- California State Military
- The California
State Military Museum
- Preserving California's
- Historic California
- Manzanar Army
- This airfield is adjacent to the site
of one of the Manzanar Relocation Center
to which civilians of ethnic Japanese background were relocated
during World War II. There are conflicting accounts of this field's
origin, which may be due to official embarrassment over the history
of the relocation camp.
- Some sources indicate that the airfield
was built for the Army in 1941 for bomber pilot training, testing
experimental aircraft, and aircraft emergencies. It apparently
was never used by the relocation center, which operated from
- However, a different account is given
by a National Park Service history of the Manzanar Camp. Oddly,
it does not make any mention of the military being involved in
the airport's construction (nor any mention of the relocation
- The Park Service account indicates that
in 1941 the City of Los Angeles leased to Inyo County 619 acres
of land on the east side of the highway at Manzanar for airport
construction.The 50-year lease, which was never recorded in the
county records, contained a provision in the lease that it would
terminate automatically should the land not be used for airport
purposes for more than one year.
- In 1956, Inyo County notified Los Angeles
that it had abandoned the airport, that the Civil Aeronautics
Administration had consented to such abandonment & was not
interested in the site, and that the premises had not been used
for airport purposes for more than one year. In connection with
the lease cancellation the county marked off the runways in 1956,
and the wind sock & tower were removed in 1957. The Corps
of Engineers indicated that it had no further interest in the
airport, and in 1958 work commenced to remove electrical equipment,
including the obstruction lights.
- Thereafter, the land on which the former
Manzanar airport had been located was leased to local ranchers
for grazing purposes & used for a variety of special events.
In 1957 the airport was used as a bivouac area for an advance
party of the Nevada Army National Guard. From 1968-69, Aerojet
General of Downey, California, was granted permission to use
the land & runways for experimental tests.
- In 1971-72, the airstrip was used for
time trails & drag races.
- The airfield consists of two 4,800' paved
runways, one of which has a parallel taxiway.
- The airfield site is bisected by Manzanar
Reward Road (which passes right through the runway intersection).
The airfield is bordered on the west side by Route 395, and the
Los Angeles Aqueduct on the east side. The site of the relocation
center is on the other side of Route 395.
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