Torrance Airport (CA) (Images of Aviation)

By Charles Lobb

Californians have been panicked by means of the Pearl Harbor assault of December 7, 1941, and civilian flights inside two hundred miles of the coast have been instantly terminated. Airfields have been commandeered and new ones swiftly outfitted. this kind of was once the Lomita Flight Strip, identified this present day as Zamperini box, the Torrance Municipal Airport, or TOA. This 490-acre parcel despatched 4 squadrons of P-38 fighter pilots off to warfare with one commanded by way of the pass judgement on of the Charles Manson trial, an ex-Flying Tiger. Six different pilots grew to become generals, turned commandants of cadets on the Air strength Academy, and one grew to become the single fighter pilot with wrestle victories in either global battle II and the Vietnam battle. jap american citizens getting back from international battle II internment camps came upon transitority housing on the box, and the world’s biggest producer of civilian helicopters settled there in 1973. the 1st runway takeoff of a Vertical Take-Off and touchdown (VTOL) plane was once pioneered at TOA, and aerobatic champ Bob Herendeen proficient on the web site.

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Howard Smith of the 436th FS), Capt. Robin Olds, and Lt. Tom Olson. This photo can be integrated on the planet battle II selection of the Wattisham Royal Air strength Museum in England. (Courtesy Fred Hayner. ) On July 15, 1945, the 479th Fighter workforce was once provided the celebrated Unit quotation from headquarters, eighth Air strength, for notable accomplishments in the course of the missions of August 18, 1944, September five, 1944, and September 26, 1944. those 3 missions ended in the destruction of 124 enemy airplane and sixty five broken whereas wasting merely pilots and planes.

Lots of the structural timbers have been got rid of, wiped clean up, and trucked to Mexico while the staff lower back domestic. (Courtesy Roger Keeney. ) 5 ROBINSON HELICOPTERS Frank Robinson, the youngest of 4, used to be born in Washington in 1930. obsessed with helicopters from a really early age, he earned a B. S. measure in mechanical engineering in 1957 on the college of Washington. His profession moved via helicopter paintings at Cessna airplane, McCulloch automobiles, Kaman airplane, and Bell Helicopters. In 1969, he transferred to Hughes Helicopters in Culver urban, California.

Crew headquarters participated in base actions on March 7, 1944, as they shaped up with complete box packs for a six-mile hike into the Palos Verdes wasteland and an in a single day bivouac (see pages 43–44). (Courtesy Air strength historic examine corporation. ) The 434th Fighter Squadron additionally moved from Grand principal to the Lomita Flight Strip on February five, 1944, to discover sixteen well-worn P-38s, an L-6, BT-13As, and a B-26 used to tow aerial objectives. S. Sgt. Fred Hayner, an airplane mechanic, designed the 434th insignia.

Frank Keller scored the 1st strive against victory for the squadron on could 31, 1944, whilst he strafed an enemy airfield in France. so much planes have been out of gasoline, yet a Junkers JU-88 on the finish of the flight line stuck fireplace and exploded. Frank flew throughout the explosion, badly nicking his propellers. He later used to be shot down and spent the rest of the battle as a POW. (Courtesy Air strength historic learn organisation. ) The Officer’s membership at Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk County, east of London, supplied hot, cozy quarters for 479th Fighter staff pilots within the most interesting English culture.

By means of March 1943, this U. S. military Corps of Engineers common format of the finished Lomita Flight Strip indexed separate barracks, mess halls, a rest room, and activity constructions for African American squaddies. A unmarried 34-foot via 192-foot, open-sided upkeep hangar and a skeet variety have been supplied besides a keep watch over tower atop a small shed at midfield. (Courtesy military Corps of Engineers. ) The Lomita Flight Strip used to be accomplished on March 31, 1943, and prepared for occupancy. observe seasonal Walteria Lake (dark region, top), Pacific Coast street (left), and oil wells and oil tanks (upper right).

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