Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Hawthorne Municipal Airport
(Northrop Field, Air Force Plant 10)
Northrop P-61 "Black Widow" assembly line at Hawthorne Municipal Airport (National Archives)
US Army Corps of Engineers History
The original portion of Hawthorne Municipal Airport called "Plancor 1469", and which was to become known as Air Force Plant 10, was initially acquired by the Defense Plant Corporation (PLANCOR) from the Northrop Aircraft Corporation through purchase or donation sometime prior to 1943. At that time it was comprised of 49.24 acres of property within the approximatelY 175 acres of land now called Hawthorne Municipal Airport. Along with the real property, the Defense Plant Corporation secured a beneficial interest in buildings, machinery, and equipment from Northrop Aircraft Corporation. In 1944, 1.47 additional acres of land was acquired through purchase, easement, or permit from Northrop Aircraft Corporation, the city of Hawthorne, and Pacific Electric Railway Company. In 1945, an easement for 0.11 acres was obtained from Northrop Aircraft Corporation bringing the total land size of "Plancor 1469" to 50.82 acres. The united states had no beneficial interest in the remaining approximately 122.5 acres of Hawthorne Municipal Airport. The Army Air Forces Technical Training Command operatef a Factory School at the site
In 1949 "Plancor 1469" was transferred to the Air Force and became Air Force Plant 10. On 10 July 1952, the Air Force purchased an additional 0.35 acres from Northrop Aircraft Corporation to build a fuel test cell facility and then on 18 March 1957 purchased 1.30 acres from Northrop Aircraft corporation to build a missile test cell facility. This brought Air Force Plant 10 to a land size of 52.47 acres.

Air Force Plant 10 was used to design, build, and test military aircraft.

On 14 December 1960 the Air Force transferred 19.95 acres to the City of Hawthorne and on 1 June 1964 Northrop Aircraft Corporation purchased the remaining 32.52 acres of Air Force Plant 10, including buildings, machinery, equipment, furnishings, and miscellaneous related property. The 19.95 acres transferred to the City of Hawthorne has been used for aircraft runway extension and the remainder of Air Force Plant 10 purchased by Northrop Aircraft Corporation has continued to the present to be used for the design and building of aircraft and aircraft components.

There is no recorded evidence or data to indicate that any agency of the United states government used, owned, leased, or in any way exercised formal control over that portion of the Hawthorne Municipal Airport (approximately 122.5 acres) other than Air Force Plant 10.
Source: US Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District
Extract, Army Air Forces Directory of Airfields, January 1945
Army Units Assigned to Hawthorne Municipal Airport

 Data Source


 Army of the United States Station List  1 June 1943
Army Air Forces:
Civilian Contractor School, Airframes
Training Detachment, Army Air Forces Technical Training Command
 Army of the United States Station List  7 April 1945
Army Air Forces:
3717th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Factory School) (Northrop Aircraft Corporation)

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

Army Air Forces Technical Training School, Northrop Aircraft Corporation

Additional Histories

Wikipedia: Hawthorne_Municipal_Airport
Wikipedia: Northrop_Corporation
Library of Congress

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Updated 30 March 2016