Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Merced Municipal Airport Auxiliary Field
(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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Updated 8 February 2016