Heritage, Summer 2003 Page: 34
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WORLD Wf-R I
When the United States entered World War I, Fort Worth
leaders invited the United States government and its allies to
make the area a major aviation training center. Under an
agreement between the United States and Canadian governments,
the Royal Flying Corps trained pilots from Great
Britain and Canada at three fields built by the U.S. Signal
Corps just outside of Fort Worth. The RFC operated these
fields for one year before they were taken over by the U.S.
Signal Corps. Each field was devoted to a particular aspect of
aviation training. Before long, Fort Worth skies were filled
with airplanes. As a result, the city became one of the major
aviation centers in the U.S. More than 1,200 pilots were
instructed at these fields, which, along with a major infantry
training center at Camp Bowie, made Fort Worth a large military
complex. During this same period, Love Field in Dallas
also became a major military aviation center.
After World War I, the Air Service dismantled the Fort
Worth airfields, which in total had accounted for almost
100,000 hours of flying time and 106 fatalities. Eleven
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Canadian aviators killed during training at Fort Worth's
fields during World War I remain buried in the city's
Greenwood Cemetery. The Canadian government negotiated
the purchase of this section, which is the only Britishowned
land in the United States, besides the British embassy
in Washington, D.C.
TI-IH BLOOM OF CIVILIZAITION
IN FORT WORTI
Soon after the World War I, airfields were dismantled, and
local civilian leaders launched efforts to build a municipal
airport. After considering several sites throughout the city, a
250-acre field located five miles north of downtown was
selected. In 1926 the Fort Worth Municipal Airport was
opened, with a modern hangar large enough to accommodate
12 airplanes and a cafe built in the shape of an airplane. Later
it was re-dedicated to honor Fort Worth Mayor Henry C.
During the years between World Wars I and II, Fort Worth
continued its active involvement in aviation. Charles
HERITAGE W SUMMER 2003
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Summer 2003, periodical, Summer 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45377/m1/34/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.