During World War II thousands of British pilots learned to fly at six civilian training schools in the United States. One of these schools was located in Terrell, Texas. Because the United States was not in WWII at the time, it was essentially a secret training program, thus the bus says “Aviation School”.
After the United States entered the war, American Aviation Cadets also trained at the school. More than 2,000 Royal Air Force and American Army Air Force pilots earned their wings over North Texas between 1941 and 1945. Terrell’s citizens welcomed the student pilots to their community and many life-long bonds were forged.
Each person depicted in this mural is an actual person who either trained, worked, or taught at the No. 1 BFTS during World War II, Pictures from the Museum were used as reference for the mural.
Learn more about this incredible story by visiting the No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum which celebrates this little known chapter of World War II history. Their collection includes hundreds of historical items: log books, training materials, WW II memorabilia and uniforms. The museum’s archives contains the most extensive record of the No. 1 British Flying Training School that exists. The museum is located at 119 Silent Wings Blvd in Terrell, just north of the mural.
Photo provided by Prouty Photography in Terrell, Tx. Mural painted by Sunny Delipsey from photos in the BFTS Archives.