Self-service Fuel now at the Airport

Don Reeder has inserted his credit card and is now pumping self serve into his restored Piper Cub. Image by Jim Satterwhite.

Majors Field was opened in Greenville in 1942 to assist in training pilots for the European and Pacific conflicts. Several airports in the region were built during the same period.  These included training fields at Bonham, Reno (Paris), Caddo Mills, Terrell and Sulphur Springs.  Most were deactivated after the war.  Majors Field held on to train pilots of the Mexican Air Force.

This mission ended and the field reverted back to the City of Greenville.  A fabrication company called Texas Engineering and Manufacturing opened during the mid-fifties.  Temco manufactured everything from fishing boats, furniture and flight training airplanes for the Department of Defense. Eventually Temco started to overhaul large transports for the Air Force.  It became Ling-Temco-Vaught and then E-Systems, Raytheon and finally L3 Mission Integration.  For the last 47-years Majors Field has been an important military contractor for the Air Force and Navy.

The field has always been a civilian airport with operations concentrated at the southern end of the field.  Aircraft could get fuel during the daylight hours and provisions were in place to call out fuel specialist after hours.  Many of the pilots based here wished that the field had self-service fuel like the facility in Wills Point, for instance. Buddy Crump, Larry Goss, and Dennis Mathis brought the subject up but current airport manager picked up the baton and ran with it.  The self-service facility was almost five years in the making.  Ty Helton applied for grants, approached Texas Department of Transportation and L3 to make the project a reality.  L3 expressed a desire to expand and finally there was a plan to place the fuel farm. Many people in Greenville were instrumental but current City Manager Massoud Ebrahim and Mayor David Dreiling finally saw construction begin and the first customer arrived Tuesday.  Don Reeder refueled his restored Piper Cub during the dedication.

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