Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Merced Municipal Airport Auxiliary
(Merced Auxiliary Field No. 1)
Merced Municipal Airport initially
consisted of 66-acres located off Highway 99 at the intersection
of Snelling Road near the Santa Fe Railroad, three miles northwest
of the city of Merced. Initially a private venture, on March
15, 1932, the Merced City Council approved a proposal by the
Airport Committee of the Twenty-Thirty Club that the city take
title to the airport site. A gift deed from Crocker-Huffman Company
was accepted by the city. The airport was dedicated on April
3, 1932. For a period of five years, George Voight operated the
airport under lease. This lease was cancelled in May 1936 and
the City assumed responsibility for the operation and expansion
of the site. That same year, the Federal Government allotted
monies through the Works Project Administration (WPA) for expansion
of the property, grading and drainage of the field, construction
of one eight unit hangar and a cobble stone administration building.
In October 1942 the War Department acquired
the airport for a lease cost of $10 per acre under lease number
W-1105-ENG-3267. The total acreage of the lease was 123.25 acres.
Since the site was an existing airfield, Merced AAF's aricraft
were positioned there while that airfield was being constructed.
The establishment of a "tent city" to house station
and training personnel at this site was precluded by bad winter
weather and resulted in officers being billeted in area hotels
and enisted personnel housed in the Merced AAF hangers.
Once Merced AAF became operational, the
site reverted to being an auxiliary field that provided a location
for off-site training and emergency landings.
On August 23, 1945, Merced Municipal Airport
Auxiliary Field, as well as the other auxiliary fields associated
with Merced AAF, was declared as surplus to the needs of the
Army Air Forces and was eventually returned to the City of Merced.
Extract, January 1945 US Army Air Forces
Directory of Airfields
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