Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

West Texas

© 2002, © 2014 by Paul Freeman. Revised 7/22/14.

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Delaware Springs Intermediate Field (revised 4/23/12) - Hudspeth Intermediate Field (revised 4/23/12) - Milehigh Community Airport (revised 3/4/13)

Pyote AAF / Pyote AFB / Pyote Airfield (revised 7/22/14) - Salt Flat Intermediate Field (revised 4/23/12)

Win Field (revised 9/27/05) - Worsham Airport (revised 11/4/13)



Worsham Airport, Worsham, TX

31.36 North / 103.53 West (Southwest of Pecos, TX)

Worsham Airport, as depicted on the September 1952 El Paso USAF Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

Photo of the airfield while open has not been located.

 

This small, short-lived airfield was evidently established at some point between 1949-52,

as it was not yet depicted at all on the February 1949 El Paso Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).

The earliest depiction of the Worsham Airport which has been located

was on the September 1952 El Paso USAF Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

The Aerodromes table on the chart described Worsham as having 2 unpaved runways, with the longest being 2,400'.



Clifford Kidd recalled, “Worsham's strip was used for cropdusting since it was built back in the 1950s.

Worsham used to be the biggest cropdusting operator in the Pecos River Valley.

My father bought a Piper Pawnee from him years ago.

It was one of the first cropdusting aircraft to be converted for liquid spray work as well.

This little field has always had a dirt runway.”



 

The August 1955 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of David Brooks)

depicted Worsham as having a 2,400' unpaved runway. 

 

Worsham was apparently closed at some point between 1955-58,

as it was no longer depicted at all on the March 1958 El Paso Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy)

or listed among active airfields in the 1963 TX Airport Directory (courtesy of Steve Cruse).



The 1971 USGS topo still depicted “Worsham Airfield” as having 2 runways,

with several buildings along the west side of the field.



The 2 runways were still depicted on the 1980 USGS topo map,

but they were labeled simply as “Landing Strips”.



As of the 1996 USGS aerial photo,

the airfield consisted of 2 paved runways (the largest is 3,100' long) and several buildings.



A 6/17/97 photo by Scott Murdock looking southeast at the Worsham Field hangars.



A series of 2007 photos by Cole Perkins of the hangars at the site of Worsham Field.

Cole reported, “The runway that runs north to south has been maintained (graded dirt strip),

but the one that runs east west is still visible, but apparently is not used anymore.

The windsock had 'Agricultural' printed on it.

It looks like it is used by a crop dusting service, but no planes were visible.”



A circa 2010 aerial view looking north at the hangars & runway remains at at the site of Worsham Field.



Hudspeth Intermediate Field, Hudspeth, TX

31.8 North / 105.63 West (East of El Paso, TX)

The Hudspeth Intermediate Field was depicted as “Landing Field” on the 1943 USGS topo map.



This field was one of the network of Intermediate Fields which were constructed in the 1930s by the Department of Commerce,

for emergency use of commercial aircraft along Airways between major cities.

 

The date of construction of the Hudspeth Intermediate Field has not been determined.

The earliest reference to the field which has been located

was in the 1934 Department of Commerce Airfield Directory (according to Chris Kennedy).

It described the Hudspeth field as having 2 sand runways in an "L" shape,

with the longest being the 3,960' east/west runway.



The earliest depiction which has been located of the Hudspeth Intermediate Field was on the 1943 USGS topo map.

It depicted 2 unpaved perpendicular runways, labeled as “Landing Field”.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Hudspeth Intermediate Field

was on the February 1949 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted the "Hudspeth (CAA)" airfield as being Site 4 along the El Paso - Fort Worth Airway.

 

The Hudspeth airfield was evidently closed at some point between 1949-62

(which was an earlier closure date than other nearby Intermediate Fields)

as it was not listed in the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory.

 

The Hudspeth airfield was not depicted at all on USGS topo maps from 1975, 1979, or 1985.

 

In the 1996 USGS aerial photo, the outline of the 2 runways at Hudspeth were still barely recognizable:

one running east/west along the south end of the field, and another running north/south along the east side.

There were no remaining signs of any former airfield buildings at the site.



Two 2006 photos by Clifford Bossie of remains at the site of the Hudspeth Intermediate Field.

The top picture shows the remains of the air route arrow,

and the bottom picture shows the concrete base for the beacon or generator shack.

Clifford reported, “I passed by the Hudspeth Intermediate Field today.

I was on the lookout for the field & found it easily

as I could see the concrete base for the beacon, generator shack & the air route arrow from the highway.

The arrow points East along the airway.

The foundations are only about thirty feet south of US 62/180, but are just inside a fence line.

The airfield itself lies on private property & as I did not have permission to enter I was unable to walk the perimeter.

However, it is laid out in a similar manner to Mt Riley Intermediate,

but unlike Mt. Riley it does not appear that there are any boundary markers still in place.

There were a few pieces of angle iron around the foundation that might be remnants of the beacon tower.

The runways are hard to distinguish from the ground,

but the north/south runway runs up towards the highway & can be seen as a slight variation in the density of vegetation.

It is more noticeable if viewed from the air.”



In a 4/1/08 aerial photo, the outline of the 2 runways at Hudspeth were still barely recognizable.



The site of the Hudspeth Intermediate Field is located along the south side of Route 62,

10 miles west of Cornudas, TX.

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Delaware Springs Intermediate Field, Salt Flat, TX

31.86 North / 104.54 West (East of El Paso, TX)

"Delaware Springs (CAA)",

as depicted in the February 1949 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

 

This field was one of the network of Intermediate Fields which were constructed in the 1930s by the Department of Commerce,

for emergency use of commercial aircraft along Airways between major cities.

 

The date of construction of the Delaware Springs Intermediate Field has not been determined.

The earliest reference to the field which has been located

was in the 1934 Department of Commerce Airfield Directory (according to Chris Kennedy).

It described the Delaware Springs field as having 2 dirt runways in a cross shape,

with the longest being the 3,960' northeast/southwest runway.

 

The February 1949 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted the "Delaware Springs (CAA)" airfield as being Site 11 along the El Paso - Fort Worth Airway.

 

The 1963 TX Airport Directory (courtesy of Steve Cruse) described the Delaware Springs "FAA Site"

as having 2 turf runways, with the longest being the 3,900' Runway 5/23.

A single hangar & a pump shed were depicted at the southwest corner of the field.

 

The designation of the Delaware Springs airfield apparently changed at some point between 1949-63,

as it was listed in the 1963 AOPA Airport Directory (according to Chris Kennedy) as "Site 9".

 

The 1967 TX Airport Directory (courtesy of Brad Stanford)

also listed the Delaware Springs airfield as "Site #9".

 

The 1973 USGS topo map depicted the Delaware Springs airfield, but it was unlabeled.

It also depicted a narrower set of runways,

which had apparently been overlaid at some point over the wider original runways.

 

The Delaware Springs airfield was evidently closed at some point between 1967-82,

as it was no longer listed in the 1982 AOPA Airport Directory.

 

In the 1996 USGS aerial photo, the outline of the original, 550' wide runways were still barely apparent.

Within these outlines, the more recent, narrower runways were much more distinct.

The "pump shed" at the southwest corner of the field appeared to still be standing, but not the hangar.



A 4/1/08 aerial photo looking northeast showed the Delaware Springs runways to remain quite intact.

At the bottom-right, the pump shed appeared to remain standing. Next to it is the foundation of the hangar,

along with what appears to be a red concrete arrow identical to the one seen at Hudspeth Intermediate Field.



The site of the Delaware Springs Intermediate Field is located 11 miles southeast of Nickel Creek,

in an area so remote that the nearby roads are not labeled on maps.

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Salt Flat Intermediate Field, Salt Flat, TX

31.75 North / 105.09 West (East of El Paso, TX)

An undated aerial view (note the wing strut at right) from a December 1948 magazine article (courtesy of Jerry Sorrell)

of what appeared to be “a weather bureau on the field” at Salt Flat.



This field was one of the network of Intermediate Fields which were constructed in the 1930s by the Department of Commerce,

for emergency use of commercial aircraft along Airways between major cities.

 

According to the Handbook of TX Online, the Salt Flat Intermediate Field was constructed in the early 1930s,

after an American Airlines plane crashed in the nearby Guadalupe Mountains.

The Federal government built the emergency landing strip in Salt Flat

so planes could land when fog enveloped the mountains.



According to TexasEscapes.com, “An early passenger airplane crash in 1932

prompted the government to create an emergency landing field at Salt Flat.

FAA personnel manned the field 24 hours a day.”



The earliest directory reference to the field which has been located

was in the 1934 Department of Commerce Airfield Directory (according to Chris Kennedy).

It described the Salt Flat field as having 3 sandy landing strips forming a "L" shape,

with the longest being the 3,000' north/south runway.



Jan Tomas recalled, “My father's (Wesley Mosley) contribution to the WWII effort...

He was chief of a CAA station in Salt Flat, Texas, halfway between El Paso & Carlsbad.

I lived there during the war years in government housing with my parents.

Fighter planes landed & took off all day long and sometimes at night during an emergency.

I remember a couple dozen or more parked alongside the runway at times,

their tails about less than half a football field away from out back door.

I was told pilots flew out from El Paso to gather up hours & practice takeoffs & landings before being sent overseas.

It was not uncommon to see tall black smoke plumes from an airplane crash rise high into the sky.

Dad was often called to report & deal with those crashes, many in the Guadalupe Mountains.

He was in his mid-30s, and in charge of the entire operation from air traffic control to weather observation/prediction.

At one point the doctor ordered him off the job for 6 weeks because he had developed an ulcer, which bothered him all his life.

He also became partially deaf from the radio noise. Those were his war wounds.

My father & his crew of about 4-6 people handled an unbelievable amount of air traffic.”



The earliest depiction which has been located of Salt Flat Airfield

was an undated aerial view (note the wing strut at right) from a December 1948 magazine article (courtesy of Jerry Sorrell)

of what appeared to be “a weather bureau on the field” at Salt Flat.



Weather data was recorded at the “Salt Flat CAA Airport” starting in June 1948 (courtesy of Jerry Sorrell).



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Salt Flat Airfield

was on the February 1949 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted the "Salt Flat (CAA)" airfield as being Site 8A along the El Paso - Fort Worth Airway,

and depicted the Salt Flat Radio (a 4-way radio range) as also being located at the field.



David Finnell recalled, “ I taught (other) young men to fly from the Salt Flat Intermediate Landing Field.”



The 1955 USGS topo map depicted “Salt Flat Airfield” as having 2 perpendicular unpaved runways,

and a cluster of small buildings & a beacon along the southeast side.



Weather data was recorded at the “Salt Flat CAA Airport” ending in December 1957 (courtesy of Jerry Sorrell).



The 1963 TX Airport Directory (courtesy of Steve Cruse) described the Salt Flat "FAA Site"

as having 3 turf runways, with the longest being the 3,960' east/west runway.

 

The Salt Flat airfield apparently closed at some point between 1963-67

(as more reliable aircraft made the more remote intermediate fields unnecessary),

as it was not listed among active airfields in the 1967 TX Airport Directory (courtesy of Brad Stanford).



The 1984 USGS topo map depicted the outline of the western portion of the former Salt Flat airfield.

It also depicted the Salt Flat VOR as “Radio Facility”.



In the 1996 USGS aerial photo, the outline of the Salt Flat airfield was still quite distinctive.

The transmitter beacon of the Salt Flat VOR (which had replaced the original Salt Flat Radio 4-way radio range)

was also visible in the center of the photo.



The Salt Flat VOR remained in operation as of 2003.



A 2006 photo by Clifford Bossie of the wooden “X” on the east end of the former Salt Flat runway, which marks it as closed.



Clifford Bossie reported in 2006, “Salt Flats is very noticeable from US 62/180.

The beacon tower used to be visible from the road

and when we would take family trips to Carlsbad Caverns I would always say 'I need to photograph that while it is still there.'

Well I didn't & now it is not there. Live & learn.

Anyway, I drove up the east side of the field & about halfway down the north side.

The entire area is fenced in with barbed wire that was probably put up when the field was operational.

There is a wooden 'X' on the east end of the runway to designate it a closed field.

If there were any buildings on the field itself they are long gone,

but the concrete 'cradles' for the generator fuel tanks are still noticeable on the south side of the field.

There is also a pole supporting the skeleton of a windsock on the west part.

The runways, though visible are choked with growth.”



A 2006 photo by Clifford Bossie of the former windsock skeleton on the western portion of the former Salt Flat airfield.



A circa 2006-2010 aerial view looking north at the remains of the Salt Flat Intermediate Field, with the VOR on the right.



The site of the Salt Flat Intermediate Field is located northwest of the intersection of Route 62 & Ranch Road 1576.

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Win Field, Fort Stockton, TX

30.89 North / 102.83 West (East of El Paso, TX)

Win Field, as depicted on the June 1944 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

Photo of the airfield while open has not been located.



The date of construction of Win Field has not been determined.

The earliest reference to an airfield at this located

was in the 1934 Department of Commerce Airfield Directory (according to Chris Kennedy).

It described the "Fort Stockton Airport" as being located

"3 miles due east of Fort Stockton on the south side of the paved highway; one-half mile northeast of cemetery."

It described the airfield as consisting of a 2,800' square gravel & sod field.

 

The site of this original Fort Stockton Airport was reused during WW2 as Win Field.

According to The Handbook of TX Online, Win Field was used during WW2 as an auxiliary field

for the use of Gibbs Field (which became the present-day Fort Stockton Airport).

The Pacific Air School conducted primary flight training under contract to the military at Gibbs Field,

using the PT-17 biplane.

Win Field was named for Fort Stockton resident H. L. Winfield.

 

The date of activation of Win Field is unknown,

but the contractor flight school at Gibbs Field itself was in operation from 1942-44.

 

According to John Voss, the "USN/USAAF Directory of Airfields 1944"

described Win Field as being 3.5 miles east of the town of Fort Stockton,

adjacent to US 290, and having a 5,400' sod runway.



The earliest depiction of Win Field which has been located

was on the June 1944 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted “Win” as a commercial/municipal airport.



"Win" was depicted on the 1949 El Paso Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy)

as having a 5,400' unpaved runway.



Win Field was not depicted at all on the 1954 USGS topo map.



Butler Tyler recalled, “Airfield at Fort Stockton... I lived at the hangar location from 1961-66 during my high school years.

The hangar & land was in operation as a dynamite supplier to seismographers all over TX & NM.

My Dad drove a delivery truck to them & we lived in a trailer house out at the site doubling as night watchman.

The long caliche road away from the hangar ended at a series of truck trailers the held the dynamite sticks & blasting caps.

The road back to the magazine trailers was one of the runways.

Davenport Body Shop had an aerial photograph of 7D Farms that included the airfield & you could see the runways plain on it. ”

 

Win Field was not depicted at all on the 1965 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss).

No airfield at all was depicted at the location on USGS topo maps from 1970, 1973, or 1982.



The 1996 USGS aerial photo showed that the presumed hangar was located on the north end

of what was still a clearly defined 2,700' square parcel.

A straight path leds away from the hangar toward the southeast,

but there were no other signs of any former runways.

 

A series of 2003 photos by Richard Lindsey of the remains of a hangar at Win Field.

 

The remains of a hangar at Win Field were photographed by Richard Lindsey in 2003.

He found it along the south side of the service road on the south side of Interstate 10

at about mile marker 262-263, which is just east of Fort Stockton.

"A casual inquiry at a gas station gave me little info other than there used to be a training field there.

There don't appear to be any runways."

 

"I was also told a story of how you could go out in some of the fields and find '50 cal' shells on the ground".

That would seem unusual, if Win Field was a contractor-operated primary flight school, operating unarmed biplanes.

 

Lindsey described the site: "The building itself is impossible to miss if you're traveling on I-10,

since there's hardly anything else to look at in the immediate area.

It sure looks like it could have been a hangar,

although I haven't been any closer than the roadside.

There appear to be pockets for rolling doors, although the doors are gone.

I didn't look to see if there are floor tracks.

There is a much newer metal shed built right next to it that might have taken over whatever duty the old building once had.

There were no obvious signs of a ramp or runway,

though I suppose that they might now be under the service road or interstate."

 

Richard Lindsey provided further details about Win Field in 2004.

"On my last trip past, I found out that the Pecos County Shooting Range is located adjacent to the old hangar.

That is the straight-line structure positioned a few hundred yards southwest of the hangar.

While these are along I-10, they are actually on County Road 3386.

There is no historical marker or anything like that to mark the spot."

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Pyote Army Airfield / Pyote AFB / Pyote Airfield, Pyote, TX

31.5 North / 103.15 West (East of El Paso, TX)

Pyote AAF, as depicted on the February 1943 15M Regional Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



Nicknamed "Rattlesnake Bomber Base" 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 WW2.

It was located on 2,745 acres of University of Texas land.

 

The Pyote airfield was very large.

As depicted on a 1943 2nd Air Force General Layout Plan,

The airfield consisted of three 8,400' paved runways, taxiways,

a concrete ramp measuring 3,000' x 600', and 5 large hangars.

The airfield was further expanded at some point later in WW2,

bringing the runways to their ultimate length of 9,000',

and extending the ramp area to more than a mile long.

A cantonment area to the northeast of the ramp had a street grid with hundreds of buildings,

used to house 3,000-4,000 soldiers & 2,000 civilians.



A 1943 Army plan of Pyote AAF (courtesy of John Voss).



The earliest photo which has been located of Pyote AAF was a circa 1943 photo of the Pyote control tower & hangars (courtesy of Cole Perkins).



An aerial view of Pyote in the 1940s.

 

In 1943, the 19th Bombardment Group arrived to begin training B-17 bomber crews.

Within 4 months of its opening, the base had become the largest bomber installation in the country,

with a peak population of over 6,500 in 1944.

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 1944.



A circa 1943 photo of the Pyote flight operations building (courtesy of Cole Perkins).



The Pyote Ground Gunnery Range was located 4 miles northwest of the airfield,

and consisted of an additional 13,120 acres.

It had various targets,

such as an aircraft carrier, bridgehead, convoys, etc.

 

Huge numbers of B-29 bombers in storage at Pyote, 1946

(courtesy of Lou Thole, author of the book "Forgotten Fields of America").



A May 1945 photo of a Sub-Depot maintenance crew in front of a B-29 at a Pyote hangar.



During the post-war years, the base served as a storage facility,

at one time housing as many as 2,000 aircraft (B-29, B-17, B-25, A-26, C-47, P-63, P-51, AT-7, L-5, L-4),

including the "Enola Gay", the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb.

It was taken over by the Air Force in 1948 & renamed Pyote Air Force Base,

and continued in use as aircraft storage center under the Air Material Command.



Richard Hawkins recalled, “I grew up in West Texas,

and can vaguely remember seeing hundreds of B-29s stored there in the late 1940s.”



John Henson recalled, “Pyote Airfield was an especially interesting installation for me.

I had a cousin who was stationed there & my parents would take my little brother & me to the main gate to pick him up.

After the war the government flew many planes in & parked them until they could destroy them or sell them.

I remember that there was at least one of every combat aircraft the U.S. had.

I specifically remember B-29, B-17, B-25, B-24, B-26, A-26, P-39,

P-47, AT-6, BT-13,P-51 sitting on the field. The place was packed.

It seems like it took about 2 or 3 years to dispose of all the aircraft stored there.”



The February 1949 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted Pyote AFB as having an 8,500' hard surface runway.

 

A photo from a 1950 postcard (courtesy of Cole Perkins) of the entrance to the Pyote AFB,

with lettering saying "Rattlesnake Bomber Base" above the entrance walls.



The last photo which has been located showing military aircraft at Pyote was a July 1950 photo of B-29s undergoing reactivation.



Reportedly, Pyote AFB was closed in 1954 & its assets were sold.



Larry Ray recalled, “Pyote... My dad (Civil Service) worked in Salvage.

His job was to get rid of all the aircraft. He was one of the last ones to leave.

He was transferred to Webb in the summer of 1955.”



"Pyote AFB" continued to be depicted as a military airfield

on the March 1958 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



John Henson recalled, “The base stayed pretty intact through the 1950s.”



For a few years in the 1950s & 1960s, the 697th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron,

an Air Defense Command unit, operated a radar site on the base.



John Henson recalled, “The last active runway shut down when the radar unit was shut down.

It was my understanding the Air Force flew crews in to operate it.

I know it was still active during 1962-64.”



At some point between 1958-62, the former Pyote AFB was reused as a civilian airfield,

as that is how "Pyote" was depicted on the March 1962 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

The Aerodromes table described "Pyote Airfield" as having 3 runways, with the longest being an 8,520' asphalt strip.

The remarks said "Formerly AFB. No opers."



During its period of reuse as a civilian airfield,

Pyote may also have been used by the flying museum group the Confederate Air Force.

Nancy Cagle recalled, “I always remember the old 'Confederate Air Force' sign that was also over an old entrance quite near I-20.

I think the old CAF couldn't hold onto it since Pyote is truly 'out in the middle of nowhere'.”



However, this civilian reuse of the airfield apparently did not last long,

as by the time of the August 1964 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy),

it was depicted as "Abandoned airport".

 

Following the deactivation of the radar site in 1966,

base housing was taken over by the West Texas Children's Home,

and the land & remaining buildings reverted to the University of Texas.



A 1967 aerial photo showed 6 hangars on the northeast ramp.



Strangley the 1971 USGS topo map did not depict any of the massive former runways,

even though the hangars & smaller buildings were depicted, labeled “West TX Childrens Home”.



A 1977 aerial view by Richard Hawkins looking north at the Pyote ramp.

Only 5 hangars remained standing – the nearest hangar had evidently been removed at some point between 1967-77.



A 1977 photo by Richard Hawkins of the former 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar.



A 1977 photo by Richard Hawkins looking northwest along the 4 of the 5 hangars which remained standing at the time.

Note the height of the weeds growing up through the concrete.



At some point between 1977 (when the above pictures were taken) & 1980,

four out of the 5 remaining hangars were apparently removed/destroyed.

At least one of them was evidently intentionally destroyed in the course of filming the 1980 movie “Hangar 18”.

Nancy Cagle described “the 'real' end of the base.

I do know how the last buildings were destroyed.

[In] the movie 'Hangar 18'... At the end you will see Pyote 'blown off the map'.

We'd been past it so many times, we knew what we were seeing!

All 4 of us recognized it immediately.”



John Henson recalled, “Most of the hangars were torn down in the late 1970s / early 1980s I think.

One hangar was left standing and that was because the government & the Confederate Air Force

made a deal so that the CAF could store parts in it for their aircraft.

That deal apparently was canceled some time after the Japanese complained

about the Pearl Harbor attack re-enactment & Hiroshima bomb re-enactment performed during the air shows.”



By 1985 a single large hangar (the former 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar)

and slowly deteriorating runways & taxiways were all that marked the once-busy bomber base.



An undated photo of model aircraft & several aircraft wrecks used in the 1985 movie “Fandango”,

with Pyote's hangar in the background, painted with “Pecos Parachute School”.

The film crew was on-site for 2 months to prepare the site & do the filming.

According to Clifford Kidd, “It was mislabeled for screen purposes as being in Pecos.

If you watch the film you can see much of the old hangar inside & out, along with the ramp and surrounding area.”



A March 1986 photo by Zane Adams of the CAF sign, with the Pyote hangar in the background.

 

MK recalled, "The hangar was intact when I rolled through in May 1989."



At some point between 1989-96, the roof & most of the walls of the former 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar were removed,

leaving only a hollow grid of the side walls of the hangar standing.



Cole Perkins recalled, “The final hangars... They were dismantled & sold for scrap.

My grandfather bought some of the lumber out of one of the old hangars

and we built a screened-in porch on the back of his house in Monahans.

I can remember trying to drive nails in the 1"x4" decking & it would bend the nails.

I learned quickly to predrill a hole to nail the boards.

Also, the wood was a true 1" by 4" not the standardized lumber (3/4" by 3 1/2") that we have today

and it was all 'heart' pine from our virgin forest.”



A recent aerial view looking southeast at the remains of the Pyote ramp, with hangar remains visible to the left of the ramp.



A recent view by Gary Waters of the remains of the last remaining hangar at Pyote, the 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar.



A recent view by Gary Waters of a mural on the wall of the 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar.



"Rattlesnake Bomber Base" historical marker on the north side of Interstate 20.



USGS aerial photo 1996.



The airfield at Pyote was still depicted as an abandoned airfield on 1990s aeronautical charts,

but was not depicted at all on recent USGS topo maps.



A 1997 aerial view by Lou Thole (author of the book "Forgotten Fields of America")

looking south at the remains of the Pyote runways.

 

A 1997 photo by Lou Thole (author of the book "Forgotten Fields of America")

looking northeast at the remains of the last remaining hangar at Pyote, the 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar.



The walls of the former 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar were still standing in 2003, as photographed by Scott Murdock.



A 2003 Army Corps of Engineers diagram of the WW2-era boundaries of Pyote AAF (green) & its bombing range (yellow).



An October 2004 photo by Tim Tyler of the remains of the last hangar at Pyote,

the former 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar.



Tim Tyler visited the site of Pyote AAF in October 2004.

He found the property to be used by the "Texas Youth Commission’s West Texas State School.

Not much activity observed on a mid-afternoon weekday visit.

The former AFS family housing (small, individual units) now looks to be used by prison staff,

but otherwise most buildings seem to be of modern construction.

I didn’t see anything related to the University of Texas.

The west side of the former AAF/AFB, where the actual airfield was, sits apparently unused,

but we couldn’t locate an access road to drive to it & see the partial remains of one of the hangar walls,

which was the only old structure visible."



Nancy Cagle reported in 2005, “The old 'Confederate Air Force' sign that was also over an old entrance quite near I-20...

That disappeared a few years ago.”



Tom Maddux reported in 2008, “I drove past the old base this morning.

The remains of the big hangar are still visible from I-20. Since I didn't know what it was I just kept going.

A few miles down the road at the offramp for Pyote there was a sign that read, 'Pyote Bomber Base Museum'.

I got off the freeway & went into the little town of Pyote.

The lady at the town office was nice enough to call the lady who cares for the museum,

who was nice enough to drive over & open it up for me.

She said you can't get on the old base because it is a 'state school'. It looked like a prison to me as I passed.”



Tom continued, “It turns out that in the 1970s a retired USAF Colonel who had trained there during WWII

brought dozens of photos & artifacts from the old base out to the town.

He got the local folks to adapt an abandoned school building for the museum.

It is nicely done, over 100 photos, old newspapers, uniforms, bits and pieces of WWII equipment and guns,

even a display case built by German prisoners.

The museum is open on Saturday & Sunday. It is definitely worth an hour.”



Clifford Kidd reported in 2008, “The sign at the Pyote base, the Confederate Air Force sign, is in my hangar.

Apparently the previous owner was part of the CAF, he used to have a few scraps of aircraft with nose art or tail art hanging on the walls.

I found it sitting in the rafters not long after I bought the hangar.”



A circa 2010 aerial view looking north at the remains of the last remaining hangar at Pyote, the 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar.



A 7/18/13 photo by Jason Henderson of the remains of Pyote's 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar.

Jason observed, “It was stormy that day, but I think the clouds make the pics look even better.

As I was walking around the air base I thought of all the history and how many people where there 70 years ago

and I realized how much bigger & more important it was.

It was kinda creepy walking around out there all alone. But it's a moment I'll never forget.”



A 7/18/13 photo by Jason Henderson of a mural on the remains of Pyote's 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar.



A 7/18/13 photo by Jason Henderson of the remains of Pyote's ramp.



A 10/20/13 aerial view by Scott Greene looking north at the remains of the last remaining hangar at Pyote, the 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar.



A 10/20/13 aerial view by Scott Greene looking south at the extensive remains of the Pyote airfield.



A January 2014 photo by Kodi Zene of the remains of the last remaining hangar at Pyote, the 3rd Echelon Maintenance Hangar.



See also:

A 1994 Army Corps of Engineers Report.

FlyPast magazine, 4/01.

http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/PP/qbp2.html

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Milehigh Community Airport (6E2), Sierra Blanca, TX

31.26 North / 105.3 West (Southeast of El Paso, TX)

The Milehigh Community Airport, as depicted on the 1975 USGS topo map.

Photo of the airfield while open has not been located.



According to A.C. Donnell, this private airport was built to support a desert subdivision.

In Donnell's words, “In the 1970s there was a huge desert subdivision

that some enterprising - and decidedly optimistic - bunch of people built.

The idea was to develop an up-scale retirement community (probably, it is my guess, with a Palm Springs aura in mind).”



The earliest depiction of the Milehigh Airport which has been located was on the 1975 USGS topo map.

It depicted “Mile High” as having a single northeast/southwest runway.



The 1979 USGS topo map depicted the “Milehigh Community Airport” as having a single northwest/southeast paved runway,

along with a small ramp area & a single hangar.

 

The 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury)

listed Milehigh Community as a private airfield.

It described the field as having a single 6,100' asphalt Runway 2/20,

and included the note that skydiving activities were reported.



According to A.C. Donnell, “The Mile High development was advertised far & wide, but as far as I know, not a lot was sold.

It was abandoned a few years later.”



A 1/18/96 USGS aerial photo looking southwest showed Milehigh Community Airport

to have a single paved 7,100' runway, along with a small ramp area & a single hangar.

 

Milehigh Community Airport was closed (for reasons unknown) at some point before 1998,

as it was depicted as an abandoned airfield on the 1998 World Aeronautical Chart.



According to A.C. Donnell, “It probably was closed due to non-use & abandonment

of the desert subdivision for which it was built.”



Milehigh Community Airport was still depicted as an abandoned airfield on 2002 aeronautical charts.



A.C. Donnell reported in 2006, “The entry gate/clubhouse can still be seen - deteriorating badly -

just North of the Border Patrol checkpoint a few miles West of Sierra Blanca.”



A circa 2006-2010 aerial view looking south at the hangar & runway of Milehigh Community Airfield,

which appear perfectly preserved.



A 3/31/08 aerial photo looking southwest showed Milehigh Community Airport to remain intact.





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