KEY TO THE CITY - USA City Directory Top USA City Resource Guide
mid 1940's to 2001
Soon after World War two, the Army Air Corp. brought B-24 bombers to Pyote Air Base in such numbers that when one toped the hill, east-bound, on the Bankhead hiway (Texas/U.S. 80), you could see B-24s parked wing tip to wing tip; as far as the eye could see; in rows that left only enough room between the tail of one and the nose of the other for a truck to pass between.
As a child, traveling with my father in old trucks, it was hard for me to fathom so many big planes in one place, when I was accustomed to our family making a festive occasion of driving out west of my home town of Big Spring, TX, parking the car and waiting just to see the one old twin engine D C -3(?) come in for a landing!
Little did I dream that someone was going down each of those rows; setting charges of explosives in each plane, and loading the material on trucks, bound for smelters that would melt it down into sheets; again to be built into jet planes that would be flown in another war...no, the government called this one a "Police Action"; that would continue to this day, Oct. 15, 2001.
but, at age 70, I can still see the little town of Pyote, Texas, with its one little rest...no, not restaurant... CAFE, and the local Drug store, operated by a druggist by the name of Mchugh, whose daughter, Banena McHugh, would one day attend business school with me, more than 300 miles away, in San Antonio.
Submitted by Wm. S. Birdwell
Whitefish, MT 59937
I don't know what the structure of the command at Pyote was, nor what designation of any interim training assignments were, but he ultimately flew in the 750th Squadron, 457th Bomb Group, 94th Combat Wing, 1st Air Division, 8th Air Force. His particular tour in England was from August through December, 1944, so I would think his time at Pyote would have been Spring and early Summer.I don't mean to give offense, but my father's recollections of Pyote were not particularly complimentary. I recall him mentioning hot and cold, and I think insects were involved, and my image was that the place was isolated and stark. But crew training was a matter of getting to know the people with whom you would eventually face the rigors of combat, so I can't help but believe that the surroundings, notwithstanding, the experience at Pyote must have been generally positive.
My father passed away in 1995. For the last 20 years of his life he was involved in various WWII reunion organizations, and, of course, Pyote was mentioned now and again amongst fellow airmen.
I don't know how many crews eventually passed through Pyote, but small town though it may be, it left an impression on its visitors far out of proportion to its size, and even for some of us who haven't even been there, it won't be forgotten for a long time.
Submitted by L. Rodney Peterson
This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of Pyote and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.
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