GIBBS FIELD (FORT STOCKTON/PECOS COUNTY AIRPORT)
Fort Stockton, Texas
On my way to pick up Highway 67 toward Star, I just had to stop and locate the airport at Fort Stockton I'd heard so much about. As it was just over Interstate 10 from the McDonald's I was going to obtain breakfast from, I figured it wouldn't be too much of a detour. It turned out to be much more fun and serendipitious than I had thought.
According to the Handbook of Texas Online:
"Gibbs Field, on U.S. Highway 285 a mile northwest of Fort Stockton in central Pecos County, was established by the Central Flying Training Command in the early 1940s for primary flight training and constructed by the Defense Plant Corporation, a federal agency, on 1,200 acres of land at a cost of $800,000. The airfield was named at dedication ceremonies on October 9, 1942, for Maj. David R. Gibbs, who was killed in the Philippines at the beginning of World War II. Until that time it had been called Miller Field for G. William Miller, partner and financial backer of the Pacific Air School, the government contractor responsible for pilot training at the airfield. Commanding officers at Gibbs Field were Maj. Tom J. Cunningham, Capt. Kenneth L. Shadell, and Maj. James Dieterich, Jr. Auxiliary fields were Win-Field and Dyche Field, named for H. L. Winfield and J. Harrison Dyche, both of Fort Stockton. Pilot training at the airfield was conducted in army PT-17 biplanes. Eighteen pilot classes graduated before training ceased in 1944, when Gibbs Field was taken over by the Defense Plant Corporation for storage and repair of government aircraft being prepared for sale. The following year the property was turned over to Pecos County for use as a county airport."