Gray Field, Denison's Airport, Formal Opening, October 20-21, 1929.
Secured by the Junior Chamber of Commerce
The airport, located two miles east of Denison, is known to have been in operation as early as the fall of 1928 and still a working airport in 1947-1948. The 1947-1948 Texas Almanac includes a list of airports by city; Gray Field is the only one listed for Denison.
"C. L. Letot has taken over the management of Gray Field at Denison, Texas, and is equipping a flying school and commercial aviation business." (Airport Construction and Management, 1929, vol. 1).
Gray Field, situated in Denison, Texas, will be used as a branch school by the Dallas Aviation School of Dallas which has taken over the field on a one year lease with option of renewal for five. Spare parts, gasoline and oil will be kept at the Denison airport.
According to Capt. W. F. Long, head of the school, Don Bigbee (died July 1932) will manage the field and will be assisted by three pilots and one mechanic. A few days ago, four planes were flown from Love Field to the new base. (c1930)
"Gray Field, the municipal airport 2 miles east of Denison, is no longer available for use. (Air Commerce Bulletin, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1931)
Captain W. F. Long, head of the Dallas Aviation School, appears in many sources. In the 1930s and 1940s he placed ads in newspapers across the state soliciting students for his school at Love Field. The 1931 article cited previously, which said the field was "no longer available for use," suggests that the Dallas Aviation School may not have exercised its option to renew the one-year lease.
Despite the 1931 report Gray Field Airport was in operation thoughout the 1930s and most of the 1940s.
Biographical sketch of Raymond Willard Hayes (1916 - 1999)
-Information provided by Jim Sears-
"Raymond Willard Hayes was born May 18th, 1916 in Bonham, Texas. As a young boy, his family moved to Denison, Texas. It was there in 1934, during his senior year of high school at Denison High, that Hayes began to take flying lessons. After five years of training at Gray Field in Denison, Hayes went on to earn both his pilot certification and his commercial pilot's license."
-Raymond Willard Hayes Collection, Box 1, Folder 5, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections Department, McDermott Litrary, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Judith Jacobs wrote: "My dad owned that air strip along with Tom Mcabee..it was known as Grey Field. He operated it after the war. He had been a Flight Instructor in Plainview. During the war, he taught many a Denisonian to fly."
Laurel McCune Goodman wrote: Grey Field is where Burnie (Sully) Sullenberger learned to fly.
GRAY FIELD HISTORY
Elaine Nall Bay