Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Grand Central Air Terminal
Grand Central Air
Terminal. Cal-Aero Academy is in the foreground and Curtis-Wright
Technical Institue is in the background. The Army contracted
with both to provide pilot and technical training.
by Richard E. Osbourne
This airport which, in the postwar years,
became known a Glendale Airport, had a well-known flying school,
The Grand Central Flying School. In May 1939, this school was
one of nine such schools in the country selected by the Army
Air Corps to train Air Corps pilots. They also trained pilots
for the Royal Air Force. After a while, though, the Army Air
Corps canceled its contract with this school because of mounting
air congestion in the area. During World War II, TWA had its
western terminus at Grand Central.
The runway was extended (by closing down
several adjacent streets), and a squadron of P-38s were based
there for coastal defense. The 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of
Airfields described Grand Central as having a 5,000' hard-surfaced
runway, and indicated that Army operations were conducted from
the field.as a sub-base to Van Nuys Army Air Field.
In 1955, Grand Central was closed because
it was too small for the larger jet planes then becoming prevalent.
Source: World War II Sites
in the United States: A Tour Guide and Directory by Richard E.
Between January 1942 and May 1943, the
United States acquired legal interest in the Grand Central Air
Terminal (GCAT), which at that time was a privately-owned airport.
A total of 188.83 acres were acquired for use by the military.
A major portion of the acreage (181.7 acres) was leased from
Curtis-Wright Corporation, and the balance (7.13 acres) was acquired
through lesser interest.
GCAT was utilized by the U.S. Army Air
Force as a training facility and subsidiary airport during World
War II. GCAT served as a sub-base to Van
Nuys Army Air Field. From 1942-1943 the U.S. Army constructed
improvements on the then existing airport and adjoining vacant
In January 1946, the U.S. Army Detachmentermined GCAT to be surplus
to their needs. The major lease for the 181.7 acres was terminated
in 1948. The 7.13 acres of lesser interest use was terminated
between 1944 and 1948. The streets had been closed and utilized
by the u.S. Army. In October 1946, an agreement was executed
between the U.S. Government and the City of Glendale which relieved
the U.S. Government of any further responsibility for street
Source: Los Angeles District,
US Army Corps of Engineers