Plainview PGS Article 3

Published:  Friday, May 11, 2012
Plainview Daily Herald

Glider base barracks walls were paper thin

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

Monday, May 7, 2012

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

The last article discussed the two hangars which were used at the Pre-Glider school, their exact location and use and eventual disposition after the war.  This article will continue on the subject of buildings at the pre-glider school – the barracks where the cadet pilots were originally housed.

Some of this information comes from Tom Moore, who was a pilot instructor at Plainview for several months in 1942.  Moore arrived in Plainview in May of that year along with Judge Bean who managed the site for Breedlove.  Moore instructed cadets at Plainview Pre-Glider for several months.

A photograph of the barracks was found in the Breedlove Collection, Box 2 of 3, at Texas Tech’s Southwest Collections / Special Collections Library by me.  On the back of the photograph the writing states:  “Plainview Pre-Glider”; then “To West – Hdqtr to right”.  The photo is looking west at the barracks.

Moore gave me an interview recently which enhanced my knowledge of the buildings at that air field.  Moore said that the barracks were constructed of a wood frame but had black tarpaper sides.  “You could poke a hole through the sides with your finger if you pressed hard enough”, said Moore.  There was a pot belly stove inside each one for heat in the cold months.  There were both living quarters and classroom buildings at the air field.

Originally, there was just one Quonset hut and one barracks when Moore and Bean arrived; but other buildings were moved in just as fast as they could build them to accommodate the many students quickly arriving.  Initially, there were 30-35 student pilots all of whom were already in the military.  About two to three weeks later, that number of students doubled.

More information about the student pilots, the layout of the runways, and pilot training experiences will be presented in the next article.  For more information about glider pilots please visit the National WWII Glider Pilots’ Association website at and Silent Wings Museum’s website at

If you have information about the Plainview Pre-Glider School, please contact me at 806-793-4448 or email  Please visit my website at:

Photo courtesy Southwest Collections / Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX:  BREEDLOVE COLLECTION.