View products that support dmairfield.org

OTHER RESOURCES

Your copy of the "Davis-Monthan Airfield Register" with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available at the link. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.

---o0o---

http://www.cafepress.com/content/global/img/spacer.gifThe Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of www.dmairfield.org and the 10th year of effort on a project dedicated to analyze and exhibit the history embodied in the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ. This book includes over thirty people, aircraft and events that swirled through Tucson between 1925 and 1936. It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders. Order your copy at the link, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.

---o0o---

 
Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
CulturalMotion PicturesFriendsNon Profit statusProducts and services
ReferencesPublicationsCollectionsGuest EditorsPress Coverage

ALHAMBRA

 
Alhambra Airport, Ca. 1933 (Source: Webmaster)
Alhambra Airport, Ca. 1933 (Source: Webmaster)

Alhambra Airport was located at 620 East Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, about seven miles east of the city of Los Angeles. The airport was dedicated April 17, 1930, with a large crowd in attendance. An article in the Los Angeles Times of November 6, 2013, brought to my attention by a site visitor, provided a summary, with photographs, of the opening ceremony at the link.

The photo, right, from this REFERENCE, page 17,shows that it was square in shape. There were three runways, one surfaced, 2,870 x 500 ft. NE/SW, and two dirt, 2,200 x 200 ft. N/S and E/W. "ALHAMBRA" was painted on the hangar roof. Photo by V.V. Stockton, Alhambra, CA from the linked reference. The view is to the southwest.

For night operations it had a clear beacon with a green auxiliary code beacon flashing "W". It had boundary, flood and obstruction lights. Fuel, oil, hangars and 24 hour repair facilities were available.Hotels and restaurants were adjacent to the field, and telephone, radio and weather reports were available on the field.

In 1926, the airfield did not exist. Below, shared with us by site visitor Tim Zukas via the University of Texas, is a section of a topographic map from 1926. Mr. Zukas points out that the airfield was developed on the square of land that I have marked with a check, south of Pomona Blvd., and north of the railroad track..

U.S.G.S. Topographic Map, Alhambra, 1926 (Source: Univ. of Texas via Zukas)
U.S.G.S. Topographic Map, Alhambra, 1926 (Source: Univ. of Texas via Zukas)

However, at the circle I have indicated the point of latitude 34° 04' N and longitude 118° 08' W. These are the coordinates given for the airfield in the description from 1937 which is exhibited farther below on this page. My conversation with Mr. Zukor makes me think that maybe the surveyors who identified the location of the airfield for the 1926 topographic chart simply rounded their lat/long values to the nearest minute.  That puts the airfield location about one mile NE of the coordinates 34° 04' N and 118° 08' W cited in the 1937 reference, below.  This was probably close enough for finding the field under visual meteorological conditions from the air.

Regardless, below, courtesy of site visitor Frank, is an aerial photograph of the airfield from the Richfield airfield directory of 1930. A clear image of the terminal building from ground level is at Fokker NX5170.

Alhambra Airport, 1930 (Source: Frank)
Alhambra Airport, 1930 (Source: Frank)

Below, also courtesy of site visitor Frank, is a photograph of the hexagonal hangar visible at upper left in his photo above, during construction. The billboard over the construction hut in the foreground calls it the Western Air Express Terminal "Hex Hangar."

Hexagonal Hangar During Construction, Date Unknown (Source: Frank)
Hexagonal Hangar During Construction, Date Unknown (Source: Frank)

Below, from Frank, is a Stearman C-3, with the J-5 engine replaced by a J-6 on the apron in front of the terminal buliding, which may be seen in the background. It appears to have a damaged left landing gear. Low pressure 'Airwheels' have also been fitted, so it's post-1931.

Stearman C-3 at Alhambra, Date Unknown (Source: Frank)
Stearman C-3 at Alhambra, Date Unknown (Source: Frank)

Below, an image of the terminal building with a blimp in the background, ca. 1930. It appears an event was in progress. The event was probably the dedication of the airport as documented in the LA Times link at the top of this page. Note he blimp and Fokker F-32 mentioned in the article.

Alhambra Terminal With Blimp, Ca. 1930 (Source: Web)
Alhambra Terminal With Blimp, Ca. 1930 (Source: Web)

According to the description of the airport surrounds for 1931 (below, left) the hexagonal hangar, visible in the photograph two above, was in the northwest corner of the airport property. That would make Pomona Blvd. (see topographic map above) the street running diagonally left to right in that shot, with Almansor St. intersecting and running behind the hexagonal hangar. The "depot building" is at lower right.

Alhambra Airport, Ca. 1931 (Source:
Webmaster)
Alhambra Airport, Ca. 1931 (Source: Webmaster)

 

 

 

At left, from this REFERENCE, page 43, is a description of the Alhambra Airport in1931. The field was owned by Western Air Express and operated by M. Gordon and H. Hensman. Tenants on the field included the Cycloplane Company, Ltd., which offered flight instruction using a special airframe that allowed students to practice all the ground handling characteristics of an aircraft except taking off, the Western Institute of Aero Technology, and the commercial operations of Ed Bush, Hanna & Garby, Harold West, Lucien Roos, Mark Carlton, Nick Lentine and R.K. Brooks.

It was a relatively small airfield, but it was well-lighted, and had a good, albeit short, runway. The use of macadam (asphalt) for taxiway surfaces was beginning to be fashionable.

 

 

 

 

Below, from this REFERENCE, page 61, is an example of the signage sponsored by the Standard Oil Company and painted on the roofs of their company buildings in the field. This sign is documented in the description above. Both "ALHAMBRA" and the arrow are clearly visible from this altitude. Test your situational awareness: What compass direction is at the top of this image? And what time of day was it when the image was snapped back in 1931?

Alhambra Airport Directional Signage, Ca. 1931 (Source: Webmaster)
Alhambra Airport Directional Signage, Ca. 1931 (Source: Webmaster)

Below, from this REFERENCE, page 19, is a description of the airfield from 1937. Compare the lat/long values with the topographic chart above.

Alhambra Airport, Ca. 1937 (Source: Webmaster)
Alhambra Airport, Ca. 1937 (Source: Webmaster)

An aerial view of the airfield area in 1948 is at the link. Please direct your browser there and adjust the magnification to bring the area into the right perspective. It is worthwhile to visit this aerial view and compare it with the Google Earth image below. If you invoke the street overlay option at the link, you can see the street names. Almansor and New remain the same as in the topo chart. Pomona Blvd. has been replaced by Valley Blvd., which was cited in the the topo chart. Note at the link that the airfield buildings are still standing at the upper left (NW) corner of the area. Mr. Zukas says about this image, "You can see the terminal building and the hexagonal hanger. Zooming out you can see how the houses in that half-mile square are newer than the surrounding ones-- no trees."

Below, from Google Earth, the approximate location specified by the lat/long coordinates described in the 1937 reference above and adjusted about a mile NE in accordance with the topographic chart. The site now lies between Valley Blvd. on the north, Interstate 10 on the south, and North New Ave. and South Almansor St. on the east and west, respectively. As with many Golden Age airfields in the Los Angeles area, the Alhambra Airport is no longer in existence. The terminal and hangar complex are replaced now by a shopping center (the U-shaped building) and housing. More about old Alhambra Airport is at the link. I expect the Alhambra airport had a Register similar to the Davis-Monthan Register. Does anyone KNOW if the Register still exists?

Alhambra Airport, Ca. 2010 (Source: Google Earth)
Alhambra Airport, Ca. 2010 (Source: Google Earth)

---o0o---

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/31/10 REVISED: 12/20/10, 05/16/11, 10/02/11, 04/13/12, 10/03/13, 11/07/13

 
Home
The Register
People
Places
Airplanes
Events
Who Went to Alhambra?
One pilot who landed (twice) at the Davis-Monthan Airfield called Alhambra his Homebase.
One pilot arrived at Davis-Monthan Airfield from Alhambra, and none listed it as their final Destination.
 
Contact Us | Credits | Copyright © 2008 Delta Mike Airfield, Inc.
This website is best enjoyed in a 1024 x 768 screen resolution.
Web design by The Web Professional, Inc