Kelly No. 2 Flight Line

Location: Kelly AFB, Bldg 1600 in parking area for 205 S. Luke, San Antonio, TX

In November 1916, Maj. Benjamin Foulois of the Aviation Section of the U.S. Army's Signal Corps chose a tract of land approximately three-fourths of a mile to the southeast of this spot to serve as a flying field for the Army Aviation Corps. In 1917, the site was named Camp Kelly and later Kelly Field in honor of Lt. George E.M. Kelly, who in 1911 had become the first American aviator to lose his life while piloting a military aircraft. Activities at the camp included both flight training and aircraft maintenance. In September 1917, Kelly Field's training activities moved north to this area, called "Kelly No. 2" to distinguish it from the original field. The new flight line, extending 125 yards east and 2400 yards west of this site, consisted of numerous hangars, warehouses, barracks, repair shops, classrooms, and maintenance buildings. "Kelly No. 2" retained its training function from 1917 through 1942. Its Air Corps Advanced Flying School produced many prominent American aviators, including Charles Lindbergh and Claire Chennault. In 1955, the advent of new and larger aircraft prompted the extension of the existing runway, this necessitating the demolition of the old "Kelly No. 2" flight line. (1986)