US Army Corps
of Engineers Los Angeles District History (20 May 1992)
site is located in southwestern Kern County, California, on Highway
166 approximately 6.S miles west of Mettler and 16.5 miles east
of Maricopa. The property includes portions of Sections 2 and
11, Township 11 North, Range 21 West.
During the period of June 1941 through August 1942, the Department
of Defense acquired 250 acres by lease from four private entities.
Several asphalt runways were constructed for an auxiliary landing
field which the U.S. Army Air Corps used for training pilots;
no buildings or other permanent structures were installed on
site. Pilots based at Gardner Field, 12 miles to the northeast,
used the field for landing practice. A former World War II flight
instructor based in Kern County indicated that such training
at auxiliary landing fields did not involve the use of ordnance.
The property was declared surplus on 27 September 1945 and subsequently
released. The asphalf runway was destroyed and the remains were
used elsewhere as base material for the construction of roads.
Currently, approxi~ately 220 acres of property are in agricultural
use and approximately 30 acres are occupied by the California
US Army Corps
of Engineers Los Angeles District History (4 September 1992)
The War Department acquired 250 acres
by lease during the period of June 1941 through August 1942.
The property was leased from Shell Oil Company, Kern County Land
Company and two private parties.
During the period of Army use, an auxiliary
landing field, consisting of three to four runways oriented north/south
and two to three runways oriented east/west, was constructed
on the property. All runways were constructed of asphalt. No
buildings or other permanent structures were installed on the
site. The auxiliary field was used for training U.S. Army Air
Corps pilots. Pilots based at Gardner field, 12 miles to the
northeast, used the site for landing practice.
The property was declared surplus on 27 September 1945. Subsequently,
100 acres were released in December 1945 and 20 acres in May
1946. It is believed that the remaining 130 acres were most likely
released in the late 1940s, but no later than 30 June 1951. The
runways were destroyed and most of the asphalt was removed in
the 1950s. The majority of the asphalt was used elsewhere as
a base material in the construction of roads. Approximately 220
acres of the property are currently privately owned agricultural
land. The California Aqueduct occupies approximately 30 acres
of the subject site.