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. Osbourne
Corps of Engineers History
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 land.

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 maintenance.
Source: Los Angeles District, US Army Corps of Engineers
Additional Histories
Abandoned and Little Known Airfields
Known Army Units at Grand Central Air Terminal

 Data Source


   7 December 1941 Air Corps Training Detachment, Cal-Aero School
Air Corps Training Detachment, Curtis-Wright School
 Army of the United States Station List  1 June 1943
Army Air Forces Weather Station (Type E) (AAF)
329th Fighter Group (Two Engine) (AAF)
Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron
337th Fighter Squadron
364th Fighter Group (Two Engine) (AAF)
Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron
383th Fighter Squadron
384th Fighter Squadron
385th Fighter Squadron
506th Base Headquarters and Air Base Squadron (AAF)
1173rd Guard Squadron (AAF)
1914th Engineer Aviation Battalion (AAF)
 Army of the United States Station List  7 April 1945
Section, 68th Army Air Forces Base Unit (1st Weather Region) (AAF)
Detachment, Section D, 85th Army Air Forces Base Unit (101st Army Airways Communications System Squadron) (AAF)
318th Wing (AAF)
Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron
402nd Army Air Forces Base Unit (Fighter) (AAF)
2686th Fighter Wing (Provisional) (AAF)
 Army of the United States Station List  7 May 1946
1985th Service Command Unit: Dibbile General Hospital including WAC Personnel (ASF)
Film Library
General Hospital Library
84th Women's Army Corps Hospital Company (Zone of the Interior) (ASF)
360th Army Service Forces Band (ASF)
AAF - Army Air Forces units | AGF - Army Ground Forces unit | ASF - Army Service Forces units | WDC Western Defense Command unit
Extract, US Army Air Forces Directory of Airfields, January 1945

Extract, War Department Inventory of Owned, Sponsored and Leased Facilities, December 1945


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Updated 8 February 2016