Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Tulare Airport Auxiliary Field
(Rankin Field Auxiliary No. 4)
Wikipedia History (2015)
Mefford Field, a civilian airfield located in Tulare, CA, served as the temporary site for the Rankin Aeronautical Academy, a flight school to teach United States Army Air Corps flight cadets. Rankin Field was established by Tex Rankin in 1940 when he signed a contract with the War Department contract to open a school to train United States Army Air Corps flight cadets. The "Rankin Aeronautical Academy, Inc." was established and in February 1941, the school began basic (level 1) pilot training in February 1941 at Mefford Field, located about six miles west of the still under-construction Rankin Field. Classes were moved to Rankin Field in May 1941.
Rankin Field became one of the 62 civilian-owned flying schools in the U.S. that taught 1.4 million World War II Army pilots to fly. It was assigned to West Coast Training Center (later Western Flying Training Command). Its primary training aircraft was the PT-17 Stearman, of which over 200 were assigned.
As Rankin Academy moved to its permanent site, Mefford Field returned to daily operations as a civilian airfield, which it continues to do to this day.
Extract, US Army Air Forces Directory of Airfields (January 1945)
Mefford Field circa 2009
Search our Site!
Search the Web Search California Military History Online
Questions and comments concerning this site should be directed to the Webmaster
Updated 8 February 2016