Business View Magazine November-December 2018

94 95 T he Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport is a city-owned, pub- lic-use, 922-acre airport located six miles northwest of the central business district of Temple, a city in Bell County, Texas. “The Airport has been here since July, 1942, when the U.S. Army Air Corps acquired the land out here and started to construct the Temple Army Air Field,” explains Barry C. Bratton, Interim Airport Director. “The War Department recognized the need to turn young folks into pilots for the war effort. They set out to build three concrete run- ways and a network of taxiways, parking aprons, a control tower, and the housing and support areas to establish a training base, here. Most of the buildings were of a temporary nature; they were wood construction and not really meant for long- term use. Most of those original facilities are no longer on the airfield. They did build some steel hangars, but they have also been replaced over AT A GLANCE THE DRAUGHON-MILLER CENTRAL TEXAS REGIONAL AIRPORT WHAT: A city-owned, public-use airport WHERE: Six miles northwest of Temple, Texas WEBSITE: A VERY BRIGHT FUTURE the years.” “The main mission here was flight training for the Army Air Corps,” Bratton continues. “They did primary training in North American BT-9s and Stearman PT- 17s, and late in 1944, they shifted over to more ad- vanced training as the war progressed. They would assemble combat crews for final training before shipping them overseas. At that time, the primary aircraft was the North American B-25 Mitchell Bomber. They continued flight training until the war ended and the base was officially closed on Oct. 31, 1945. “After the war, the airfield was declared excess military property and turned over to the city of Temple, which, at that time, had a municipal airport about two miles northwest of the busi- THE DRAUGHON-MILLER CENTRAL TEXAS REGIONAL AIRPORT BARRY C. BRATTON INTERIM AIRPORT DIRECTOR