Major W.F. Long, No. 17215 – San Antonio Picture

Major W.F. Long, No. 17215

Title: Major W.F. Long
Marker No.: 17215 page:
OpenPlaques Tag: openplaques:id=27711

Latitude & Longitude: 32.711067, -96.269417
Location Description: Marker is in Terrell, Texas, in Kaufman County. Marker is at the intersection of British Flying Training School Boulevard and Texas Route 34, on the left when traveling east on British Flying Training School Boulevard. Click for map. Located at the Terrell Municipal Airport terminal building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 British Flying Training School Boulevard, Terrell TX 75160, United States of America.

Year: 2012
RTHL: False
Size: 27" x 42"
Erected By: Texas Historical Commission

Marker Text:

Missouri native William Francis "Bill" Long was 17 when his family moved to Texas. During World War I, he was an aerial observer and pilot in the 24th Aero Squadron, First Army Observation Group. After the war, he established San Antonio Aviation and Motor School at Stinson Field. In 1925, he bought 251 surplus Curtiss airplanes and a hangar at Love Field and moved his flight training school there as Dallas Aviation School and Air College. Never idle, long, sometimes referred to as "Mr. Love Field," built a new airfield, Curtiss-Wright field, with partners in 1929 at Grand Prairie.

In 1939, Long attended Gen. "Hap" Arnold’s Washington, D.C. briefing on the use of civilian contract schools to train U.S. Army pilot cadets in anticipation of World War II. Long received a contract and the program’s success led to a second contract, for a school at the reactivated Hicks Field in Fort Worth and for an airplane mechanics training school at Love Field. Long opened another school at Curtis Field in Brady in March 1941. England also sent its Royal Air Force (RAF) cadets to train in the U.S., contracting with Long to open the No. 1 British Flying Training School at Terrell. During the war, Long and associates acquired Essair Airlines which provided airmail service from Houston to Amarillo, with stops across Texas. Renamed Pioneer Airlines in 1946, the carrier attested Long’s belief that such feeder airlines would promote passenger flights when it expanded to dozens of cities in Texas and New Mexico. Under significant pressures of time and wartime shortages, Long operated four schools, training about one-tenth of U.S. Army aviators and one-third of RAF cadets in the U.S. His accomplishments garnered him honors from President Harry S. Truman and King George VI, as well as a place in Texas aviation history.

Image published by Rheba on 2016-09-04 21:59:51 and used under Creative Commons license.

Tagged: , Kaufman County , Terrell Texas , Texas Historical Markers , openplaques:id=27711

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