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October 1943 - December 1943
Basic Flying School - Pecos, TX

The U.S. Army Air Force used the Pecos Airport as a training airfield by the Army Air Forces Flying Training Command, West Coast Training Center. It was first used as a basic pilot school. Then, the field was redesignated an advanced pilot school for twin-engine planes on December 29, 1943 and had four auxiliary fields.


While attending the Army Air Force Basic Flying School in Pecos, John’s training included instrument flying under a canvas hood. The instructor sat in the front cockpit and watched for other air traffic, coached and rectified any mistakes. Following this, John trained for instrument-only take-offs and tailspin recoveries.


In his final weeks, John abandoned the BT-13A basic trainer and started flying the twin-engine UC-78, also called the Cessna AT-17.

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