Business View Magazine | August 2022

173 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 9, ISSUE 8 Jones Field Airport Competitive on so many levels B onham is one of the oldest cities in Texas. Just south of Oklahoma along the Red River, Bonham had its beginning in 1837, when Bailey Inglish built a two-story blockhouse, Fort Inglish. By summer, several acquaintances had joined Inglish and renamed the settlement “Bois D’Arc”– later becoming Bloomington and then Bonham in honor of James Butler Bonham, who fought at the Alamo. With the coming of the Texas and Pacific Railways in 1885, Bonham was thriving with six churches, three colleges, two public schools, three weekly newspapers, a sawmill, two grain mills, a power plant, and about 2,300 inhabitants. Later, during the Second World War, Bonham became home to a Prisoner of War Camp for German soldiers and a United States Army Air Corps base. In the late 1920s, Charles Jones gave a $10,000 gift to the City of Bonham to be placed in trust for building an airport. The city matched the generous contribution and the new airport opened on November 11, 1929. Then in 1941, at the onset of a world war, the army leased land from the city of Bonham and constructed three hangars and a 1200’ x 100’ asphalt ramp. The base was assigned to the USAAF Gulf Coast Training Center as a primary (level 1) pilot training airfield with the Fairchild PT-19s as the primary trainer. There were also several PT-17 Stearmans and by the end of the war, they were training with P-40 Warhawks. After WWII, the training base was declared surplus and returned to the city. The museum in downtown Bonham has an entire wing devoted to the airport, as well as a restored Fairchild PT-19.