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WWII Patch, AAF, AAF Navigation School, Ellington Army Air Field, Houston TX GOOFY

WWII Patch, AAF, AAF Navigation School, Ellington Army Air Field, Houston TX  GOOFY

Product Information
WWII US Army Air Force Squadron Patch
US AAF USAAF  Navigation / Navigator School, Ellington Army Air Field, Houston, TX
Walt Disney Design - Goofy
~5.75 inches

Training future Navigators for Bomb Bombing Bomber Bombardment squadrons.

Ellington Airport is a joint civil-military airport located in the U.S. state of Texas within the city of Houston—15 miles (24 km) southeast of Downtown. Established by the Army Air Service on 21 May 1917, Ellington Field was one of the initial World War I Army Air Service installations when aviation was in its infancy. Originally created as a training facility, Ellington Airport is currently used by military, commercial, NASA aircraft and general aviation sectors. Previously known as Ellington Field, the airport is a former air force base of the United States Air Force and is one of the few airfields built for World War I training purposes still in operation today. Ellington Field is also home to the largest flying club in Texas and the annual "Wings Over Houston" airshow.

Pre–World War - In 1917, the U.S. government purchased 1,280 acres (5.2 km²) of land from Dr. R. W. Knox and the Wright Land Company to establish an airbase in Houston. The location, near Genoa Township in southeast Houston, was selected because the weather conditions were ideal for flight training. Soldiers from nearby Camp Logan briefly assisted with the construction of the airfield when civilian workers went on strike. Soon after construction began on the airfield, the base was named after Lt. Eric Lamar Ellington, an Army pilot killed four years earlier in a plane crash in San Diego, California. The base, which consisted of a few hangars and some wooden headquarters buildings, was completed in a matter of months. By the end of 1917, the field was ready to receive its first squadron — the 120th Aero Squadron, which was transferred from Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, along with its Curtiss JN4 Jenny biplanes, which were shipped in wooden crates via railroad.

World War I - During World War I, Ellington served as an advanced flight training base. As of 1918, Ellington had its own gunnery and bombing range on a small peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico near San Leon, Texas. Ellington became well-known in military circles, and had a series of "firsts", including the first camp newspaper, the first American aerial gunnery and bombing range, the first "canteen girls", and the first aerial ambulance in American military history. Before the end of the war, approximately 5,000 men and 250 aircraft were assigned to the base. Ellington was considered surplus to requirements after World War I and the base was deactivated as an active duty airfield in 1920. A small caretaker unit was kept at the airfield for administrative reasons, but generally, the only flight activity during this time was from Army pilots stationed at Kelly Field who flew down to practice landings on Ellington's runways.

By 1923, Ellington had been ordered to be completely dismantled, but that plan was halted when the Texas National Guard established an aviation squadron at the field. Soon after, the 111th Observation Squadron (known colloquially as "Houston's Own" and later the 147th Fighter Wing) was born, also stationed at Ellington Field. The squadron, which flew Curtiss JN6Hs and De Havilland DH.4s, provided mapping, photography, and reconnaissance support for the 36th Infantry Division. Several years later in 1927, Ellington's status was again threatened as local city leaders began to discuss the construction of a municipal airport. That airport, the present day William P. Hobby Airport, confirmed the squadron's fears that Ellington's aging facilities were obsolete; as a result the Texas National Guard decided to move the 111th to new facilities at the municipal airport instead. The Texas National Guard and 36th Infantry Division bought most of the airfield's buildings, but the field remained unused; by 1928 Ellington was again overtaken by tall prairie grass. That same year, a fire engulfed what was left of the airfield, consuming its remaining structures, except for the concrete foundations and a metal water tower. For the next 12 years, the U.S. military leased the land to local ranchers for use as pasture.

World War II - World War II, with its increasing need for trained pilots, helped to reestablish Ellington Field as an active facility. Rep. Albert Thomas, one of Houston's representatives in the United States House of Representatives, pushed for rebuilding Ellington as a pilot training center. Beyond the area's excellent weather for flying, Thomas argued that the Houston area's petroleum refineries, upon which the war effort depended, would need military protection in the region.

In 1940, construction began on a much-expanded Ellington Field, which eventually included five control towers, two 46,000-square-foot (4,300 m2) hangars, the most modern medical complex in south Texas and 74 barracks. Ellington became the home of the 69th, 70th, 71st, 72nd, 74th, 75th and 76th Fighter Squadrons. The base was one of the sites where bomber pilots received their advanced training and also housed the United States Army Air Corps' bombardier school, known as "the Bombardment Academy of the Air."
In 1943, the bombardier school was replaced with a school for navigators. By the end of 1943, more than 65 women who served in the Women's Army Corps were also stationed at Ellington. The WACs worked in noncombat Army jobs in order to free men for combat duty. "By taking over an Army job behind the lines, she frees a fighting man to join his fellow soldiers on the road to Victory," stated WAC director Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby. Ellington served primarily as a reserve airbase from the end of the war in 1945 until 1948

WASP flew AT-10: utility/administrative (including flying hospital plane (Norseman), engineering/test; ferrying; copilots on navigation training flights.

1102 WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) were stationed at 120 air bases and flew 60 million miles in every type military aircraft in the Army Air Force inventory, from the fastest fighters to the heaviest bombers. They towed targets for air-to-air gunnery and air-to-ground anti-aircraft practice, ferried aircraft, were instrument instructors for male pilots, flew weather, night tracking, simulated strafing and radar navigation missions, transported personnel and cargo and flew drones. They flew every type mission that any Army Air Force pilot flew except combat  missions.

Price: $145.00

Product Code: PatchAAF.0000.NavigationSchool.EllingtonArmyAirField.Houston
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