Perrin Field's Off-Base Annexes

Copyright © 2000-2010, Scott D. Murdock
12 Aug 2002 - Minor editing
5 May 2010 - Corrected location information for Perrin AFB ILS OM Annex, thanks to Doug MacDonald


An aircraft carrier is like an air base at sea; it is the focal point of aerial operations, but it does not operate alone. It has a complement of ships traveling with it, providing supplies, security, and other support functions. A large air base like Perrin Field (later Perrin AFB) has a similar situation. Smaller properties near the base are pressed into service to support the main base's mission. This article will look at the specific off-base annexes controlled by Perrin Field over the course of its career. I’ll group the properties into three categories, auxiliary fields, navigation aids, and miscellaneous.


Auxiliary Fields

An auxiliary field is a flying field near the main base, used for practice in takeoffs and landings. Bases with a flying training mission, such as Perrin, use these to relieve crowding at the main airfield. In W.W.II, these auxiliaries were frequently sod, or turf, fields. Most had very minimal improvements or facilities.

Gibbons Auxiliary Field #1 (later called Gibbons Air Force Auxiliary Field)  6 miles south-southwest of Perrin. Used during W.W.II then declared surplus; but then reactivated for Perrin AFB from 1948 to 1952. This 265-acre auxiliary had a turf landing area, the longest landing distance being 3,500 feet. It is currently used as farmland.

Gaskin Auxiliary Field #2 (later called Gaskin Air Force Auxiliary Field)  16 miles south-southwest of Perrin. Used during W.W.II then kept on inactive status afterwards; reactivated for Perrin’s use from 1948 to approximately 1952. This 594-acre airfield had a hard-surfaced 4,000-foot runway, and a turf landing area 4,996 feet by 5,737 feet. It is now farmland.

Bilbo Auxiliary Field #3  16 miles northeast of Perrin, near Colbert, Oklahoma. Used during W.W.II then declared surplus and transferred to the Army Corps of Engineers for disposal in 1946. The surface was sod, and the longest useable landing distance was 3,900 feet. It is now used as farmland.

Burton Auxiliary Field #4 (later called Burton Air Force Auxiliary Field)  16 miles east of Perrin, this field was acquired in 1942, and it was used during W.W.II. It was declared surplus in 1946, but in 1948 it was reacquired and used until 1952. In 1955, the Air Force transferred the property to the Federal Communications Commission, who desired it for a monitoring station. This field covered 300 acres, and had two graded runways. The longest was 3,000 feet. It is currently used as a sand plant, where sand is mined from the ground.

Eaker Municipal Airport  3 miles south-southwest of Durant, Oklahoma. This was a Naval aviation base during W.W.II. It served Perrin as an auxiliary from 1951 to 1953 on a joint-use basis. Randolph AFB later used it as an auxiliary field, from 1967 to 1970. During the period of Perrin’s use, this 850-acre airport had three paved runways, the longest being 5,000 feet. It is still used as the Durant airport, called Eaker Field.


Navigation Aids

Various electronic means of guiding aircraft to an airport have been used over the years. These navigation aids, or NAVAIDs, use antennas to transmit signals to the aircraft. The antennas may need to be some distance from the base itself, requiring additional off-base property.

Perrin Instrument Landing System (ILS) Middle Marker Annex  7/10 of a mile north of Perrin. This 9.52-acre parcel of land held one small building 3,875 feet from the northern end of the main runway. This property was active by 1952 and stayed on Perrin’s real property books until closure. This facility is now abandoned and located on private property just north of the old landing lights. The Permanent Installation Number (PIN) was 1272.

Perrin ILS Outer Marker Annex  6.8 miles north of Perrin. This piece of land housed another small building with an antenna, 36,360 feet from the northern end of the main runway. Like the middle marker, it was in use from at least 1952 to Perrin’s closure. It is now used by the Federal Aviation Administration as a non-directional radio beacon. The PIN was 1265.

Perrin Low Frequency Homer  15 miles north of Perrin, in Oklahoma. This small site (.92 acre) was indicated on a 1952 layout map of Perrin AFB, and was deleted from the map of off-base sites on 19 Feb 1960. It was also referred to as North Homing Beacon, or by its call sign "Platter."

Perrin Radio Range Station, OK  2.5 miles north of Colbert, Oklahoma. This 9.41-acre radio range station was acquired in 1943, and disposed of in September 1944.

Perrin Radio Range Annex, TX  4 miles southeast of Perrin Field. This 11.46-acre site was in use by 1952, and was disposed of on 9 Jan 1962. The PIN was 1267.


Miscellaneous

Other needs led to additional real property requirements away from the main base. These locations served a wide variety of purposes.

Railroad Right-of-Way to Pottsboro  Runs from Perrin Field to Pottsboro. Back in Perrin Field’s youth, railroads were much more important in the logistics system than they are today. Any large base needed rail access. For Perrin Field, that meant a railroad spur running from the base to Pottsboro, where it connected to existing tracks. This property was placed on inactive status in 1946. Although disused, the track remains in place today.

Lake Texoma Recreation Annex  On Lake Texoma’s shore. The Air Force acquired beachfront property on Lake Texoma, for the off-duty recreational enjoyment of Perrin’s G.I.s and their families. Documents from approximately 1960 indicate a concession house, ice storage, boat shed, and boat yard. This property was leased by use permit from the Department of the Army on 30 Nov 1948, and transferred from Air Training Command to Air Defense Command in 1962. Final date of use is not known; a real estate map is annotated "permit for survival school" on 1 Aug 1966.  Perrin veterans confirm this was also the location of water survival training. The PIN was 1271.

Crash Boat Station  On Lake Texoma’s shore. During W.W.II, Perrin Field had crash, or rescue, boats stationed on Lake Texoma, to help fliers who bailed out over the water. This facility was inactivated in 1946. More information is needed to pinpoint the location.

Perrin Radar Annex  Not far from main base, located east of FM 1417. This facility was part of a large system of radar stations guarding our skies against attack during the Cold War. Acquired in 1954, this facility was also known as a Ground Controlled Intercept (GCI) site. It remained active until Perrin’s closure, and is currently owned by a boat repair and salvage company. The PIN was 1273.

Closure Bases  When bases are selected to close, they are generally placed under the control of an active base. The active base supports the inactivation and disposal process. At the end of W.W.II, Perrin Field had responsibility for Carlsbad AAFld, New Mexico; Gainesville AAFld, Texas; and Big Spring AAFld, Texas. (Some of you will recall that Big Spring AAFld was reactivated as Big Spring AFB and later became Webb AFB.)


Summary

Perrin Field had several off-base installations that supported the main base in some way. This article is a starting point in the process of cataloging those locations. If you’re feeling nostalgic and want to visit any of these former Air Force properties, please respect the current owners’ property rights. Better to look from a distance than be arrested (or worse) for trespass!

INSTALLATION NAME LAT/LON COORDINATES
Gibbons Auxiliary Field #1, TX 33-38-55N, 96-43-10W
Gaskin Auxiliary Field #2, TX 33-30-30N, 96-45-45W
Bilbo Auxiliary Field #3, OK 33-54-00N, 96-30-00W
Burton Auxiliary Field #4, TX 33-42-10N, 96-23-30W
Eaker Municipal Airport, OK 33-56-30N, 96-23-45W
Perrin ILS Middle Marker Annex, TX 33-44-17N, 96-40-20W
Perrin ILS Outer Maker Annex, TX 33-49-35N, 96-40-08W
Perrin Low Frequency Homer, OK 33-55-37N, 96-40-29W
Perrin Radio Range Station, OK 33-53-05N, 96-29-35W
Perrin Radio Range Annex, TX 33-39-58N, 96-37-57W
R/R R/W to Pottsboro, TX 33-44-40N, 96-39-53W
Lake Texoma Recreation Annex, TX 33-49-18N, 96-47-38W
Crash Boat Station, TX Unknown, need more information
Perrin Radar Annex, TX 33-42-15N, 96-38-55W

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