Day Trips

The Number 1 British Flying Training School Museum remembers a short period of time when a few acres of North Texas farmland became British soil

Day Trips
Photo by Gerald E. Mcleod

The Number 1 British Flying Training School Museum in Terrell remembers a short period of time when a few acres of North Texas farmland became British soil.

In 1940, the only thing between the British citizens and the German bombs was the Royal Air Force. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was talking about the RAF pilots when he said, "Never was so much owed by so many to so few."

An agreement between Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt brought the RAF cadets to Texas to train. Between 1941 and 1945, 2,200 British and Ameri­can pilots earned their wings at the six-month course. Six British flight schools were established in the U.S., but Terrell was the first and largest. Many lifelong friendships developed between residents and cadets, a few marriages, and a dozen British citizens were buried there.

The small museum at the Terrell Munici­pal Airport is an eclectic mix of tools, photographs, and stories about the flying cadets. To round out the collection, there are all kinds of other World War II memorabilia, weapons, and uniforms. It's a peek into a little known aspect of Texas history.

Number 1 British Flying Training School Museum is at 119 Silent Wings Blvd. Run by volunteers, the museum is open 10am-4pm, Wed­nes­day, Friday, and Saturday. More info at 972/524-1714 or www.bftsmuseum.org.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Number 1 British Flying Training School Museum, Terrell, Royal Air Force, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Terrell

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