Enid Army Air Field, Oklahoma (PDF)



History of EAAF

A top flight training unit of the Army Air Forces is the Enid Army Air Field, where class after class of Uncle Sam’s fledgling birdmen are put through the next to the last step toward their coveted wings and a crack at the Axis, it is making history in a country rich in that commodity.

Seventy-five years ago, along the famous old Chisholm Trail, hardy pioneers pushed bellowing herds of cattle across what was to become Northern Oklahoma.
Today a new breed of pioneer — the Aviation Cadet — perhaps more youthful, certainly as brave and rugged, is flying the same route in a silver monoplane. The old Chisholm Trail is still there, but now it’s a thin ribbon of concrete highway at the front door of the air base, when viewed from a training plane.
The history of the Enid Army Air Field began one hot, sunshiny day in August, 1941. A group of engineers stood looking at a wheat field five miles south of Enid (population 30,000). It was flat country — and the clear Oklahoma sky meant that it was flying country. One of the engineers turned to the group and spoke.
“All right men,” he said. “Let’s get busy. We’ve got an air field to build.”
From the start it was a story of military-civilian coordination: The Army Air Forces needed the school as part of its huge training program; the Enid townspeople wanted it enough to raise $300,000 by special bond issue. Major General Gerald C. Brant, present commander of the Army Air Forces Gulf Coast Training Center, viewed the site and pronounced it more than suitable.

The field was built in record time. Rows of neat white barracks rose, runways were laid, administrative buildings and hangars erected — and a compact military city sprang into busy existence on the Oklahoma prairie. Above the tall flagpole, training planes roared in echelon, did slow rolls and practiced landings.

The project officer during the construction period was Major H. W. Dorr, a soldier with flying in his blood. He won his army wings at 20 and had watched military aviation grow up. Now he is Colonel Dorr and commanding officer of the field. He directs the four and a half million dollar enterprise in the job of training Aviation Cadets in the basic phase of flying and to train the ground crews who “Keep ‘Em Flying.”
For Cadets, the training schedule is tough. When they arrive at Enid they already have gone through the successive stages of pre-flight school and primary flight training. At Enid they learn to master the heavier, more powerful BT-!5s. They study aerodynamics, meteorology, radio code, formation flying and night flying. Then they go to advanced school, the last step to wings.