Opening Day, September 28, 1940

Recently, the 1940 Air Terminal Museum was approached by David Morgan who asked if we would be interested in printing a set of old photographs of the terminal from negatives that he had acquired. It turns out, these are some of the best photographs of Opening Day that we have ever seen.

Opening Day:

Aerial view of the Houston Municipal Airport taken during the Opening Day celebration on September 28, 1940.

Closeup - The Terminal Building:

The parking lot is filled to capacity. Guests take in the view from the North and South Wing Observation Decks. An Eastern Airlines Douglas DC-3 is parked in front of the North Wing.

Closeup - The Hangar:

Aircraft such as the Stinson Reliant and Fairchild F-24 are parked next to the large Aviation Enterprises hangar adjacent to the Terminal Building.

A Braniff Airways Douglas DC-2 is parked just past the hangar, and a Braniff Airways Douglas DC-3 is parked north of the hangar.

Closeup - Visitor Aircraft Parking:

More small aircraft such as the Taylorcraft, Piper J-3 Cub, and a Waco biplane are parked in front of the small hangar, occupied by a Fixed Base Operator (FBO), to the north of the Terminal Building.

Opening Day:

Aerial view of the Houston Municipal Airport taken during the Opening Day celebration on September 28, 1940.

Closeup: The terminal building

The parking lot is filled to capacity. Guests take in the view from the North and South Wing Observation Decks. An Eastern Airlines Douglas DC-3 is parked in front of the North Wing.

Closeup: Braniff Airways Douglas DC-3

Closeup: Braniff Airways Douglas DC-2

Closeup: Fairchild 45

City of Houston fuel manifests indicate that NC16878 was owned by W.H. Cocke of Houston, Texas. This aircraft is currently registered with the FAA and is based in Kansas.

Closeup: Fairchild 24's

Closeup: Northrop Delta

Fuel manifests indicate that NC13777 was owned and operated by Baker Oil Tools. A Spartan Executive is parked next to the Northrop Delta in the shadow of the Aviation Enterprises hangar to the south of the Terminal Building.

Closeup: Gullwing Stinson

Fuel manifests indicate that NC18426 was owned and operated by Texas Pipeline Company.

Closeup: Shadow

The aerial photographs of Opening Day were taken from whatever plane cast this shadow on the grass by the Terminal Building.

Opening Day:

Aerial view of the Houston Municipal Airport taken during the Opening Day celebration on September 28, 1940

Closeup - The Terminal:

Aerial view of the Houston Municipal Airport Terminal. The doorway on the taxiway side of the North Wing was a surprise. It is not included in the original architectural drawings. At some point, it was removed and a window was installed in its place.

Closeup: Eastern Airlines Douglas DC-3

Parked in front of the Terminal's North Wing.

Closeup: Braniff Airways Douglas DC-3

Parked in front of the Terminal's South Wing.

Closeup: Small Aircraft

One Fairchild 45, three Fairchild 24's, three Gullwing Stinsons, and a Northrop Delta are parked on the Aviation Enterprises ramp to the south of the Terminal building.

Street View

Aerial view of the National Guard Hangar. A divided two-lane drive led the way from Telephone Road, past the housing facilities, to the hangar and attached offices.

Airside view

Great care was taken to make this hangar and office space architecturally interesting. Note the art deco entrance to the offices and curved twin taxiways leading to each end of the hangar.

Under construction

The National Guard Hangar was constructed primarily during 1939. From this airside view, we see the framed office space facing the taxiway.

Almost finished

From this airside view, we can see that the offices are enclosed and almost finished while work continues on the grand taxiway entrance and hangar. This photograph was taken after one of Houston's rare snowstorms in the winter of 1940.