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
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Austin College

Final Reflections

“We had people from all over the United States who served here, learned what the country was about. There were enough people in the area that they could see, learn about different parts. Here, you had the full gamut of people.  People from everywhere served here. We had people from France, Germany, Yugoslavia, England, Italians. There were Japanese here training. You got to know everybody. At one time, this was the only basic all-weather interceptor training base in the world.” So we met people from all over the world.  They got to come here.” Ken Hayes (1953-1971)


“Perrin was known as the ‘Gateway to the Stars.’ Nearly every wing commander that left here became a general.” Ken Hayes (1953-1971)

“It still will be one of these days a good commercial deal.  It’s a big airport.  It has two runways side-to-side out there.  And one of them is around 9000 feet; one is around 7000 or 8000 feet.  Then they have overruns on each end of them, which makes it a big airport. . . . approved for the 747.” James McCall (1951, 1956-1971).

“Now they say if Mr. Sam [were here], Perrin would have never closed, and they say that old Ray Roberts himself can’t keep it from closing. I’m going to tell y’all right now, old Ray Roberts does not have the power to keep it open, and it’s going to close. There was nothing I could do; maybe Mr. Sam could have kept it open, but I can’t.” Hon. Ray Roberts

“We all did our job. We’re proud of it.  It’s just history now, but I don’t want to see the history die.  It’s too much. The history of Perrin and Grayson County cannot be separated.” Ken Hayes (1953-1971)

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