Houston Archeological Society Lecture: "The Last World War I Concrete Airplane in Texas"


The discovery in a North Texas pasture of an airplane-shaped "watering trough" made of concrete led to the realization that this previously unrecognized structure was an airplane silhouette practice target used in the training of U.S. Air Service pilots and gunners at Taliaferro Air Field during World War I.

The Talliaferro target has a wingspan of almost 40 feet and is almost 30 feet from nose to tail. The 1918 issues of the base newspaper, the Taliaferro Target, mention that 20 of these "Reinburg" targets had been constructed. Damascus twist steel rebar reinforced the concrete and along with machine gun bullets manufactured at the Frankfort Pennsylvania Arsenal in 1915 confirm the construction date. The target has been fenced off by the property owner and a Texas Historical Commission marker is to be installed. This is apparently the only confirmed World War I Reinburg target known to be preserved and recorded in the United States.

This Houston Archeological Society program will feature a presentation highlighting this structure by archeologist Alan Skinner.



University of St. Thomas
3800 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006


Admission is free.
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