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View Full Version : Rattlesnake Bomber Base, Pyote TX



SuzukiTom
03-24-2004, 06:50 PM
Not sure when your last update on the condition of this site was, but as of out recent survey of the site (June, 2003), there were large differences between the description and actual site itself.
According to the Pyote town museum, all the wooden structures were torn down in 1976. Of the buildings taht remain, only the concrete walls of the main hanger (which by the way, have some interesting WW@ era murals painted on them).
There are also some concrete vaults with armoured doors still in place that were used to store the top-secret Norden bombsights between training missions. There are also numerous foundations scattered across the site. No large aircraft remains could be found, although we did find several small artifacts from aircraft. Other interesting things is the huge aircraft parking apron in front of where the hangers where, and the now overgrown runways. The site is apparently on private property, but we did find an open gate on the south side of the base. The name "rattlesnake" is appropriate, since we did come across several rattlesnakes during our explorations.
If you are looking for good informate about the base and the surrounding area, the town of Pyote maintains a local museum that is quite well done, with photographs, artifacts and stories about the base.

Ghostdancer
03-25-2004, 12:19 PM
The kind of place I'd like to see. :cool:

Do you know when the base closed down and what specific aircraft were based there?

Tom

SuzukiTom
03-25-2004, 05:43 PM
Bomber training was originally began in 1942 for Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, and near the end of the war, B-29 Super Fortresses. After the war it was used for aircraft storage, and later, for aircraft disposal/reclaimation. In the late fifties and early sixties, it was the site for a long-range radar installation, and finally decommissioned in 1966. In the attached photo, you can see the restored (but neglected) main gate to the base. I-20 runs across directly behind the gate, and the buildings you see behind that, is a juvenile correctional facility. In the wartime photos I have seen, the entire area behind the gate was filled with barracks and other buildings as far as you can see.

ghamilton
08-09-2004, 04:28 PM
As I have said before,go to the "Abandoned and little known airfields"website.Great pictures and stories,as well as links.As fate would happen,I drove past the site in the mid-70's while it was being destroyed.I thought that was such a pity.It was an enormous facility,but just not sited in a place that made reuse viable.The best place to get a feel a what such a base would be like had it not been demolished is the Wendover,Ut facility.The previously mentioned site will give you a good tour.Walker AAF in the middle of Kansas is a spooky ghost town site.The thing to remember is these are truly ghost towns.Not from a gold rush,but a "war rush"These towns had everything and still are worth visiting.Winter is a good time for many such ghost facilties as the various cooties are less deadly.the part of Ft.Lewis,Wa.called North Fort was,or still may be a spooky WWII ghost town kind of place.Ft.Pickett,VA has a lot of the same feel,but these areas are being slowly,but surely removed.The 60+year old time warp you get in these kind of places is easy to feel.The USA Forts Network will list every army post of any age.Shows which ones are worth seeing.The two former big facilities that would be great to see are Ft.John Custis and it's companion facilities on fisherman's Is.,but the Fish and Wildlife people need a good story to let you in.Just go to Ft.Worden,Pt.Townsend,WA or ck out Officer & a Gentleman.The 3 Sisters,as they are called are great ghost towns.The mentioned fort site will show you that the 3 sisters had other siblings in and near Puget Sound.There are facilties like those all around the country.Ft.Caswell,N.C.is worth visiting when the Baptist will let you in.The OLD BRUNSWICK TOWN site nearby is a great companion site. _NEW ADDITION:On the web sites and maps you will see the site of Ft.Ebey.,WA.That location had a wealth of old bldgs.,that is until the mid-80's when the nice gov't folk leveled the place with out any thought to anything but visitor "safety".When one studies the fate of many military facilities,it is the wanton,planned destuction of great facilties that sickens the sensitive soul,such as I.El Toro is on the target list.The lovely former Dallas Naval air Station is in grave danger.I could list Army and Navy bases all over the country that are in danger or gone without any thought to sensible reuse or preservation.If the army had it's way Ft. Monroe would have been bulldozed into Ches.Bay.It would have gone the way of Ft.Lawton in Seattle.Anyone who saw it in 1980 and then sees the site now will weep.

ghamilton
03-30-2006, 06:00 PM
On the Pyote scene,it's weird that the USGS maps show NOTHING there.The aerials,however show a big complex,big runways and aprons,hanger foundations,streets,etc.It's supposedly hard to get onto the site,but it can be done.Supposedly from the West side is easier than the East.When I saw the place being torn down when passing by in the mid 70's,it was a SAD sight.Those big hangers did not go down easy.The place was in remarkable condition.The buildings looked like 1945,not 75.Sadly,there just wasn't anything to re-use it as it was.Middle of nowhere is a curse.