.518′ N, 103° 52.94′ W. Marker is near Marfa, Texas, in Presidio County. Marker is on U.S. 90, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Marfa TX 79843, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Marfa Lights (here, next to this marker); Paisano Pass (approx. 4 miles away); Marfa Stockyards (approx. 7.6 miles away); Presidio County (approx. 7.7 miles away); Presidio (approx. 7.7 miles away); Blackwell School (approx. 8.6 miles away); Humphris-Humphreys House (approx. 8.6 miles away); Fort D.A. Russell (approx. 8.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Marfa.
 
More about this marker. Marker is in parking lot of the Marfa Lights viewing center.
 
Also see . . .  Martin & Marfa, Texas. Pictures, articles and information about the Army Air Base, Gliders, Lady Bird Johnson, Movies (including Giant) and the Marfa Lights. (Submitted on January 19, 2010.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansNotable BuildingsNotable PlacesWar, World II
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 15, 2010, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,615 times since then and 92 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 15, 2010, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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