Aircraft List, Serial Numbers and Location Planes of the Past ... A Tribute to the Great Aircraft of the Past Planes of the Past Home Page About the PlanesOfThePast Website Site Map Search Planes of the Past Website Contact PlanesOfThePast
Consolidated B-24 Liberator Post-WWII Aircraft Boneyards & Disposal Facilities B-17 Flying Fortress F-4 Phantom II Boeing B-52 Stratofortress Aircraft and Aviation Museums Boeing B-29 Superfortress Other Website Features and Resources Airports, Air Force Bases, Army Air Fields Convair B-36 Peacemaker Aircraft Boneyards & Airliner Storage Facilities Aircraft Photo Galleries The Store at PlanesOfThePast Military Aircraft Nose Art

Greater Southwest International Airport (GSW) and Amon Carter Field (ACF) in Fort Worth

Amon Carter Field Passenger TerminalAmon Carter Field Passenger Terminal

We live in Texas, and frequently fly in and out of today's modern Texas airports such as DFW and IAH. We also recall their predecessors from the 1950s, such as Love Field, Hobby Airport, and Amon Carter Field. A recent visit to the site of Amon Carter led to the development of the content discussed herein.

Prelude to a New Fort Worth Airport

In 1925 the city of Fort Worth established the Fort Worth Municipal Airport. Renamed Meacham Field in 1927 in honor of former Fort Worth Mayor H.C. Meacham, it remained the hub of commercial flights until the early 1950s.

As air traffic at Meacham grew during the 1940s, so did the city surrounding it. A new site was selected after much discussion, planning and haggling with Dallas. The site was south of today's DFW airport, and just east of the C.R. Smith American Airlines Museum, as shown below.

Map of the location of Amon Carter Field, the Greater Southwest International Airport, and DFW Airport

Construction of Amon Carter Field

Amon Carter Field Flight OperationsAmon Carter Field Flight Operations

Construction occurred during 1951-53, and Amon Carter Field was officially opened in the spring of 1953, named after the local legendary businessman.

Parked at the opening ceremonies were Convair B-36H (S/N 51-5736) and XC-99 (S/N 43-52436) aircraft. American, Braniff, Central, Continental, Delta, Eastern, and Trans-Texas Airways were among the carriers operating from the airport. It was assigned airport code ACF.

Two major runways were provided, each about 6,500 feet in length: 17/35, and 13/31. In 1962 runway 17/35 was extended to the north by 2,000 feet, necessitating the construction of a tunnel under the runway for Route 183. A passenger terminal with two concourses, ticketing, and restaurant facilities faced to the west, towards Fort Worth, away from Dallas.

The name was later changed to Greater Southwest International Airport, airport code GSW. The airport enjoyed moderate success over the years, but competition from Love Field in Dallas gradually reduced usage of GSW.

1972 Enco map showing Greater Southwest International Airport, with Dallas - Ft. Worth "Regional" Airport Under Construction (click to enlarge)1972 Enco map showing Greater Southwest International Airport, with Dallas - Ft. Worth "Regional" Airport Under Construction
from the author's historical archive (click to enlarge)

The Demise of GSW

In addition, the FAA dictated that Dallas and Fort Worth needed to join together in the building of a new airport to service both cities.

With the opening of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), GSW began to be shut down, and was closed on January 13, 1974.

The GSW terminal was demolished in 1980, and the last of the runways were removed by 1982.

The B-36 Peacemaker "City of Fort Worth" at GSW

The Convair B-36 Peacemaker was one of the largest airplanes ever built, and was a key element in maintaining peace during the Cold War with Russia during the 1950s.

These giants were built in Fort Worth by the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation (later known as Convair) at its Carswell Air Force Base assembly plant.

For several years, the last plane in the series, a retired B-36J with serial number 52-2827, and inscribed as the "City of Fort Worth", was in static display at GSW.

After GSW closed, the B-36 was moved, and valiant attempts over the years by local groups to maintain the plane, and keep it in Forth Worth, were not successful.

U.S. Air Force Convair B-36J S/N 2827 "City of Ft. Worth" at takeoff (Courtesy of the Air Force Museum)U.S. Air Force Convair B-36J S/N 2827 "City of Ft. Worth" at takeoff (Courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force)

Today, the plane is on display at the Pima Air and Space Museum adjacent to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. It is only one of four surviving B-36 Peacemakers.

The Airport Site Today

After the airport was abandoned, for a time GSW's runway 17/35 was converted for use as Amon Carter Boulevard; eventually it was replaced with the new boulevard in use today.

The major remaining 1,600 foot trace of GSW lies just north of the boulevard, on the north side of Highway 183: the northernmost end of runway 17/35 and a bit of taxiway and runup pad.

Map of the site of the Greater Southwest International Airport, Amon Carter Field, Fort Worth Texas

Map of the site of the remaining runway 17-35 at the Greater Southwest International Airport, Amon Carter Field, Fort Worth Texas

Viewed from a satellite photo, on the western side of the GSW site, the outline of the semi-circular driveway serving the passenger terminal can still be seen today. Trees lined the driveway, and remnants could still be seen in photos from 2005, and 2011, as shown below.

Map of the site of the passenger terminal at the Greater Southwest International Airport, Amon Carter Field, Fort Worth Texas, as seen in 2005

Map of the site of the passenger terminal at the Greater Southwest International Airport, Amon Carter Field, Fort Worth Texas, as seen in 2011

Interactive Map of Site of Amon Carter Field

Trans Texas Airways

Trans Texas Airways route map circa 1952Trans Texas Airways route map circa 1952,

One of our favorite airlines that served Amon Carter - GSW and Pounds Airport in Tyler over the years was Texas' own Trans Texas Airways (TTA). During the 1950s and 1960s, TTA operated a small fleet of about 25 Convair 240 and Convair 600 aircraft, as well as DC-3s.

As with the DC-3s, the Convair airliners were purchased from American Airlines, whose maintenance records indicated the aircraft were in extremely good condition.

read more about Trans Texas Airways

Copyright © 2014 PlanesOfThePast.com All Rights Reserved