History of Corsicana Airfield

C. David Campbell Field, the Corsicana Municipal Airport
9000 Old Navarro Road
Corsicana, Texas  75109
903-654-4847

Air Activities of Texas, a civilian company, leased the land where the Corsicana airport is now located and contracted with the Army to provide flight instruction and logistical support for Army Air Corps pilot trainees.  Construction began in 1940 and finished in March 1941.  The instruction included 140 hours of ground school and 60 hours at the controls of an aircraft.  The first class of 51 cadets began training the day after construction was completed.  More than 8,000 cadets entered primary flight training at the airfield, and more than 5,000 pilots moved on to aircraft-specific training.  In 1944, the need for pilots was declining, so the flight-training facility closed in October, and the land lease was transferred to the City of Corsicana.
 
After October 1944, Glenn Cumbie, who had been employed at the airfield by Air Activities of Texas, remained as the fixed base operator and airport manager until his retirement in 1988.

After the airport closed, it served briefly as a storage facility though some of the barracks were used to house veterans returning from WW II.  In August 1946, the newly-created Navarro Junior College sublet airport grounds and buildings from the city.  Subsequently, the junior college established a permanent campus, and moved some of the airport buildings to it.

Dr. C. David Campbell, a member of the Coyote Squadron, served as mayor of Corsicana from 1964 to 1967, and was instrumental in renovating the airport. In 1985, the city council named the airport for Dr. Campbell in recognition of his work to improve it.

Currently, Corsicana Aviation Services, owned by Gary and Sarah Farley, is the fixed base operator.  The company performs all levels of aircraft maintenance.  Gary became interested in the airport’s early history and, after diligent research, created the Corsicana Field Aviation Heritage Foundation and the Glenn Cumbie Museum.  The museum has on display photos and other memorabilia from the period as well as documentation that Gary’s research revealed.  It also co-owns a WW II primary trainer, a PT-19, like those used for training at the airfield.  On October 10, 2009, the Foundation, a Section 501(c)(3) corporation, dedicated a memorial to the Army Air Force cadets who trained at the airfield and to the civilian workers that supported them.

Today, the airport serves many local businesses, such as Collin Street Bakery, Guardian Industries, Russell Stover Candies, McCoy’s Hardware and Lumber, and many government agencies.