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
Questions and comments concerning
this site should be directed to the Webmaster