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Kingman Airport is a public airport located eight miles (13 km) northeast of the central business district of Kingmanmarker, a city in Mohave Countymarker, Arizonamarker, United Statesmarker. The airport is owned by the City of Kingman. It is mostly used for general aviation but is also served by one commercial airline. Service is subsidized by the Essential Air Service program. A number of aircraft withdrawn from commercial service are stored or scrapped there.

As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 1,907 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2005 and 2,417 enplanements in 2006. According to the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2007-2011, Kingman is a general aviation airport (the commercial service category requires at least 2,500 passenger boardings per year).

Facilities and aircraft

Kingman Airport covers an area of which contains two asphalt paved runways: 3/21 measuring 6,827 x 150 ft (2,081 x 46 m) and 17/35 measuring 6,725 x 75 ft (2,050 x 23 m).

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2005, the airport had 61,305 aircraft operations, an average of 167 per day: 89% general aviation, 7% air taxi, 3% scheduled commercial and <1% military.="" There="" are="" 273="" aircraft="" based="" at="" this="" airport:="" 57%="" single="" engine,="" 35%="" multi-engine,="" 6%="" jet="" aircraft,="" 1%="" helicopters, 1% ultralights and <1% gliders.

Airlines and destinations

History

The Kingman Airport was originally built as a World War II United States Army Air Force training field.

Wartime Aircraft Gunnery School

In 1942 Kingman Army Airfield was established as a training base for Army Air Force aerial gunners. In addition to the main facility, several emergency strips were built. There was one at Red Lake, about northeast of the base. Others were built near Topock, and Yucca. Another was built at what is now Lake Havasu City Airport.

The host unit at Kingman Field was the 460th AAF Base Unit. Training units were as follows:

  • 1120th Flexible Gunnery Training
  • 1121st Flexible Gunnery Training
  • 1122d Flexible Gunnery Training
  • 1123rd Flexible Gunnery Training
  • 334th Aviation Squadron


On 7 May 1943 the facility was officially named the Kingman Army Air Field. The base continued to grow and change with many new squadrons were added to the base and some of the existing ones were combined.

The 1120th and the 329th merged with the 328th to become the 328th Flexible Gunnery Training Group. The 1122nd, 537th, and 538th were consolidated to form the 1123rd Flexible Gunnery Training Group. The 1121st became the 329th. The 536th and the 760th Flexible Gunnery Training Groups were added to the list. Also assigned to the B17 fighting groups was the 31st Altitude Squadron, training for operations at high altitude.

On 22 April 1944, the Kingman Army Air Field was consolidated and the host unit was redesignated as the 3018th Army Air Force Base Unit. Each of the units on the base became subdivisions of 3018. During 1944 the 3018th was one of the top training schools in the United States.

The war ended on both fronts in 1945. With peace in the world, there was no further need for a gunnery school. Or for the airplanes that carried the guns. The year saw the base gradually wind down to a stop

World War II Aircraft Disposal

Acres of World War II aircraft in storage, awaiting their fate at Kingman, 1946.
After the war, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation established five large storage, sales and scrapping centers for Army Air Forces aircraft. These were located at: Albuquerquemarker AAF New Mexicomarker, Altus AAFmarker, Oklahomamarker, Kingman, Arizona, Ontario AAFmarker, Californiamarker and Walnut Ridgemarker, Arkansasmarker. A sixth facility for storing, selling and scrapping Navy and Marine aircraft was located at Clinton, Oklahomamarker.

Estimates of the number of excess surplus airplanes ran as high as 150,000. Consideration was given to storing a substantial number of these. By the summer of 1945, at least 30 sales-storage depots and 23 sales centers were in operation. In November 1945, it was estimated a total of 117,210 aircraft would be transferred as surplus.

Between 1945 and June 1947, the RFC, War Assets Corporation and the War Assets Administration (disposal function of the RFC was transferred to WAC on January 15, 1946, and to the WAA in March 1946) processed approximately 61,600 WWII aircraft, of which 34,700 were sold for flyable purposes and 26,900, primarily combat types, were sold for scrapping.

It is estimated that approximately 10,000 warbirds were flown to Kingman in 1945 and 1946 for storage and sale. Some sources report the number to be over 11,000. It is reported that at least 100 of the 118 B-32 Heavy Bombers built were flown there, many straight from the assembly line.

Most of the transports and trainers could be used in the civilian fleet, and trainers were sold for $875 to $2,400. The fighters and bombers were of little peacetime use, although some were sold. Typical prices for surplus aircraft were:



Many aircraft were transferred to schools for educational purposes, and to communities for memorial use for a minimal fee. A Boy Scout troop bought a B-17 for $350.

General sales were conducted from these centers; however, the idea for long term storage, considering the approximate cost of $20 per month per aircraft, was soon discarded, and in June 1946, the remaining aircraft, except those at Altus, were put up for scrap bid.

The tens of thousands of proud warbirds that had survived the enemy fighter planes and fierce anti-aircraft fire could not escape the smelters at Albuquerque, Altus, Kingman, Ontario, Walnut Ridge and Clinton.

Kingman Airport and Industrial Park

With the disposal of the military aircraft completed, Kingman AAF was returned to civilian use in 1949. It was developed into a civil airport and industrial park. Today, some civilian airliners are stored there and remarketed or recycled into spare parts and into their base metals.

The Kingman Army Airfield Historical Society was also established, creating a museum to preserve the field's history with artifacts, photos, and displays. It also includes recognition of all conflicts in which Americans have served.

See also



References

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Thole, Lou (1999). Forgotten Fields of America : World War II Bases and Training, Then and Now - Vol. 2. Pictorial Histories Publishing Co. Inc ISBN 1575100517
  • Thole, Lou (2003). Forgotten Fields of America, Volume III. Pictorial Histories Publishing Co. Inc ISBN 1575101025


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