History of the Field ……. Spanning closely the life of an American, the history of Ellington Field, Texas, is easily divided into two sections, that of a youthful fledgling during World War I, and that of a mature man with great productive power in its greater role in World War II. It is located about midway between Houston and Galveston near the Gulf of Mexico. The airfield was first established early in 1917 by the War Department, and named for Second Lieutenant Eric L. Ellington, a pioneer of military aviation who was the victim of a crash of a pusher-type plane near San Diego, Cal., in 1913. Hundreds of pilots were trained at the historic field during this period of its existence, including Col. W. H. Reid, now commanding the new Ellington, and countless others now high in military and civilian aviation. It was abandoned in 1 920 by the War Department but a few months later re-opened as a base for a pursuit group and remained in use until about five years later when it was again abandoned. Once again, in 1 940, the historic acres of the air field assumed a heroic role, and in a period of a few months a giant Aviation Cadet training field was established that was to make history. Originally intended as a bomber training site, the War Department in its expansion program also included the instruction of bombardiers and several classes of pilots skilled in multi-motor operation and also groups of navigators ready to assist in the aerial operations in fact the first of the now world-famous “combat crews” were graduated. As the United States continued the gigantic expansion of its Army Air Force training program, Ellington Field came to employ an even greater role. Today it not only supplies the advanced training for hundreds of pilots in multi-motor plane operations, but it also equips literally thousands of bombardiers and navigators with the fundamental technical knowledge required in one of the largest pre-flight schools in the nation. Yes, combat crews are cradled here and the Axis sees their maturity – almost daily accounts in news dispatches concerning some graduate of Ellington Field supplies sufficient testimony. Ellington Field continues its growth, cognizant of its great heritage, proud of its present achievements, and hopeful of its future in a peaceful world.