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Early Years - Golden Spread Historical Aviation - English Field Collection

Timeline

Texas Air & Space Museum presents

Aviation Development in the Golden Spread

1902 through 1946

Year

Month

Day

Harold English & English Field

Aviation Development in the Golden Spread

 

 

 

 

 

1902

Oct

23

Born in Des Moines Iowa

1910

Family moved to Denver CO. Harold spent his early years working in his father's brick laying business.

1912

Apr

17

The Moisant International Aviators cancelled their three day exhibition in Amarillo. They were to perform a  the race course at Glennwood Park

1913

Oct

9

Aviator Robert G Fowler to fly his biplane in a three-day exhibition at the tri-state fair.

1918

Apr

27

Two Signal Corps planes land is the 500 block of N Polk Street.

1918

Oct

1

Lt A D Booth of Call Field [Wichita Falls, Texas] thrilled hundreds of people at the "Old Town" site. Visit was a promotion of Liberty Loans.

1919

Jun

7

Lt W S Ferdon secured the support and local capital to establish an aviation school and service station at Amarillo under the auspices of the Curtiss Company.

1919

Jun

26

The Curtiss Aviation Company opens an office in The Bivins Building. Lt Ferdon was to show routes and models of airplanes to be used by the company.

1919

Jul

1

Strut and Wing Club formed to stimulate interest in aviation, Sam A Rogers chairman.

1919

Oct

1

W K Whipple, Fred W Hines and Jack Hiller meet with the Board of City Development of Amarillo to establish air service for the city.

1919

Oct

2

Panhandle Aerial & Transportation Company formed by Lee Bivens, Pesident, W K Whipple, VP & General Manager, and H E Fuqua Secretary and Treasurer.

1919

Nov

9

Lee Bivens donates site for Municipal landing field to Airplane Co.

1920

Jan

1

Fred Hines sat the first plane down on the airport marking the inauguration of the flying service.

1922

May

12

Parents split—Harold's mom relocated to Point Loma San Diego CA.

1923

May

1

Panhandle Aerial Transportation ceased operation

1923

Aug

19

He soloed in San Diego then relocated to Amarillo where he joined his father who was starting a brick contracting business.

1924

Joined Amarillo Flying Club

Three day flying program by Capt Lowell Yerex and Lt Robert Gray will be given at the Bivin's Aviation Field on west Fifteenth Street.

1925

Jun

Amarillo Board of City Development considers the use of twenty-nine acres of the Tri State Fair property as a landing field.

1926

Apr

Amarillo selected as a stop on express line from Los Angeles to New York City. Carl Worley president of the National Aeronautic Ass here to see the possibility of a municipal airport being built.

1926

Jul

Lt Gray who is in Amarillo to establish a mail and passenger line to Tulsa or Dallas to give air show at city field located a mile beyond fair grounds.

1926

Oct

26

Walter Beech, President of Travel Air Inc, here to negotiate for the establishment of a commercial and passenger air service between Wichita and the Texas oil fields.

1926

Oct

Lt Gray opens flight school at Bivins Flying Field.

1927

Jun

Mayor Lee Bivins says Amarillo should support Lt Robert Gray in his flight over the Pacific. Wichita Falls has offered to finance his trip if he did so under the sponsorship and name of Wichita Falls.

1927

Jun

24

Amarillo - Bivins Flying Club receives a new Standard J-1 Hispano-Suia Model A-3. The plane in charge of Lowel Staff at 209 West 6th St.

1927

Jul

Former fliers organize club to further interest of aviation and to secure aorport. Lewis Washburn, Bob Hunter and Yaney McDaniels.

1927

Aug

3

Amarillo to be port on a passenger and freight airline between Denver and New Orleans as proposed by Rocky Mountain Airlines Inc.

1927

Aug

3

Major Atwell of the Amarillo Flying Club, flying "Miss Amarillo," will be at the field on west 19th Street in back of Wolflin School to carry passengers.

1927

Aug

10

Amarillo Flying Club will christen its new Lincoln Standard J-1 airplane at the landing field on east 10th St east of the fair ground. Mrs Neil Bean, the first women to go, up will do the honors.

1927

Aug

19

Amarillo put on the third airmail line--Travel Air Service from Chicago to Los Angeles.

1927

Aug

29

Amarillo Flying Club, organized by P L Reppert, Thomas S Pirtle and H W Turner have been issued a charter by the State of Texas for the purpose of airline transportation including US mail.

1927

Aug

30

Mr H G Foster, head of Ryan Mono Air Transport Co Inc announces plans for a network of airlines between Denver, Amarillo. Wichita and Dallas.

1927

Aug

3

Dick Ferris of Los Angeles plans airline from Los Angeles to New Orleans with Amarillo being a port.

1927

Sep

6

H G Foster announces that Mono Air Transport has a new name and home base. Amarillo is now the operating center for Great Western Air Transport.

1927

Oct

2

Amarillo Flying Club will be at the flying field a quarter mile SE of the fairgrounds on the Claude highway performing stunts, practical flying and passenger flights to promote a permanent flying field for Amarillo.

1927

Oct

7

Continental Airway Express stops here on maiden flight from Denver to New Orleans.

1927

Oct

19

The Board of City Development through Col Haines President has again called the attention of the City Commission to the necessity of establishing a municipal airport at an early date for the second time in as many months.

1927

May

17

Married Selma Olsen in Hereford TX.

1927

May

For 5 months, barnstormed around Texas Panhandle. Operated his airfield just south of fairgrounds and East 10th (Spring St.)

1927

Dec

4

Roswell airport formal opening attended by Amarillo business men.

1928

Feb

2

Flying his Standard J-1, he crashed in McClain TX. Two young passengers died.

1928

Feb

8

Moved air operations to Bivins Field NW of city approx: Ross Rogers Golf Course west end.

1928

Mar

4

H W Blackburn offers 320 acres, four and one half miles south of Amarillo in Randall County for the establishment of an official municipal airport.

1928

Mar

10

For Amarillo to use as a Municipal Airport, Mayor Lee Bivins offers to lease to the city, for $1 per year, Bivins Flying Field which is located three miles NW of Amarillo.

1928

Apr

13

Purchased Curtis model “H” from Robert Pool of Pool Creamery.

1928

May

1

For use as a Municipal Flying Field, Lt C W Cousland, Army Air Corp expert, recommends Bivins Flying Field over other proposed sites.

1928

May

17

With Thornton and Jimmy Oxnard, formed Amarillo Airport Corp, a subsidiary of Albuquerque Aircraft Holding Inc.

1928

Jul

12

Became manager of Bivins Flying Field and renamed it English-Bivins Airport.

1928

Aug

12

Acquired Ryan  Brougham during trip to San Diego.

1928

Sep

15

City of Amarillo votes $100,000 in bonds to purchase and develop an airport on 480 acres at Panhandle Highway and Rock Island Line west of Marymere Farms.

1928

Oct

9

Started first Amarillo/Oklahoma City round-trip air service

1928

Dec

16

He was charged by Game Warden for hunting ducks and geese from his plane.

1929

Jan

26

Texas Air Transport Inc announces air line out of Amarillo.

1929

Mar

5

English became distributor for Mono Air Transport Company

1929

Mar

21

Southwestern Airways, a branch of Eaglerock Airplane Company of Denver, plans an airline through Amarillo via Clovis.

1929

Mar

22

Western Air Express to begin daily airplane passenger service from Los Angeles to Kansas via Amarillo on May 1.

1929

Mar

31

Amarillo is base for erection of transcontinental air transport light beacons from Waynoka Oklahoma to Clovis New Mexico.

1929

May

29

Transcontinental and Western Air Express delivers first air mail to Amarillo.

1929

Jun

6

City leases the Amarillo Municipal Airport to Southern Air Transport for 20 years. Garland Aircraft Corp of Tulsa Oklahoma to retain flying school.

1929

Jun

9

Amarillo Airport Corp, one of three bidders desiring to manage the new City Municipal Airport, lost to Southern Air/Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT)

1929

Jul

1

61st student enrolled in English flying school

1929

Jul

14

Purchased 710 acres 7 ½ miles west of Amarillo on the Panhandle Highway for an air field to be named “English Field.”

 

1929

Jul

21

Boyd Kennedy taught Selma English to fly. She became the first woman in the Texas Panhandle to fly solo.

1929

Sep

1

Opened the new English Field airport for business.

1929

Sep

30

Harold closed English-Bivins Field. Moved hanger and lumber to Bivins ranch.

1929

Sep

7

City has formal dedication of Amarillo Municipal Airport.

1929

Dec

7

English Field becomes authorized Wright Motor Service and Repair Station.

1929

Dec

12

Acquired aircraft: one Travel Air Hisso, two model 60 Monocoupes, one Fleet and one Butler Blackhawk.

1929

Dec

29

Lt Gray, manager for Southern Air Transport Corp at Municipal Field, crashed "Miss Amarillo," a TravelAir 6000 cabin monoplane, onto the fairway of the Hillcrest Golf and Country Club at 3:00 PM resulting in the loss of his life, his wife Evelyn, Robert Moore, C. N. Dillon and Ray L Allison (to this day, the greatest loss of life in Panhandle aviation history).

1930

Jan

13

Emmett Myers, Senior Transport Pilot for Amarillo Airport Corporation, died instantly when his Ryan Bi Monoplane fell 3,000 feet, three miles northeast of English while participating in a five plane formation flight.

1930

Jan

26

English Field is the first field in the US to have an airport marker of neon light. The sign is white by day and red by night. The letters “Amarillo” are 80 feet long, 5 feet tall, visible from 8,000 feet and can be read from 3 miles away.

1930

Jan

26

I.C. West, former ground school director for Southern Air Transport, assumes similar position at English Field.

1930

Feb

12

English Field, as an authorized agent for Wright Aircraft, stocks $10,000 in aircraft parts inventory and, under the supervision of government-licensed mechanics, can perform major repairs of any kind on Wright J5, J6, Vella and Kinner aircraft.

1930

Mar

17

Harold English sets altitude record.

1930

Apr

7

Wishing to see one of the world's largest passenger transport aircraft, 1,500 Amarilloans—the biggest crowd ever to attend an airport event in Amarillo--flocked to English Field as the famous Fokker F-32 made its maiden flight from the east to the west.

1930

Apr

9

Western Air Express opens big air terminal at English Field.
Transcontinental Air Express, one of WAE's three airlines, confirms addition of English Field as part of their coast-to-coast connection (making Amarillo second only to Los Angeles in number of WAE ships moving in and out daily).
WAE moves all of its Amarillo operations from the Amarillo's Municipal Field to the new English Field.

1930

Apr

13

“Airway Age”--a National Aviation Magazine—carried an article on English Field. The article deals with the nation's need for larger airports to handle larger, and an increasing number of, passenger aircraft.
The first night landing of Western Air Express flight on a regular line occurred at English Field.

1930

Apr

27

Western Air Express and Richfield oil men move into the two new duplex buildings. The last unit has 8 rooms. This makes 6 families housed at English Field in addition to a number of single men rooming there.
The third story will soon be completed on the office part of the hanger and will provide sleeping quarters for 12 additional guests and employees.
English Field boasts its first obstruction marked with red lights at night--three 100 foot radio poles for Western Air Express.

1930

Apr

28

Complete control in Amarillo of the Amarillo Airport Corporation (“English Field”)--formerly a subsidiary of Albuquerque—has been made here.
Officers are Thornton Oxnard, President, Mrs Harold English, Vice President, and Mr Harold W English, Secretary and Treasurer. The capitalization is $85,000 with assets in plant and equipment set at $100.000.

1930

May

9

English Field completed a motor test stand that can handle any type of commercial aircraft engine. It has instruments and will be used to “run in” motors on which a general overhaul has been made.

1930

May

25

G.W. French of the US Weather Bureau establishes 4 man reporting unit at English Field.

1930

Jun

14

English Field inaugurates daily service to Hobbs New Mexico. Routes will also include Borger and Lubbock Texas.

1930

Aug

19

T. M. Steel, President of Richfield Oil Company and Chairman of the Contest Committee of the National Air Races, formerly states that Harold English, with his foresight, has done a marvelous work here. Western Air Express with its feeder lines, or the Air Race designated stop, would never have been established had it not been for Harold English and his flying field. He has overlooked nothing for the convenience of the flier and pilots have all learned to stop in Amarillo for service. He should be congratulated editorially.

1930

Aug

21

English Field hosted the women's National Air Derby.

1930

Aug

22

Formal dedication of English Field.

1930

Aug

27

Mayor Roger welcomes Charles Lindbergh and wife at English Field.

1930

Aug

29

Transportation Magazine publishes article about Harold English. States that the rise of Harold English during the past four years is symbolic of the sudden development of the aviation industry and the demand for youth instead of age as in most industries.

1930

Oct

23

For selling aircraft in Mexico during a Mexican civil uprising, the US government punished Harold English with a $1,000 fine and 3 years probation.

1931

Aug

26

Thousands pack English Field for the Women's National Air Races. Fifty-five contestants flying in this afternoon.

1932

Apr

10

English Field opens new $14,500 wing that includes additional offices, restaurant, men's and women's wash rooms, waiting room that seats 25, newsstand, ticket offices, observation balcony, a 50 foot long awning covered walkway leading to where planes are boarded and a total of 20,000 square feet of new concrete apron.  

1932

Dec

16

Ralph Montee and J.E. Bowen--air mail pilots for TWA--died in the crash of their tri-motor plane 2 miles south of English Field during a blinding snowstorm.

1933

Jan

25

Amarillo has the most air traffic, for a city of its size, in the nation. At English Field, there are 10 arriving and departing air transports every 24 hours.
Amarillo is being served by three of the largest and most important air companies in the country; Trans-Continental and Western Air Express, Western Air Inc., and American Airways.

1933

Apr

22

Art Goebel to stunt two miles high over city this morning.

1933

Jul

19

Dr Albert E Forsythe and C Alford Anderson, seeking to be the first Negroes to set a transcontinental air speed record, landed at English Field.

1933

Oct

30

Thousands witness mid-air crash over Amarillo. Two planes from Randal Air Circus collide with loss of life of 4 pilots.

1934

Aug

16

TWA's first Douglas Air Liners--replacing the Ford Tri-motors--arrived at English Field en route to Los Angeles.

1934

Sep

25

Transcontinental-Western Air Douglas Air Liner was christened "City of Amarillo" by Mrs Nell Rogers, daughter of Mayor Rogers. Helium was used instead of champagne.

1934

Sep

26

Col and Mrs Lindbergh land at Spearman for fuel.

1935

Jan

18

Harold English dies in auto crash. He died instantly shortly after 12:30 o'clock this morning when the automobile that he was driving crashed into the rear of a truck 3 miles east of the city.

1935

Apr

28

TWA installs blind landing system at English Field.

1935

Jul

12

Braniff Airways' new Lockheed Electra "Texas Ranger" make initial flight to Dallas.

1935

Sep

15

Amarillo Aviation Club is formed to promote the cause of aeronautics. Travis Mellor is president. Thornton Onxnard is instructor in the mechanics of flying and actual flying. All ground school will be maintained at English Field.

1935

Oct

2

Thornton Onxnard sells all planes that belong to Amarillo Airport Corp.

1935

Oct

20

Dee Graham, manager of Panhandle Flying Service, will stage a 15 plane air circus at Pampa.

1936

Jun

7

Thornton Oxnard reopens his "Amarillo Air Service" with Fred Smith and Harold Carter. Oxnard and Charles Bond leased Municipal Airport from the city to operate a flying school and charter service, Charles Boyd, Manager.

1936

Aug

19

The Chamber of Commerce, city of Amarillo and Trans-Continental and Western Air outline plans for major airport improvements. The city must own the site in order to receive federal funds. English Field and and the old Municipal Field are being surveyed.

1936

Oct

18

The city of Amarillo and Thornton Oxnard broke off negotiations on the purchase of English Field. The city to consider only Municipal Field.

1936

Oct

20

TWA officials announced that they have nothing to do with selecting the airport site in Amarillo, although their engineers laid out the plans.

1936

Oct

20

Thornton Oxnard and Amarillo citizens protest the use of federal funds to be used on the old Municipal Field.

1937

May

3

Bureau of Air Commerce is drafting new airport regulations that English Field does not meet.

1937

May

23

Many planes being ferried across the US stop at English Field because of the large landing area, the quality of available services and the unrestricted airspace.

1937

Oct

4

Laura Ingalls say that English Field is the best landing field in the country.

1937

Nov

30

English Field buildings destroyed by fire. Thornton Oxnard gives TWA and Braniff Air Lines two houses and temporary facilities for passengers. Radio, weather bureau, ground school and charter services were moved to  Municipal Field.

1938

Apr

3

Amarillo Aviation Club inaugurates its cross country 100 mile races to benefit its members. Charles Boyd, Manager of Municipal Field, will preside over the event.

1938

May

19

Air Mail Pilots for a day to fly the feeder flights are Carl Bentsen, John Payne, Thornton Oxnard, and Charles Boyd. The towns included are Happy, Tulia, Silverton, Lubbock, Dalhart, Channing, Vega, Adrian, Farwell, Dimmitt, Claude and Canyon.

1938

Jun

28

English Field and Municipal Airport bar all unlicensed aircraft at the request of the city.

1938

Jul

17

Thornton Oxnard retires from student instruction due to health reasons. Carl Bentsen will take responsibility for students.

1938

Sep

11

City officials and Civil Aeronautics Authority disclose that English Field will meet every demand of the Federal Government. English Field would be the only field in the US without a single restriction. 

1938

Sep

29

Petitions demanding immediate airport action and signed by over 1,500 persons were turned in by member of Prop and Wing Club.

1938

Nov

18

English Field offered to the city by C. L. Kilgore (owner) for $35,000 for the 700 acres; approx $50/ acre.

1938

Nov

21

Amarillo's last opportunity to acquire English Field will expire on Nov 27. The offer of Thornton Oxnard, lessee of the field, to sell properties on the field and cancel his present lease in favor of the city expires on that date and will not be renewed, Oxnard said today.

1938

Nov

21

Thornton Oxnard today received a draft of a lease by the US Army for establishment of a servicing base at English Field. The leased plot of ground is 150 by 300 ft on the western edge of the field. Lease to be effective June 30, 1939 to 1952 for $1 per year.

1938

Dec

2

400 Amarilloans wait till 2 A.M. to see B-17 land and refuel at English Field.

1939

Jul

20

Construction of the office and storeroom of the Army Flying Corps will begin 1 June.

1939

Jul

20

Jude Bivins has T-hanger built at English. The new Cessna to be piloted by Bill Bivins.

1939

Aug

4

Mrs. Selma English has taken over the managerial duties at English Field.

1940

Apr

14

The first annual J A Ranch roundup draws 102 airplanes and 350 pilots and passengers. All were guests of Dick and Monty Richie at the flying field at Palo Duro.

1940

May

24

Julian Bivins and son Billy are killed in a plane crash as they were hunting coyotes on the Canadian River.

1940

May

29

Under the new US National Rearmament program, English Field will be headquarters for Amarillo Air Service inaugurating flight training for 80 students by 15 June.

1940

Jul

17

Charlie Boyd accepts job as Aeronautical Supervisor for Clayton NM High School.

1940

Aug

1

Art Goebel in town for skywriting for Phillips Petroleum in the Woolaroc.

1941

Apr

1

English Field--tentatively approved for $200,000 in improvements as Amarillo's Airport--was inspected today by the CAA and Army Engineers.

1941

May

Shelby Kritser started operations at Municipal Field with a maintenance shop and aircraft sales at English Field.

1941

Jun

23

A RAF Douglas Attack Bomber to remain at English Field for a week awaiting mechanic and inspectors to arrive from California. Drawing huge crowds daily.

1941

Oct

12

Thornton Oxnard and Fred Smith--co-operators of the Amarillo Air Service Inc which handles CPTP instruction here--will begin preparing students for instrument ratings. Amarillo is already rated as one of the top CPTP schools on the nation.

Learn more about the Golden Spread Historical Aviation - English Field Collection at the Texas Air & Space Museum.

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