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Home Texas Val-verde County Del Rio Military Aviation in Val Verde County

Military Aviation in Val Verde County

  Texas Historical Markers
US 90, at Laughlin A.F.B., Del Rio, TX, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 29° 22' 4.998108", -100° 47' 57.02496"
    Texas State
Historical Marker
    Military aviation in Val Verde County flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Galbraith Perry Rodgers landed his plane at Del Rio while on the first transcontinental flight across the United State. The arrival of a plane in Del Rio was a major event then, but it became a common sight in later years. During World War I, the town was a center of aerial patrols along the United State-Mexico Border. In 1919 planes were dispatched to the area in reaction to Pancho Villa's border raids. One pilot stationed here to fly border patrols was Lt. James H. Doolittle, who later gained international attention in World War II. In the 1940s Del Rio was chosen as the site of an Air Base because of the flat terrain and the mild climate. Opened as the first B-26 bombardier school, Laughlin Air Force Base was named in honor of Lt. Jack T. Laughlin, the first pilot from Del Rio killed in action in World War II. Later a pilot training school, it closed after the war. In 1952, through the efforts of local residents, it was reopened. Laughlin has been utilized for Astronaut Training, strategic Air Command U-2 reconnaissance missions, the development of Air Training Command's undergraduate pilot training mission, and other important innovations.

This page last updated: 7/15/2008

Military Aviation Historical Marker Location Map, Val Verde County Historical Marker Location Map, Del Rio, Texas