Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Fresno Air National Guard Base
Fresno Army Air Base, Hammer Field

The Fresno Air National Guard Base in California is home to the 144th Fighter Wing. The 144th Fighter Wing (FW) of the California Air National Guard occupies two separate parcels of land (the main base area and the Munitions Storage Area) totaling 110.726 acres of leased land on the Fresno Yosemite International Airport (formerly named Fresno Air Terminal), located approximately 4 miles east of downtown Fresno, California. The mission of the 144th FW is to provide air defense protection for California from the Mexican border to Ukiah utilizing the F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighter aircraft. The 144th FW occupies 6 administrative, 16 industrial and 2 services buildings totaling approximately 341,251 square feet with 325 full-time personnel. A unit training drill is conducted once a month and results in a surge of up to a total of 990 personnel. There is currently an ongoing construction project (Composite Support Facility), which when completed by the end of FY 2001, will add an additional 6,236 square feet of building area.

The California Army National Guard [CAARNG] aviation units are based at the Mather Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF) located at the former Mather Air Force Base (AFB) in Sacramento, the California Aviation Classification Repair Depot (AVCRAD) in Fresno, the AASF in Stockton, and the Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC) in Los Alamitos. All sites include hangar facilities, aircraft parking aprons, and armories. The 1106th AVCRAD's mission is to provide aircraft support to the National Guard's aviation units of thirteen western states. It performs the highest level of maintenance possible on Army aircraft.

Hammer Field, also known as Fresno Army Air Base and previously known as Fresno Air Field and Municipal Airport at Fresno, was located 5 miles northeast of Fresno. The Army Air Force acquired this area for the Airways Detachment to set up a sub-base of Camp Pinedale for an extension of ordnance storage facilities and additional land for housing construction, a hospital, laundry, drainage facilities, cold storage, fire station, school building, rifle ranges, high tower shot gun range, motor pool areas, chemical warfare storage area, a concrete underground igloo magazine arms storage, Hammer Army Air Field was a training base of the 4th Air Force specializing in night fighters. It had three sub-bases and two gunnery ranges. Hammer Field also had an Army Air Forces regional hospital.

The site is approximately 1616.95 acres and was acquired by the U.S. Government for use as an Army Air Base sub-base for Camp Pinedale. The US Government acquired the site from several sources between 1941 to 1945; the sources included the City of Fresno (804.59 acres by lease), 21 individual land owners (781.96 acres by fee and 27.24 acres by lease), easement right-of-ways (1.42 acres) and permit (1.64 acres). In 1943 the lease on 9.24 acres was terminated. In 1945 and 1946, the leases for 18 acres and 5 acres were terminated, respectively. Effective January 15, 1947, 23.06 acres were reassigned for the Hammer Field National Guard training area. In 1948, 319 acres were quitclaimed and the lease on 799.69 acres were transferred to the City of Fresno. In 1948 and 1949, 441.5 acres were quitclaimed to the State of California.

The former Hammer Field area, now the site of the Fresno Air Terminal, has various sources of contamination that are being investigated by the California Air National Guard, the California Army National Guard, and the State of California Department of Health Services. This investigation is part of the active IRP program and as such is not related to the formerly used area that the enclosed INPR covers. However, groundwater contamination sources have not been exactly pinpointed yet. If, upon further investigation, this alleged landfill holds chemical contamination similar to what is being discovered, the possibility exists for active participation in the remediation program.

Planning is underway for the Air Cargo Park at Fresno Yosemite International Airport located on approximately 87 acres of land on the north side of the airport. The air cargo park will feature two aircraft ramps together with over 500,000 square feet of air cargo building space. The first phase was completed in late fall of 2001.

Known Units at Hammer Field

Present 7 December 1941

84th Bombardment Squadron (Light)
85th Bombardment Squadron (Light)
86th Bombardment Squadron (Light)
97th Bombardment Squadron (Light)
Hq and Hq Sq, 49th Air Base Group:
64th Material Squadron
50th Air Base Squadron
Air Force Band
Det, 1st Communications Squadron
Det, 1st Weather Squadron
Det, 3rd Chemical Company (Service) (Aviation)
444th Ordnance Company (Aviation) (Bombardment)
710th Ordnance Company (Aviation) (Air Base)
Det, Company M, 34th Quartermaster Regiment (Truck)
Det, 91st Quartermaster Battalion (Lt Maint)
Det, 4th Quartermaster Company (Supply) (Aviation)
321st Signal Company (Air Wing)
Det, 854th Signal Service Company (Aviation)
25th Signal Platoon (Air Base)
402nd Army Air Forces Base Unit (Fighter) (318th Wing)
450th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Combat Crew Training Station-Night Fighter)


Posted 18 May 2008

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