In his search for a new Army aviation training site, Major Benjamin Foulois located 700 acres of flat farmland here, 7 miles south of San Antonio. The new aviation base - Kelly Field - opened on April 5, 1917, the day before the US declared war on Germany. Later that year, the site was enlarged and divided into “Kelly No. 1” and “Kelly No. 2”. The growing air bases became tightly woven into the social fabric of San Antonio life. One soldier described the dances hosted at Kelly Field: Directly in front of the porch was the dance floor, right out under the open sky...This was the finest dance floor I ever danced on - and right out under the stars and moon. Oh, those moonlight dances were just out of this world. Texas had become the center of American military aviation during the Great War. And Kelly Field had become the center of aviation in Texas.
Watch our Aviation in North Texas video to learn more about Texas and Texans in WWI. This video was produced for inclusion in our Texas and the Great War mobile tour found in our Texas Time Travel Tours mobile app. Download the app for more videos and travel information:
USAF Airman Heritage Museum
Monday, Tuesday, Friday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.