The Siskiyou County Airport
included 985.44 acres and is approximately 4 miles northwest
of Montague, California located in Siskiyou County.
The Army Air Corps, Army Air Forces and the U.S. Air Force used
the Siskiyou County Airport over two separate periods, from 1942
to 1945 and from 1962 to 1972. The site first served as an auxiliary
field and later as a dispersal base.
The Air Corps first leased the Siskiyou County Airport on 18
November 1942. The airport was constructed with funds from the
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). The Army upgraded and
extended the original 6,500 foot runways to 7,300 feet to handle
bombardment aircraft. The Army also added taxiways, a night lighting
system, a power control building and enclosed the field with
a barbed wire fence. By fall of 1943, the airfield was a sub-base
of Hamilton Field. With administration provided by Hamilton Field
and without housing facilities, Siskiyou County Airport did not
become a key installation.
On 1 May 1944, the Army Air Forces reassigned the airfield to
the Chico Army Air Field (AAF). It remained an unmanned auxiliary
field and primarily functioned as an emergency landing field
for disabled aircraft or "itinerant army planes". Use
of the airport in 1944 seems modest, as inspections found mud
from cattle on the field at various times. On 15 October that
year, Chico AAF transferred jurisdiction of the Siskiyou County
Airport to the Air Technical Service Command (ATSC). On 3 November
1944, the Interdepartmental Air Traffic Control Board approved
use of field by Siskiyou County as an alternate airport for commercial
scheduled air carrier operations. On 30 December 1944, the ATSC
declared the Army Air Forces no longer needed the airport and
recommended it for disposal. On 23 January 1945, the ATSC placed
the airport on inactive status and subleased portions of the
site for agricultural purposes.
Following the initial military use, commercial operations of
the airport continued. These included fire fighting operations
by the U.S. Forest Service and flying small private aircraft.
Military use resumed on 13 September 1962, when the U.S. Air
Force met with the Siskiyou County, Board of Supervisors. The
Siskiyou County Airport seemed "ideally suited for use as
a dispersal site because it was well outside of any targeted
or fallout area." The U.S. Air Force subsequently leased
and acquired joint use of the runways and exclusive use of other
portions of the airport on 22 October 1962. A few weeks later,
aircraft from the 83rd and 84th Interceptor Squadrons from Hamilton
Air Force Base (AFB) moved in as part of the Cuban Crisis dispersal
operation. No regular training missions were scheduled for the
airport during this period. By 15 January 1964, these squadrons
were replaced by the 82nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron from Travis
AFB. In December of that year the Air Force began improvements
to the site including runway maintenance and the construction
of a Mobile Control Tower, along with support facilities for
radar. Other facilities included a runway overrun, operations
apron, approach lighting, four aircraft shelters, a maintenance
dock, utilities, an ammunition storage magazine and roadways.
These facilities were considered complete on 17 December 1965.
The Aircraft Dispersal Program at Siskiyou County Airport was
transferred to the 28th Air Division, Hamilton AFB on 1 October
1965. The Air Force ended their dispersal program at Siskiyou
County Airport by 19 July 1971, reporting the land as excess
to the General Services Administration (GSA). The Air Force terminated
the lease with the county on 15 May 1972, coinciding with GSA
conveying the remaining parcels and easements to the county.