During World War I, March Air Force Base quickly established its reputation as a major flight-training institution. The base came to define the "Golden Age" of aviation as its roster of training expanded to include aerial pursuit, fighter, and bomber units. Later March would play host to a number of historic firsts, including Bob Hope's first USO show and aerial feats that helped make the U.S. Air Force the undisputed leader in combat aviation today. From kite-like biplanes and cold war sports car races on the tarmac, to the war birds of World War II and some of the modern air force's most sophisticated aircraft, March AFB has sealed a legacy of strength and central importance to its Riverside homeand to the countless servicemen and women around the world associated with the historic base.
About the Author
Author William J. Butler is a writer and producer in the entertainment industry and worked in the archives and special collections division at the A. K. Smiley Public Library in Redlands before graduation from the University of Redlands in 2008. His tie to March AFB dates back to the 1930s through his grandfather and father, and he is proud to share some of their special stories and many never-before-seen photographs.
Table of Contents
1 Alessandro Aviation Field: Riverside Takes to the Air (1918-1931) 11
2 With Flying Colors: Innovative Air Training at March Field (1932-1940) 35
3 March to War: Air Supremacy from Riverside (1941-1945) 69
4 A Chill in the Air: March Air Force Base in the Cold War (1946-1990) 89
5 Strength in Reserve: From Desert Storm to the War on Terror (1991-today) 113