Perrin AFB and Vicinity

Copyright © 1998-2010, Scott D. Murdock
22 Nov 2002 - Added photos.
24 Apr 2010 - Added additional photos, upgraded existing photos.


Saturday, 10 Oct 1998

Time to go back to Perrin AFB. I needed to investigate the Radar Annex, as well as visit as many of the other off-base annexes as possible.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday!

Burton Air Force Auxiliary Field, Ambrose TX, 33-42-10, 96-23-30. (a.k.a. Aux Fld #4.)  This former airfield, just northwest of Ambrose, is being surface mined for sand. In fact, the road along the southern perimeter is Sand Plant Road.  I believe I found a former entrance gate, judging by the remnants of asphalt and a derelict power pole.  This was on the west perimeter, on Carpenters Bluff Road, at 33-42-20, 96-23-43.

Eaker Municipal Airport, Durant OK, 33-56-30, 96-23-45.  This airport was a joint-use auxiliary to Perrin AFB in the early 1950s (after serving as Durant NAAF in W.W.II).  This is now Eaker Field (DUA).  The only military presence now is an Oklahoma National Guard armory.  A hangar remains that may date to Navy use.

Bilbo Auxiliary Field, Colbert OK, 33-54, 96-30. (a.k.a. Aux Fld #3.)  This former auxiliary field is now farmland.  No evidence of aviation use was visible from the local road, Mead/Platter/N3660 (depending on which sign you read).

Perrin Radio Range Annex, TX, approximately 33-50, 96-40. I was not able to find this one.  I drove up and down the closest public roads without seeing any trace of it.  Lots of trees in this area, and lots of roads ending in gates, so who knows.  Might require aerial recon to find this one.  Note:   I finally located this annex, almost two years after this trip!  See Tulsa Tour 2000 trip report.

Perrin ILS Outer Marker Annex, TX, 33-49-26, 96-40-11. I believe this former Air Force site is now serving as home to the Denison NDB. However, there is no access (or visibility) from nearby public roads to these coordinates.  Curses, foiled again!

Perrin Railroad Right-of-Way to Pottsboro, Pottsboro TX, 33-44-40, 96-39-53. This is a railroad spur, and the coordinates are at about the midpoint of its length.  As it leaves the base heading north, it runs along the east side of Airport Road.  The tracks look abandoned, and are not in good condition.

Perrin ILS Middle Marker Annex, TX, 33-44-17, 96-40-20. From Hagerman Road, I drove as far north on the rutted dirt access road as I dared.  Then I walked, following the old approach lights to the middle marker location.  The building is still standing, although structural integrity is questionable at this point.  Cableways in the floor slab, and an adjacent wooden antenna pole are the only clues this was once a navigation aid site.

Perrin Air Force Base, Sherman TX, 33-42-46, 96-39-58. I've covered this one in prior visits, but of course I had to "check in" since I was in the neighborhood.  New observations from this visit: I was able to photograph the alert hangar, F-102 radar docks, and one of the abandoned navigation aid buildings on the far side of the runways.  The alert hangar is the first-generation Strobel & Salzman design, heavily modified. I also toured the former BX and officers club, thanks to Deputy Mike Byrd, a Public Safety Officer with the Grayson College Department of Public Safety.  The front sidewalk of the officers club still shows some F-102 decorations and the wing designation.

While at Perrin, I was quite pleased to be able to meet briefly with Shannon Thomas, who is the driving force behind the Perrin Field Historical Society.  Shannon is quite knowledgeable of Perrin AFB, and is very dedicated to preserving and sharing its history.  I'm glad we were able to meet and compare notes.

Perrin Radar Annex, Sherman TX, 33-42-15, 96-38-55. The remaining Air Force buildings, while very distinctive, have been altered to fit the needs of a boat repair and salvage company, and I could not find any trace of the radar towers.  I was allowed inside one of the buildings.  The present owner did not have any knowledge or documentation of historical use of the site.

Gibbons Air Force Auxiliary Field, Sherman TX, 33-38-55, 96-43-10. (a.k.a. Aux Fld #1.)  Another piece of farmland, viewed from the west from Gibbons Road. No visible signs of aviation use.

Gaskin Air Force Auxiliary Field, Dorchester TX, 33-30-30, 96-45-45. (a.k.a. Aux Fld #2.)  Sensing a trend?  Yup, more farmland.  Viewed from the west from Hunter Road.  No clues to a previous life in aviation.

A short little day trip, by my standards!  Drove 392 miles, in 11.5 hours.


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