Arnold Field Airport in Tennessee Tennessee airports - Arnold Field Airport
Arnold Field Airport in Tennessee - United States
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Arnold Field Airport

Coordinates: 35°54′12″N 089°23′50″W / 35.90333°N 89.39722°W / 35.90333; -89.39722

Arnold Field
1999 USGS Photo
IATA: none – ICAO: none – FAA LID: M31
Airport type Public
Owner Town of Halls
Serves Halls, Tennessee
Elevation AMSL 292 ft / 89 m
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18/36 4,700 1,433 Concrete
Statistics (1996)
Aircraft operations 7,290
Source: Federal Aviation Administration

Arnold Field (FAA LID: M31) is a municipal public-use airport located two miles (3 km) northwest of the central business district of Halls, a town in Lauderdale County, Tennessee, United States. The airport is named for a former Mayor, Sammie Arnold

The airport is operated on the grounds of the former Dyersburg Army Air Base. In the 1940s the Dyersburg Army Air Base was a training facility for World War II B-17 Flying Fortress bomber pilots and crews.

In 2007, Arnold Field is home to 15 general purpose aircraft and the Veterans' Museum.

History of the Dyersburg Army Air Base

Construction begins 1942

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Serial 41-24485, The Memphis Belle
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Serial 41-24485, The Memphis Belle

The Dyersburg Army Air Base (DAAB), promoted by Congressman Jere Cooper and solicited by local officials of Dyersburg in 1941, was actually located near the edge of Halls, Tennessee since an Army study indicated that the Lauderdale County site was better suited for the base. Construction begun in March 1942 on "what was to become one of the largest combat crew training schools built during the early war years."

The Base was the largest combat crew training school built during the early war years. It was the only inland B-17 training base east of the Mississippi River. The base was located on 2,541 acres (10.28 km), not including the practice range. Approximately 7,700 crew men received their last phase training at DAAB. 114 crew men lost their lives.

Crew of the Memphis Belle
Crew of the Memphis Belle

Life on the base

Three concrete runways, a hospital, libraries, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and a 600 seat movie theatre were hurriedly built on the former crop fields.

Although barracks were moved from other sites and many built for the soldiers, very little housing was available for families. Citizens in Brownsville, Ripley, Halls and Dyersburg made room for the influx of wives, mothers and children who wanted to spend a short time with their soldiers before they went to combat. Attics, garages, and closets were transformed into sleeping areas.

President Harry Truman visited the base during the war as did Roy Acuff and Governor Jim McCord.

Deactivation of the base 1946

Armored vehicle exhibit
Armored vehicle exhibit

In 1946, with World War II over, the DAAB was deactivated, and the base was hastily dismantled, land was sold, and barracks and guard shacks were moved to private property. The former morgue was moved and became a two bedroom residence later occupied by a mayor of Halls. The Army left as quickly as it arrived. Today, the only evidence of the base's location is the configuration of crumbling runways, a Norden bombsight storage building, one hangar out of the original five, tall chimneys where the theatre and other sites were located, and a 95 acres (0.38 km) apron.

To quote Lt. Colonel Robert Little (Ret.), "Our job was to give about one hundred more hours of flying — we would give them instrument flying, a lot of take offs and landings, some formations, and a little bit of navigation — to men coming from camps like Roswell, New Mexico, and a transition school for B-17s."

Remaining on the site are chimneys and concrete foundations, two buildings, Norden Bombsite, Storage Vaults, one hangar and pocked runways.

Veterans' Museum

Uniform and document exhibits
Uniform and document exhibits

Foundation and purpose

The Veterans' Museum, located on the site of the former air base, was built in 1997. It is owned and operated by The Dyersburg Army Air Base Memorial Association, a non-profit organization.

The purpose of the museum is the preservation and documentation of materials related to military activities from World War I to the Iraq war, as well as documenting the history of the air base itself.

RV parking is available at no charge and admittance to the museum is free. Electrical hookup is $10 per day.


The exhibits of the Veterans' Museum stem from donations by organizations and individuals.

Outside exhibits of the museum are a A-7 Corsair II and military vehicles.

The 8,900 ft (827 m) indoor exhibition displays items ranging from military vehicle displays and uniforms to photographs, personal and official letters, diaries, technical publications, divisional histories, videos and other military memorabilia.

Murals painted by Ernie Berke and photographs of 72 crews are also displayed.

Special exhibits:

A-7 Corsair II in front of the Veterans' Museum
A-7 Corsair II in front of the Veterans' Museum
  • World War I - A complete uniform and field gear of local resident C.C Sumrow is from the collection of Tommy Simmons.
  • Memphis Belle Exhibit - The exhibit tells the story of the Memphis Belle, its crew, postwar history of the Belle, and a look at the Altus Crew who flew it to Memphis, Tennessee in 1946.
  • Home Front Exhibit - Pictures and uniforms of area veterans who served are on display. Also included in this exhibit are pictures of weddings where local ladies married soldiers in training at the Base.
  • At Home Exhibit - A living room looking like "at home" during the 1940s is shown. From the radio and the coal stove, to the buffet and other items, it provides a real look at rural homes.

Air shows

In irregular intervals, the museum organizes and houses air shows on Arnold Field.

Other facilities

The museum houses conference facilities for up to 50 people and the Sammie Arnold Lending Library, with books covering the topics documented in the museum.

Facilities and aircraft

Arnold Field covers an area of 29 acres (12 ha) which contains one concrete paved runway (18/36) measuring 4,700 x 75 ft (1,433 x 23 m). For the 12-month period ending December 3, 1996, the airport had 7,290 aircraft operations, an average of 19 per day: 99% general aviation and 1% military.

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Arnold Field Airport picture

Location & QuickFacts

FAA Information Effective:2008-09-25
Airport Identifier:M31
Airport Status:Operational
-89.397294/35.903407 (Estimated)
Elevation:292 ft / 89.00 m (Estimated)
Land:29 acres
From nearest city:2 nautical miles NW of Halls, TN
Location:Lauderdale County, TN
Magnetic Variation:02E (1985)

Owner & Manager

Ownership:Publicly owned
Owner:Town Of Halls
Address:City Hall
Halls, TN 38040
Phone number:731-836-9653
Manager:Pat Higdon
Address:City Hall
Halls, TN 38040
Phone number:731-836-9653

Airport Operations and Facilities

Airport Use:Open to public
Wind indicator:Yes
Segmented Circle:No
Control Tower:No
Landing fee charge:No
Sectional chart:Memphis
Region:ASO - Southern
Boundary ARTCC:ZME - Memphis
Tie-in FSS:MKL - Jackson
FSS on Airport:No
FSS Toll Free:1-800-WX-BRIEF
NOTAMs Facility:MKL (NOTAM-d service avaliable)

Airport Communications


Airport Services

Fuel available:100LL
Airframe Repair:NONE
Power Plant Repair:MINOR
Bottled Oxygen:NONE
Bulk Oxygen:NONE

Runway Information

Runway 18/36

Dimension:4700 x 75 ft / 1432.6 x 22.9 m
Surface:CONC, Good Condition

Runway 18

Runway 36

Traffic Pattern:RightLeft
Markings:Basic, Good ConditionBasic, Good Condition
Obstruction:54 ft tree, 1740.0 ft from runway, 55 ft right of centerline, 28:1 slope to clear109 ft ant, 2498.0 ft from runway, 36 ft right of centerline, 21:1 slope to clear

Radio Navigation Aids

ID Type Name Ch Freq Var Dist
DNTNDBNally Dunston343.0001W5.5 nm
COONDBCovington326.0002E21.0 nm
IUINDBHicks350.0001E21.3 nm
TGCNDBGibson378.0001E26.7 nm
UCNDBObion212.0000E30.7 nm
BPWNDBOsceola239.0002E32.6 nm
TKXNDBKennett358.0000E36.8 nm
MXANDBManila282.0001E37.0 nm
FYENDBSomerville255.0000E41.9 nm
BAVNDBHardeman404.0001E44.9 nm
MIGNDBMillington232.0004E45.8 nm
HZDNDBHuntingdon217.0000E46.6 nm
GOJVORGosnell111.8001E26.6 nm
MKLVOR/DMEMc Kellar057X112.0002E29.8 nm
DYRVORTACDyersburg115X116.8003E7.9 nm
MAWVORTACMalden049X111.2003E46.4 nm



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General Info
Country United States
Latitude 35-54-12.265N
Longitude 089-23-50.260W
Elevation 292 feet
Near City HALLS

We don't guarantee the information is fresh and accurate. The data may be wrong or outdated.
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