Mesa's Falcon Field began during World War II when a small group of Hollywood celebrities financed pilot training facilities (Southwest Airways) in the United States for American Allied forces. Thousands of British Royal Air Force pilots, joined by pilots from Russia, China, and 24 other nations at neighboring airfields, earned their wings in the Arizona desert. In 1945, the City of Mesa purchased the facility for $1, and then for the next 20 years leased it to Rocket Power, Inc., which manufactured a solid fuel rocket propellant. Today Falcon Field is a bustling municipal airport and a growing business center, with companies like Boeing, Nammo Talley, and MD Helicopters. The airpark also features the Commemorative Air Force Museum, home of one of the last flying B-17 bombers.
About the Author
Author Daryl F. Mallett has gathered more than 180 images from the collections of RA F pilots and the families of those who trained there, Rex Griswold, Anzio Landing Restaurant, Falcon Field Airport Archives, the City of Mesa Archives, and many others. Mallett has authored a wide range of publications, including historical works, newspaper and magazine articles, and technical manuals.