By early 1941, Great Britain stood alone against the aerial might of Nazi Germany and was in need of pilots. The Lend-Lease Act allowed for the training of British pilots in the United States and the formation of British Flying Training Schools. These unique schools were owned by American operators, staffed with American civilian instructors, supervised by British Royal Air Force officers, utilized aircraft supplied by the US Army Air Corps, and used the RAF training syllabus. Tom Killebrew provides the first comprehensivehistory of all seven British Flying Training Schools located in Terrell, Texas; Lancaster, California; Miami, Oklahoma; Mesa, Arizona; Clewiston, Florida; Ponca City, Oklahoma; and Sweetwater, Texas. The British students attended classes and mastered the elements of flight day and night. Some students flushed out, while others were killed during training mishaps and are buried in local cemeteries. Those who finished the course became Royal Air Force pilots. These young British students would also forge a strong and long-lasting bond of friendship with the Americans.
Tom Killebrew received a master's degree in history from the University of Texas at Arlington, USA, and taught American history at Navarro College in Waxahachie, Texas, USA. He is the author of The Royal Air Force in Texas: Training British Pilots in Terrell during World War II (UNT Press). He lives in Erath County, Texas.