An Oral History of Perrin Field
presented by the Austin College Archives


AC/Air Defense
Perrin Opens
Base Layout
Perrin Aircraft
Base Life
Perrin and the Community
Final Reflection
Austin College

Austin College and Air Defense


". . . National defense calls for the annual training of additional air pilots. This training should be primarily directed to the essential qualifications for civilian flying. In cooperation with educational institutions, it is believed that the expenditure of $10,000,000 a year will give primary training to approximately 20,000 citizens."
              President Franklin D. Roosevelt
              Message to Congress, January 12, 1939





“I am happy to tell you that we have opened with excellent prospects for the year. . . . we already trained to date 35 air pilots.”—E. B. Tucker, Pres. of Austin College.



Austin College Glider Pilot Class Enlists (1942-1944)

“Most of [the classes] were held at school, at Austin College.  Some were taught in the auditorium.  We’d go. Once in a while they’d have a class held at Perrin. You’d get two or three men in the same classes, they were taught at Perrin.”   Ken Hayes (1953-1971)


"I attended Austin College to get most of my math and science out of the way. There must have been about six of us at that time—we all carpooled together. We were taking a class one time, College Trigonometry. The instructor was named Mr. Fagg. Mr. Fagg was quite a character, and he wore glasses. He came to class, and standing up there in front of the class, the right lense of his glasses fell out. It shattered all over the floor. He just looked down, and took his foot and kicked the glass out of the way and kept right on teaching. The interesting thing about it was, when I left the area about a year and a half later, Mr. Fagg was still wearing the same pair of glasses, with the left lense in and the right lense gone. He was a real piece of work. Didn’t bother him a bit.”  George Kerns (1957-1960)

The Opening of Perrin Field