Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Sequoia Field
(Visalia-Dinuba School of Aeronautics Contract Flying School, Camp Sequoia)
Activated 4 October 1941. Original airfield had 2,300' turf runway.
Visalia-Dinuba School of Aeronautics conducted basic flying training for the United States Army Air Forces West Coast Training Center (later Western Flying Training Command) under contract until inactivated in October 1944.
Sequoia field had possibly had up to six axillary airfields in local area. The only one located is Three Rivers Auxiliary Field 36°27?30?N 118°54?00?W, which was an all-way open field and no remains of it exist.
Primary use was basic flying training of flight cadets. Fairchild PT-19s were the primary trainer used. Also had several PT-17 Stearmans and a few P-40 Warhawks assigned.
Sequoia Field was transferred to Army Corps of Engineers 5 May 1945 and placed on an inactive status.

On 23 July 1945, the post, now known as Camp Sequoia, was taken over by the Western Signal Aviation Training Center at Camp Pinedale as a sub-post. It was a replacement for nearby Camp Visalia. The garrison, which moved from Camp Visalia, consisted of Squadron F, 462nd Army Air Forces Base Unit (AAFBU) commanded by Maj. Hugh J. Roberts.
The physical facilities of' Camp Sequoia included administrative buildings and quarters for officers and enlisted men, encircling a central location. A consolidated mess hall, which accommodated 1,000 enlisted men and a limited number of' officers, was located nearby. Adjacent to the mess hall was a Post Exchange, a Service Club and a dance floor. The former hangers were used to house the supply section of Squadron F, the equipment of tactical units assigned and the Information Center.
Administrative buildings at Camp Sequoia

Recreational facilities at Camp Sequoia centered on the base swimming pool. Nearby were tennis and handball courts, and a softball diamond. Regular dances were conducted at the base Service Club and in Visalia.

Tactical unit training at Camp Sequoia was designed to provide a sufficient flow of individual replacements, cadres, and teams as required by Camp Pinedale and higher headquarters. Much of the equipment used by these groups was transferred from Camp Visalia to Camp Sequoia. This did not include the SCR-615-B nor the SCR-215, which were dismantled and shipped to Air Corps Supply at Camp Pinedale. The operation required the expenditure of 1150 man-hours of labor.

In addition to its function of containing base administrative personnel, Squadron F was charged with the responsibility of cadre training for the AN/TPS-10, SCR-615-B, and SP-1-M radar units.

Squadron D, 462nd AAFBU, was transferred from Camp Pinedale to Camp Sequoia on 29 July 1945, for the purpose of providing on-the-job training for fighter control squadron personnel in the use of the AN/CPS-1. The unit also provided training on the AN/CPS-1 for maintenance and operating crews, assigned to the controllers at Hammer Field.
The Electronics School, situated at Camp Wawona until 14 July 1945, was assigned to Camp Sequoia on that date to provide a fundamental theoretical background for radar op
erations. Personnel assigned to the school designed and constructed laboratory equipment and prepared lesson plans.
Camp Sequoia does not appear in any Station Lists or Airfield Directories after 1 December 1945. Nor does it appear in the 31 December 1945 War Department Inventory of Owned, Sponsored or Leased Facilities. The airfield was turned over to civil control in February 1947 through the War Assets Administration (WAA). Several wartime buildings still remain in use.

Training on the AN/CPS-5 Radar
Sequoia Field by Justin Ruhge
Sequoia Field was one of 9 of the private contract fields in California used for primary pilot training during World War II. It was located nine miles north of Visalia. Its founders, Lloyd and Gladys O'Donnell, were one of the most famous aviation couples of the 1920s and 1930s.
In mid-1941 the county of Tulare purchased a 640-acre section of land for the cadet flight school. Sequoia Field is located in the southwest corner of this section. Immediately after this acquisition, 176 acres were leased to the Visalia-Dinuba School of Aeronautics. The school had received a War Department contract to train Army pilots in June 1941. Tulare County and the cities of Visalia and Dinuba provided construction start-up funding for Sequoia Field. On the Field's original 176-acre site, two runways and an apron for parking 125 training aircraft were built for flight training operations. The buildings constructed on the airfield itself included two hangars, a control tower and a flight line administration building. Grounds and buildings for the school of aviation were constructed in the southwest corner of the site. In these, aviation cadets were housed and provided with military and physical training and courses in aviation. Five auxiliary fields within a 15-mile radius supported the training at Sequoia. The primary aircraft was the Ryan PT-22. Primary training began October 4, 1941.
Sequoia Field was a temporary home to 125 civilian training instructors and provided the primary training for over 8,000 cadets in less than four years.
The Army returned the field to the Tulare County in 1949. From then on the facilities at the Field have been used by the County for many of its social programs. In 2000 the National Park Services entered the Sequoia Field/Visalia-Dinuba School of Aeronautics into the National Register of Historic Places. The historic district encompasses 78 of the original 176 acres. Most of the original 20 buildings are still in use. In September 2001, the 60th anniversary of the opening of Sequoia Field was held at the field.
Both Rankin Field at Tulare and Sequoia Field at Visalia produced Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, a host of aces, pilots who fought in three wars, and many high-ranking
graduates, including one who reached four-star rank and headed the Air Force Logistics Command.
References: Tulare County's Civilian Flying Schools Trained World War II Army Pilots by Bruce Baird, Los Tulare, Quarterly Bulletin of the Tulare County Historical Society, Number 213, September 2001; The Wings of War, by Tiffany A. Breen, Valley Voice, Volume XXI, No. 20, August 15, 2001 Section B.

Army Units Assigned to Sequoia Field / Camp Sequoia

 Data Source


   7 Dec 41 Air Corps Training Detachment
 Army of the United States Station List  1 Jun 43
8th Army Air Forces Flying Detachment
Air Depot Detachment (Contract Flying Activities, Primary)
 Air Service Command Station List
 1 Dec 43
Air Depot Detachment (Contract Flying Activities, Primary)
History of Camp Pinedale 23 Jul 45 Squadron F, 462nd Army Air Forces Base Unit (Western Signal Aviation Unit Training Center)
AAF = Army Air Forces | AGF = Army Ground Forces | ASF = Army Service Forces Units | WDC = Western Defense Command

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Updated 10 August 2017