I recently visited the site of the WWII Army airfield that was located at Tonopah, Nevada. Today it is a general aviation airport (KTPH) but during World War II it was an Army airfield set up to train pilots for the war effort. At first it was a fighter training facility for P-39 Aircobras and later it was used to train B-24 Liberator bomber crews.
As you can see from the above photo the airfield is located in a remote spot just east of Tonopah and it is hard to imagine that this was a beehive of activity over 70 years ago.
At the time, the Tonopah Army Airfield (TAAF) was the largest military training range in the nation and was in operation from 1942-1945. On August 23, 1945, the Fourth Air Force placed the TAAF on inactive status, all training classes were stopped. By September 15 just four aircraft remained at the airfield but at it’s height of operations in 1944, 1,264 officers and 5,273 enlisted personnel were assigned to the installation. Click here for a view of the airport layout…
All that is left now are the main hangars that are deteriorating and fenced off and foundations from the former buildings. It is a very cool place to visit and here are some photographs that I took.
|Main Gate entrance (now)Click to see full view…||Main Gate entrance (WWII)|
|Plaque near the gate at the FBOClick to see full view…||Wreckage found from WWII operationsClick to see full view…|
|North HangarClick to see full view…||North Hangar (WWII)|
|Inside North HangarClick to see full view…
Wings on wall are from a Cessna UC-78
|Ceiling Inside North HangarClick to see full view…|
|Hangar Near Theater #2Click to see full view…||Theater #2 FoundationClick to see full view…|
|Link Trainer FoundationClick to see full view…
Click to see a Link Trainer…
|Celestial Navigation FoundationClick to see full view…|
|BarracksClick to see full view…||Barracks FoundationsClick to see full view…|
|Middle Field Hangar (south side)Click to see full view…||Middle Field Hangar (north side)Click to see full view…|
|South Hangar (Used for secret projects)Click to see full view…||Inside South HangarClick to see full view…|
|Inside South Hangar (west side)Click to see full view…||Ammo Shed & Ditch Training Reservoir (background)Click to see full view…|
|Ammo BunkerClick to see full view…||Central Nevada MuseumLike to learn more? Click here to visit their website…|