In early October, 2006, James Fagan left a message on my home phone saying that he was a member of the Pre-Flights at Texas Tech in about 1943-44 and asking me to give him a call. James was responding to a notice I placed in the Thrifty Nickel want ads about a week earlier. James' wife, Bettie -- who rarely reads the Thrifty Nickel -- read those wants ads that week and saw my notice and told James.
My first interview about the Texas Tech Pre-Flights (which was somehow related to the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP or CPT program)) was with Fagan at his home in Lubbock that October of 2006. James supplied a copy of the following letter to me which he wrote home to his mother in February of 1944.
Fagan was not sure where Breedlove Airport or Dagley Field was located in reference to Texas Tech but remembered well the air field where he trained in single-engine aircraft in the Pre-Flights program. Although at first Fagan and I believed that the map he drew in his letter was of Breedlove Airport, we later realized it was Dagley Field. A drawing of Dagley Field by Earl Deitering on Saturday, January 13, 2007
Digital copy of the letter James Fagan wrote home to his mother in February, 1944 describing the airfield in Lubbock where he trained. Copy of letter courtesy James Fagan.
Pre-Flight Cadet Pilots James Fagan, Fran DeVoll, and Shade hit the books at night in the West Hall dormitory in late 1943 or early 1944. Note the blackout curtains (or shades) drawn over the windows.
Photo courtesy Mr. Fran DeVoll of Washington State.