Home / 1943 FAIRCHILD PT-19

!!! SOLD !!!

The photos below are of N53656, a 1943 Fairchild PT-19, owned by Robert Hensarling of Uvalde, Texas, and Paul Smith of Del Rio, Texas.  The airplane is operated and maintained in honor of Robert’s Dad,  Lt. Col. (Ret) W. A. “Bill” Hensarling, Jr., and Paul’s son, Lt. Col. Paul G. Smith of California.  Additionally, this PT-19 is displayed at the Aviation Museum of Texas at Garner Field, in Uvalde, in Honor of the Cadets that graced the halls of Garner Field, and to all military pilots past and present. This type of aircraft was one of the Primary Trainers used by the Army Air Corps in the 40’s. Roberts Dad was a cadet at Garner Field in 1943, and learned to fly in a PT-19 identical to the one pictured here.  He then instructed in BT-13’s in Enid, Oklahoma, and later in the war flew C-47’s in Africa.

This PT-19 was manufactured by Aeronca, in Middletown, Ohio, and received by the USAAF on 5 Oct 1943.  It was assigned to the 308th Primary Flying Training Detachment, (AAF Flying Training Command), Arleadge Field, Stamford, Texas, on 1 Nov 1943.  It was declared excess and sent to the San Antonio Air Depot, Kelly AAF, Texas on 4 June, 1944, and sold as surplus for $1,200.00 on 11 September, 1944.  From that point on it changed hands many times, and was finally acquired by Robert in October of 2000.  It was purchased from an individual in New Jersey. The airplane was ferried to Texas by Richard Smith, a friend of Robert’s who also owns a PT-19. The airplane has been reconditioned and repainted several times over its history, and is currently in excellent flying condition.
Robert served in the United States Marine Corps from 1970 until 1976.  He is a Certified Flight Instructor in addition to being a furniture maker. Paul retired from the service as a Master Sergeant and currently builds furniture in Del Rio.
Visitors are always welcomed to view the Fairchild along with the other aircraft at the museum at Garner Field.  To check the hours of operation at the museum, please call 830-278-2552.  Feel free to call Robert at 830-278-1832. 

This is me and my dad taken the day I gave him a ride in my PT-19, almost 58 years to the day that he soloed right here at Garner Field, in the same type of trainer. He flew the airplane from the backseat for most of the ride without any help from me.  The inclinometer was always centered in my cockpit, and he didn’t even have one in his. He still has it after all these years.
This photo was taken just before the engine was started for Dad’s first flight in 58 years in a Fairchild PT-19. Notice the engine crank in place between the “50” and the wing. The crank is removed after the engine is started.
I took this picture of Dad from the third story of the Garner Field Control tower. He is looking out towards where the current runways are now, and where the old Garner Field runway was in the early 40’s.
Here’s Dad looking out over Garner Field from the Control Tower.
The area he is looking towards is the exact spot where he learned to fly 58 years earlier, in 1942. Incidentally, I too learned to fly from the same place in 1966.
Here’s Dad standing in front of the Garner Field Control Tower. Sadly, the building was torn down two weeks later. The photo was taken in mid 2000.
This picture shows me (on left) and my brother James, before I took him flying in the PT-19. It was his first flight in an open cockpit airplane