Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Santa Rosa Army Air Field
(Santa Rosa Army Aerodrome)
 
During World War II, the Army developed Santa Rosa's existing municipal airport as an Combat Crew Training Station. Often confused for Naval Auxiliary Air Station/Naval Outlying Field, Santa Rosa located seven miles to the southeast. Today, that airfield, Sonoma County Airport, serves as Santa Rosa's municipal airport.
 
 
Undated US Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District History
 
Santa Rosa Army Airfield, initially known as Santa Rosa Army Airdrome, was established for the Fourth Air Force as a sub base to Hamilton Army Airfield. Between 1942 and 1946, the United States acquired 827.01 fee acres, 423.39 easement acres, and 338.73 leased acres. The total acerage acquired was 1589.13. The primary mission of the subbase was to complete pre combat training for fighter crews which included gunnery and bombing training along with chemical warfare training. On 15 December 1943, 1.38 acres leased from the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company by lease Q 868 eng 5249 were terminated. By deed dated 27 June 1944, 0 .17 acres were conveyed to Ms. Sara C. Laughlin. The site became surplus on 19 June 1946. Once the site was reported surplus, the base immediately began a deactivation process. The buildings were thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed by the using agency as they were being vacated. Three 25,000 gallon aviation gasoline underground storage tanks and equipment were processed for an inactive status by removing fuel from the tanks and filling them with water. The fuel was then blown from the hoses and nozzles. The gasoline engines were "pickled" for storage. On 1 October 1946, 1587.58 acres were turned over to the War Assets Administration (WAA). Presently the land is owned by Sonoma County corporations and individuals.
 
 
US Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District History (1991)
 
Between 1942 and 1946, the United States acquired 827.01 fee acres, 423.39 easement acres, and 338.73 leased acres for Santa Rosa Army Airfield. Total acreage acquired was 1,589.13.
 
This site was known as Santa Rosa Army Airfield, Santa Rosa Airfield, Santa Rosa Army Air Base, Santa Rosa Army Airdrome, 434th Army Air Field Unit, Squadron "P" 460th AAF Base Unit, Santa Rosa Air Support Command Base Section, SRAAF, and Santa Rosa Airport Project in Sonoma County, CA. The site was used by the Air Force as a satellite base of Hamilton Field, with the primary mission to complete combat training for fighter crews w ich included gunnery and bombing training along with chemical warfare training. The training consisted of the use of chemical agents, first aid for gas casualties, gas mask drill demonstrations with light weight gas masks, incendiary and smoke demonstration and review, chemical spray operations, offensive chemical warfare, and gas chamber exercises. The improvements included an administration building, shops, runways, roads, utilities, barracks, hospital, underground fuel tanks, aprons, three refuelling pits, gasoline storage facilities, skeet range, small arms range, photo scoring area, officers club NCO club, photographic laboratory, commissary, fire fighting station, seven mess halls, day rooms, orderly rooms, three water wells, gymnasium, recreation building, and a theater.
 
On 15 December 1943, 1.38 acres leased from the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company were terminated. By deed dated 27 June 1943, 0.17 acres were conveyed to Ms. Sara C. Laughlin. The site became surplus on 19 June 1946. On 1 October 1946, the remaining 1,587.58 acres were turned over to the war Assets Administration (WAA) .
 
Additional Online Histories
 
Wikipedia
 
 
Extract, US Army Air Forces Directory of Air Fields (January 1945)
 
 
 
Known Units at Santa Rosa AAF
 
433rd Army Air Forces Base Unit (Combat Crew Training Station-Fighter)
434th Army Air Forces Base Unit
Squadron "P" 460th Army Air Forces Base Unit


UPDATED 9 October 2015

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