CLENT BREEDLOVE
CIVILIAN PILOT TRAINING PROGRAM
PRE-FLIGHTS PROGRAM
1939-1945

Plainview PGS Article 2

ARTICLE 2
Published:  Saturday, January 28, 2012
Plainview Daily Herald
www.myplainview.com

Plainview Pre-Glider School hangar locations identified

By John W. McCullough, History Graduate Student, Texas Tech University

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This is the second article in a series of articles about Clent Breedlove’s Plainview Pre-Glider School

On Saturday, December 17, 2011, I met with Leighton Maggard and his wife, Doris, along with Elvin “Moss” Foster on the west side of I-27 across from the Finney Switch at the New Jerusalem Baptist Church.  Maggard was a pilot instructor at the pre-glider school during WWII.  Foster lived nearby and had many stories to add about the training he saw occur there and in nearby Claytonville.  Foster later worked for Breedlove as a pilot instructor both in Lubbock and in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  Tom Moore was not able to join us for this research trip but his sketch of the pre-glider school will be discussed in an up-coming article.  Moore was an instructor pilot at Plainview pre-glider school in 1942.

We drove a few hundred yards south of the church to the home of David Bye which is located on the land where the pre-glider school once stood.  Bye came to work for the Cloverlake Dairy in September, 1966 when both hangars were still standing.  He remembers the hangars well and filled in many of the missing facts about the structures and what was inside.  Bye showed us the exact spots where both hangars were located.  They were situated just to the east of his brick home about 60 yards away.  The first hangar was about 35 feet wide, 60 feet long, and about 15 feet high.  The second hangar was slightly smaller than the first one.

Although both hangars are now gone, the concrete foundation of the larger hangar is still there.  A new structure was built on top the larger hangar’s foundation after a wind storm in the late 1970s blew over the hangar, destroying it.  It is now used to store seed and grain.  Bye also said that after the storm, the foundation was expanded about 3 feet further west then the new storage building put in place.  The second hangar, which had no concrete foundation, was actually replaced with a new structure years before the storm and is still used for the storage of farm equipment.

Bye said that the larger hangar had an office and two windows.  Inside the office he found a type of large drawing which showed the runway layout and other flight information.  He thinks he donated this to the Plainview Museum at Wayland Baptist University.

Later that afternoon, Foster drove me to the land near Claytonville where a dead-stick landing site was located during the war.  Foster said that planes would fly out from Plainview to this dead-stick landing site and practice landings all day.  Many trucks would drive northeast from Plainview to this site (about 21 miles) every morning with the cadet pilots, pilot instructors, mechanics, ground crews, and other support personnel.  The site’s southwest corner is located at the intersection of County Road 26 and County Road W.

More information about glider pilots in WWII can be found at the National WWII Glider Pilots’ Association website at:  www.ww2gp.com and at Silent Wings Museum’s website:  www.silentwingsmuseum.com

If you have information about the Plainview Pre-Glider School, please contact me at 806-793-4448 or email johnmc@breedlove-cptp.org.  Please visit my website at:  www.breedlove-cptp.org

 

 




Photo courtesy David Bye of Plainview, TX.





Photo courtesy John W. McCullough.  Photo is of the site where the large hangar at Plainview Pre-Glider School was located at Finney Field along US 87 highway just north of Plainview.  The original hangar concrete foundation is still there.  The hangar, however, was lost in a high wind storm in the late 1970s.  This building above was built over the original hangar concrete foundation.