The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Hicks Field

Art Leatherwood and Chris Cravens General Entry

Hicks Field was on State Loop 496 four miles west of Eagle Mountain Lake in northwestern Fort Worth, Tarrant County. The Canadian Royal Flying Corps selected the field in 1916 as one of three fields at Fort Worth where it trained pilots for World War I and named the site Taliaferro Field. It was the first and largest of four aerial gunnery training schools. The gunnery range covered 12,000 acres west of the field. Many Americans who enlisted in the Canadian military before the United States entered the war were assigned to this field. The field was the site of the world's first helium plant, built by the United States government in 1923 but closed in 1929 because of a shortage of helium.Taliaferro Field was reactivated in July 1940 for primary flight training for the Army Air Corps during World War II, and renamed Hicks Field, after a nearby railroad depot, with Lt. James H. Price was the first commanding officer. The field was deactivated in July 1944. By April 1945 Hicks was owned by private interests and was being used as a civil field; at that time it encompassed 426 acres. It had fallen into disuse by 1976, when it was no longer shown on maps and only a few businesses remained in the area. By the early 1990s, the area was an industrial park, though some of the World War II hangars were still standing. In 1985 a new Hicks Airport, privately owned but open to the public, was opened a few hundred yards from the old field. It was still in operation in the early 1990s.

Robert E. Hays, Jr., Military Aviation Activities in Texas, World Wars I and II (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1963).

Time Periods:

  • Progressive Era


  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Fort Worth
  • North Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Art Leatherwood and Chris Cravens, “Hicks Field,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 27, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: