Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Bishop Army Air
City" temporary housing at Bishop AAF.
Bishop, in the east-central part of the
state east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, had a small Army air
field, Bishop Army Air Field (AAF) 2.5 miles northeast of town.
The field was used for a short time and them turned over to the
Air Technical Service Command. Today, it is the municipal airport
for the city of Bishop.
Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District History
The site consisted of 897.22 acres subleased
from Inyo County, California between 10 June 1942 to 2 May 1949.
The US Army subleased from Inyo County runway use rights and
a heliport area of 4.76 acres known as the Bishop Test Site from
15 November 1965 to 19 June 1971 and from 25 November 1980 to
30 September 1985. The site is owned by the City of Los Angeles,
California and leased to Inyo County.
The project site was the former Bishop AAF used by the U.S. Army
and Air Force from 1942 to 1949 and again from 1965 to 1971 and
1980 to 1985. The site was used for aircraft flight and ordnance
delivery training. Aircraft maintenance was also accomplished
at the site as well as ordnance storage.
During World War II the airfield was known
as Bishop AAF and was used as a sub-base to Muroc AAF (now Edwards
AFB) in 1942 and 1943 by Fourth Air Force. The site was used
for aircraft flight and ordnance delivery training. In 1943 it
was re-assigned to Tonopah AAF, Nevada. Aircraft maintenance
was also accomplished at the site as well as ordnance storage.
After the end of World War II, Bishop AAF was turned over to
Air Technical Service Command as a storage airfield. On 2 May
1949, Army cancelled its initial lease of 897.22 acres (363.09
ha) with Inyo County for Bishop Airport under the War Assets
Administration's Peacetime Reduction Mission, and the base was
declared excess to requirements and returned to civil control.
The Air Force used the heliport area and
runway for performance testing of helicopters and other aircraft
from 1965 to 1971 and 1980 to 1985. The Army facilities were
constructed during 1942 and 1943 except for the heliport which
was constructed during 1965. The DoD facilities included run-way
expansion, fuel facilities, utilities, buildings, aircraft maintenance,
hospital and barracks.
Type or Purpose
Administration and Supply
Link Trainer Building
Vehicle Fuel Point
Includes a 25,000 gallon fuel tank.
During World War II building were the
temporary, tar paper covered, Theater of Operations type buildings.
Addition housing was provided by framed tents. The airfield had
protective aircraft revetments for a squadron of 16 aircraft.
In addition to the structures, there were ten earthen revetments
for bomb storage, five structures for bomb fuses, ten structures
for bomb fins, a warehouse and a latrine. There were also four
aircraft fuel points, each with a 25,000 gallon underground fuel
tank located on all four sides of the airfield.
History (2005) by Justin Ruhge
Bishop Army Air Field was located 2.5
miles northeast of the town of Bishop. In 1941 the airport was
used for the Civilian Pilot Training Program. Sixty pilots were
in training when the Field was transferred to the Department
of the Army in June 1942. By December 1942 the improvements to
the Field were completed and it was then designated the Bishop
Army Air Field. The Field then came under the jurisdiction of
the Tonopah Army Air Field on December 16, 1942. In 1943 Minter
Army Air Field used the Bishop Field for basic training while
Tonopah Army Air Field carried on the housekeeping duties and
In May 1944, 200 Marine pilots and crews
arrived to practice aircraft carrier landings with their F-4U
Corsairs. These planes tended to bounce when hitting the carrier
decks so that the tail hooks would miss the arresting cables.
The emphasis of this training was on the "bounce" problem.
Bishop Field was returned to the town
of Bishop in November 1945. In 2005, it is the municipal airport
for the City of Bishop.
References: Airports of the
Owens Valley, 1928 thru 1945 by Kirt Nance, 2003
January 1945 US Army and Navy Directory of Air Fields
Sources: Los Angeles District,
US Army Corps of Engineers and Wikipedia
Department Inventory of Owned, Sponsored and Leased Facilities,