Randolph Air Force Base

Randolph Air Force Base, about fifteen miles northeast of San Antonio, was identified as the "West Point of the Air" when it was officially dedicated on June 20, 1930. Beginning as a primary and basic flying training base, the Central Instructor’s School began in the mid-1940s, and ever since then, teaching pilots to instruct undergraduate pilots has been a major part of Randolph’s mission. The idea for Randolph came soon after the enactment of the Air Corps Act of 1926. The Act changed the name of the Army Air Service to the Army Air Corps, provided a five-year expansion program for the under-strength Air Corps, and established two new brigadier general positions for the Army. One of these new positions placed a general officer in charge of all flying training for the Air Corps. Brig. Gen. Frank P. Lahm (later known as "the father of Randolph Field") was selected to fill this position, which proved to be a pivotal event in the history of Randolph Air Force Base. Once placed in charge of flying training, General Lahm established the Air Corps Training Center at Duncan Field, adjacent to Kelly Field (see KELLY AIR FORCE BASE). Soon thereafter he realized that the Air Corps training requirements had become too great for Brooks and Kelly fields, and that another field dedicated to flying training was needed—preferably in an area in which San Antonio's rapid growth would not hinder the training operations. The initial site chosen for the new field was a place known as Calf Hill, less than ten miles east of the city on Hedwig Road, just south of the site of the Woodlake Country Club. An essential tract of land owned by William Rittiman, however, could not be obtained, so General Lahm dismissed the site. Around November 1927, nineteen sites for the new airfield were submitted to General Lahm for his consideration. Finally, a 2,300-acre tract near Schertz was decided upon for the new field.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Randolph Air Force Base by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Randolph Air Force Base
Pop. Year Source
780 2020 United States Census Bureau
1,387 2019 Texas Demographic Center
1,241 2010 United States Census Bureau