Number 1 British Flying Training School - No. 1 BFTS

Number 1 British Flying Training School - No. 1 BFTS


Jackie Mogridge . Youngest ATA pilot WW2 flew over 1,500 planes
RIP Candy Bomber USA
Sadly U.S pilot Gail. S.Halvorsen, known as the “Candy Bomber” who, during the Cold War, dropped sweets from his plane to German children in West Berlin, passed away recently at age 101. When he planned to airdrop sweets he would wiggle the wings of his aircraft so they would know it was him. He asked other pilots to donate their candy rations and have his flight engineer rock the airplane during the drop. Things grew from there, as more and more children showed up to catch his airdrops and letters began to arrive requesting special airdrops at other points in the city. The peculiar wing manouver was how Halvorsen earned his other nickname: 'Uncle Wiggly Wings.'
Salvation Army canteen truck WW2 at an RAF base
If you enlarge the picture you can see USA on side of the canteen truck and to the left "provided by Unites States of America ? British War relief society incorporated in USA?
Does anyone have any more information about this ?
Wondering how to save those old photos of your great-grandparents? On Thursday, the Number 1 British Flying Training School - No. 1 BFTS in Terrell kicks off a monthly series on heirloom preservation. You’ll learn how to safely save many different kinds of items that tell your family's story.
RAF Wing Memorial, Buckinghamshire - Out at the memorial to the men who flew with No.26 Operational Training Unit at RAF Wing Buckinghamshire on Christmas Day morning, it was a cloudy and breezy but a very mild day. The memorial walls sit on the perimeter track looking out over the main runway, and is always atmospheric.

Many of the pilots who came to the countryside airfield that housed over 2,500 RAF personnel, arrived from their time at No.1 British Flying Training School in Texas. They would now train mostly with battle hardened instructors being rested from operations, and record the experience as inspiring. Here they would also ‘crew up’ ready to go to operational Squadrons.

Respects paid at the memorial, it was back home for a hot drink and time to open family presents. And what a present - I am going to enjoy reading this. Tom Killebrew’s book “The Royal Air Force in Texas”.

Skimming through the poignant memories of aircrew past, it reminded me of the RAF Parade that took place at RAF Wing on Remembrance Week in November this year.

After the ceremony, the young RAF Air Cadets lined up in exactly the same spot that the aircrews had paraded on in 1943. Then through the combination of clever drone piloting and software use by a young chap called Charlie White, a picture came about that I am so proud of.
See attached as it evolved.

A very Happy New Year to everyone at No.1 BFTS and all their supporters. I wish you all a healthy and successful 2022.
I wonder if anyone can help , how could we find more information about William A brown ?
American ATA pilot in Spitfire UK WW2
American ATA pilots WW2 in UK
Better quality picture !
Women Pilots
In 1940 the American pioneer and racing aviatrix Jackie Cochran came up with the idea of forming a women’s auxiliary unit to support the United States Army Air Corps. Her idea was rejected, but in 1941 she approached Britain with the idea of supplying female American pilots for the ATA. ATA pilots with a Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IXOne American, Ruby Garrett, was already serving with them, and Cochran hoped that a larger contingent would help her prove her case to the US military.

The ATA asked for 200 volunteers, but shortages of personnel and the stringent entrance tests meant that in April, 1942, Cochran arrived in Britain with just 25 female pilots. Once in Britain they faced further tests and instruction. Not all of them passed, leading to complaints from Cochran that the training was too difficult. Most saw the need for the strict standards, though ATA female pilots ATA pilots would be expected to fly a wide range of aircraft, while the poor weather and crowded landscape made flying, and navigation, a much different proposition in Britain than in America.

Within six months Cochran had returned to America to form the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Several of her recruits returned with her, and more did so over the following year. Several more travelled to Britain to replace them, however, and some would remain in the ATA until the end of the war. Supermarine Spitfire F.24 at Castle Bromwich, waiting for delivery by the ATA

In all, 27 American women served with the ATA, enduring danger in the air and on the ground, meagre rations, low pay, and uncomfortable living conditions. One, Mary Nicholson, would be killed in a flying accident.
Canadian Second Officer Helen Harrison of the Air Transport Auxiliary in November 1943 with a Spitfire IX.
Helen was a pioneering Canadian female civil aviation instructor and the first Canadian Air Transport Auxiliary ferry pilot during WWII.

During World War II thousands of British pilots learned to fly at six civilian training schools in the United States. The first of these schools was in Terrell, Texas.

Operating as usual


Aircraft lovers, this program’s for you! Mark your calendar for April 28 and come to the No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum, 119 Silent Wings Boulevard in Terrell at 7 pm. Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation representative, Charles Foreman, will share stories of the 10 aircraft, originally manufactured at Chance Vought’s Jefferson Avenue plant in Dallas during World War II, that have been restored by Vought Retirees Club.

Some of the aircraft have been built from scratch – like the 1917 Blue Bird and the (year) F-4 Corsair. Others, like their current project, the Navy’s patrol and observation plane 03U-3 (1932) are replicas, built from original plans with complete exteriors and instrument panels. All restored aircraft have found homes in museums around the county, including three at Dallas’ Frontiers of Flight Museum.

A retired aircraft structural engineer, Mr. Foreman graduated from Texas Tech University in 1962 with a B. S. degree in mechanical engineering and worked for LTV Aircraft (successor to Chance-Vought) in Dallas. He worked on the structural analysis and design of the XC-142 VTOL aircraft, the A-7 Corsair, the Lockheed S-3A, and the Northrop B-2 bomber. He has an extensive background in research and development programs involving carbon/epoxy composite material for advanced aircraft applications.

The presentation is free and open to the public. For information call 972-551-1122.


MONDAY MEMORIES – The contract between the City of Terrell and Major Long was signed on Flag Day, June 14, 1941 to establish the Terrell Aviation School at the Kaufman County Airport. More than 100 men showed up to apply for jobs the day the contractor began work. Initially, there were six, frame buildings - the main administration building and tower, a mess hall and canteen, two barracks and two ground school buildings with classrooms. Structural steel arrive in mid-August for the first of two 204 feet long by 196 feet wide hangars. The campus was beginning to take shape.


It was nice to have Kaufman County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Howie stop by for the Veterans Breakfast Saturday morning. Steve was most helpful to the museum during the air shows several years ago. About a dozen other veterans came by for coffee and conversation during the Second Saturday Veterans Breakfast. Good news! Several signed up to volunteer!


This Saturday, April 9, is the date for the BFTS Museum’s monthly Second Saturday Veterans Breakfast. Military veterans from any branch of the services are encouraged to drop by for coffee and doughnuts from 9-10:30 am.

Margaret Briggs, who joined with Rosi Juarez to suggest the idea for the series of coffees, explained, “I was raised to believe in our military and to appreciate their sacrifice. These coffees are just a small way to give a little back to those who gave us so much. We hope the coffee and camaraderie in the company of other veterans will let them know they are appreciated and have not been forgotten.”



Coming soon! To kick off Terrell’s two-day Independence Day celebration, the BFTS Museum is hosting a concert and street dance to benefit the museum. It will be held on the tarmac and taxiway behind the museum at the Terrell Municipal Airport.

Who is the band you ask? You’ll have to stay tuned in this space for the details as it’s not quite official – yet! But there will be food trucks, your favorite beverages and fun for all. Tickets are $30 and you must be 18 or older to attend.



Mary Anna Rawlings (left) of Fort Worth and Ann Jacobs of Arlington inspect the inside of an aircraft in November 1942. They are likely inspecting a B-24 Liberator at Fort Worth’s Air Force Plant 4. The plant began operating in February 1942, even before its completion in April, and it eventually produced 2,743 B-24s over the course of World War II. Known simply as “the bomber plant” by locals, Air Force Plant 4 also produced 124 B-32 Dominators by 1945. After the war, it would build almost 400 B-36 Peacemakers and 116 B-58 Hustlers before it was converted to produce fighter aircraft in the early 1960s.

During World War II, six million American women worked in “non-traditional” roles in the defense industry. A shortage of white male workers due to military service led to the recruitment of women, initially middle-class white women but ultimately minority and working-class women as well. This influx of female workers into traditionally male occupations helped strengthen the push for women’s equality. During World War II, Texas women were still unable to serve on juries, buy a car or house, make contracts, or start a business without the permission of a court. In the words of pioneering Texan judge Sarah T. Hughes, after their experience on the home front in World War II, women in Texas more frequently challenged traditional views that they were “satisfied with their role” and “too humble about their abilities.”

[Photo: Mary Anna Rawlings (left) and Ann Jacobs. The two women are shown inspecting the inside of an aircraft, 11/27/1942, Fort Worth Star-Telegram collection;]

Photos from Number 1 British Flying Training School - No. 1 BFTS's post 04/01/2022

Leslie Deese Garvis, president of the Fort Worth chapter or the American Rosie the Riveter Association, shared wonderful stories about four North Texas Rosies during the March 31 program at the BFTS Museum. And, we were honored to have an original Rosie – Grace Brown – of Mesquite present who told of her work as a machinist at the Consolidated Aircraft plant in Fort Worth from 1942-1944. Grace was featured on a nationally circulated poster recognizing the Rosies. After leaving her machinist position, Grace married, raised three children in Oak Cliff and had a long career at Republic National Bank. Mrs. Garvis became interested in the story of the Rosies because of her work with the Fort Worth Rose Society and discovered the Rosie the Riveter Rose. She was instrumental in creating the Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Garden at the Vintage Flying Museum in Fort Worth.


Today is the birthday of the Royal Air Force which was created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Navy Air Services into a separate military service in 1918. Thanks to the History Channel for the reminder.


Jackie Mogridge . Youngest ATA pilot WW2 flew over 1,500 planes


Don't miss this opportunity to meet a real Rosie!

We are very excited to announce that in honor of Women's History Month, local Rosie, Grace Brown, will be joining us tonight at the the No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum in Terrell, Texas.

The Museum will be hosting a free program about the Rosie the Riveters of North Texas. The meeting starts at 7 pm. American Rosie the Riveter Association - Fort Worth chapter President Leslie Deese Garvis will be the guest speaker. Her presentation will showcase North Texas Rosies who answered the call of their country to serve in Texas during WWII.

The museum is located at 119 Silent Wings Blvd. in Terrell, TX. For more information call 972-551-1122.

No 1 British Flying TRN'g Sch Msm


Number 1 British Flying Training School - No. 1 BFTS


To recognize Women’s History Month, the No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum will present a free program about the Rosie the Riveters of North Texas on Thursday, March 31 at 7 pm at 119 Silent Wings Blvd. in Terrell, TX. American Rosie the Riveter Association Fort Worth chapter president Leslie Deese Garvis will be the March 31 speaker. Her presentation will showcase four North Texas Rosies who answered the call of their country to serve in Texas. For information call 972-551-1122.

Number 1 British Flying Training School - No. 1 BFTS During World War II thousands of British pilots learned to fly at six civilian training schools in the United States. The first of these schools was in Terrell, Texas.


The Sikh Riders always participate in the Allied Memorial Remembrance Ride to the museum each year.

Reposting to help spread the word, it’s a GREAT EVENT !

Timeline photos 03/28/2022

Women still making History....

Canadian Second Officer Helen Harrison of the Air Transport Auxiliary in November 1943 with a Spitfire IX.
Helen was a pioneering Canadian female civil aviation instructor and the first Canadian Air Transport Auxiliary ferry pilot during WWII.

Photos from Number 1 British Flying Training School - No. 1 BFTS's post 03/28/2022

Participants and family members of the Lakeshore Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol spent an enjoyable time at the BFTS Museum on March 26. Volunteer Carl Nilsson showed the visitors around and several of the children in the group of 15 visitors tried out the Gleim simulator. Highlight of the visit was when Southwest Airlines Avionics Engineer gave the excited youngsters a brief flight in his Cessna 172. CAP Captain Mary Kay Stevens and SM David Wythe arranged for the day’s activities.


MONDAY MEMORIES - The owner of the Terrell flight school was Major William Long who had a distinguished career as a pilot during World War I. He established a flight school in San Antonio in 1920 but struggled to make ends meet by flying government mail and company payrolls to various parts of Mexico. In 1925, he moved his flight school to Dallas Love Field, a little-used, grass strip north of the city. By the late 30s, he had established a good reputation and contracted to train Army Air Corp pilots at Fort Worth’s Hicks Field.

When the British came looking for reputable flight schools to train the RAF cadets, Major Long was ready but it took several months to secure the contract and choose Terrell as the site.

National Medal of Honor Museum breaking ground in Arlington 03/25/2022

National Medal of Honor Museum breaking ground in Arlington

National Medal of Honor Museum breaking ground in Arlington The one-of-a-kind museum recognizes recipients of the Medal of Honor. It's the nation's highest award for valor in combat.


Wonder what our cadets thought about these planes?

Top View of a Boeing B-52H Stratofortress and British Avro Vulcan in Flight Near Edwards Air Force Base, California, 7/10/1961..USAF Image


The Terrell Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for Dana Tidwell, Realtor, with Keller Williams Realty Urban Dallas. The ceremony at the No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum signifies a formation of a new partnership between Mrs. Tidwell and the BFTS.

“The real estate industry is a service industry based upon the premise that providing great customer service will, subsequently, result in referral business,” Mrs. Tidwell explained. “When friends of the BFTS Museum make referrals to me for real estate services that result in the sale or purchase of a home, a substantial donation will be made in the seller or purchaser’s name to the BFTS Museum.”

“We were excited to learn about this innovative way that Dana created to provide ongoing support for the museum,” explained board Chairman Bill Huthmacher. “Commitments like these are critical to the future of the museum to help cover our operating costs. We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to Dana for making this pledge.”

Dana is a native Texan, growing up in the DFW area and attended Texas Christian University. Her expansive career in real estate has included multi-family, student housing, retail, commercial and residential real estate management. She and her husband, Carlton, live in Terrell with their daughter and mother. In their spare time they enjoy participating in programs of the Special Olympics of Texas, volunteering and supporting the Terrell community and spending time with grandchildren.

Videos (show all)

Mothers of Terrell
2020 Remembrance Day Flyover
Women's History Month: Link Trainers
2018 Remembrance Day Service
Q&A w/retired U.S. Navy Commander Phil Webb about the Stearman that called Terrell home during WWII





Box 219 119 Silent Wings Blvd.
Terrell, TX

General information

During World War II thousands of British pilots learned to fly at six civilian training schools in the United States. The first of these schools was in Terrell, Texas. After the United States entered the war, American Aviation Cadets also trained at the school. Approximately 2,200 Royal Air Force and American Army Air Force cadets trained at Terrell and around 1,470 graduated between 1941 and 1945. British graduates went on to fly in every theater in which the RAF fought. Many never lived to see the end of the war— twenty who died during flight training are buried in the local cemetery. Terrell’s citizens welcomed the student pilots to their community and many life-long bonds were forged.
The first British Flying Training School Course ran from 2 June 1941 to late October of that year. Because the USA did not enter the war until 7 December 1941, cadets had to wear civilian clothes off camp— suits believed to have been provided from Burtons or The Fifty Shilling Tailors. Most of the early British students had never been in an airplane or even driven an automobile before arriving in Texas to learn to fly. The cadets trained in the air on aerobatics, instrument flight, and night flying, while on the ground they studied navigation, meteorology, engines, and armaments— even spending time in early flight simulators.

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm

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