Torrance Airport (CA) (Images of Aviation)

By Charles Lobb

Californians have been panicked by way of the Pearl Harbor assault of December 7, 1941, and civilian flights inside of 2 hundred miles of the coast have been instantly terminated. Airfields have been commandeered and new ones rapidly outfitted. this sort of was once the Lomita Flight Strip, recognized 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 battle with one commanded through 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 turned the one fighter pilot with strive against victories in either global warfare II and the Vietnam conflict. eastern american citizens coming back from international battle II internment camps came across transitority housing on the box, and the world’s greatest 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 educated on the website.

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Courtesy Burl Glass. ) Engineering officer Lt. George Patik, of the 429th, used to be accountable for airplane upkeep. observe the very minimum furniture and the EE-8 box mobilephone with its hand-cranked ringer, used largely during the army. (Courtesy Juanita Glass. ) one of many extra heartwarming tales of the Lomita Flight Strip was once the romance among second Lt. George Patik and Lorraine Mettler. On January 17, 1944, a P-38 crashed within the 1900 block of 253rd road in Lomita. whereas George used to be investigating the crash, Lorraine (Narbonne highschool, type of 1941) was once arriving from paintings. Their eyes met and love was once prompt. The photographer observed it and requested them to pose for this picture on her porch. They dated seven occasions ahead of George shipped out to England on February five. He despatched day-by-day letters from Europe until eventually the war’s finish. George and Lorraine have been married on June 25, 1946, at St. Margaret Mary’s Church, quite a few blocks from the crash website. at the present time their 4 childrens have blessed them with 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. (Courtesy George Patik. ) On February five, 1944, the 429th used to be bused to Hancock box at Santa Maria for a five-day educate journey to Camp Miles Standish in Taunton, Massachusetts. On February 15, 1944, the 429th departed for the Warmwell Airdrome in England, changing into operational with the ninth Air strength on March 12, 1944. by means of August 1, that they had moved to Kings Cliffe, via next strikes to bases in France and Belgium. because the tactical ninth Air strength the advancing Allied armies, the unit relocated to Langensalza, Germany. (Courtesy George Patik. ) It used to be a really satisfied bunch of 429th pilots celebrating the top of the conflict by means of throwing a lavish banquet in a eating corridor in Belgium, reportedly together with bottles of wine each one. Lts. George Edmonds, Malcolm Henry, and Milton Graham remained within the provider, with every one finally achieving the rank of brigadier basic. (Courtesy George Patik. ) The 474th Fighter crew was once very happy with this presidential commendation from Pres. George H. W. Bush, dated August sixteen, 1989. (Courtesy George Patik. ) at the heels of the 429th Fighter Squadron’s departure from Lomita on February five, 1944, the 479th Fighter staff headquarters left the Grand crucial Air Terminal and moved in rapidly on February 6. (Courtesy Fred Hayner. ) The 479th Fighter team commander was once Lt. Col. Kyle L. Riddle, a occupation officer who have been assigned to the safeguard of the Panama Canal quarter, flying patrols within the Bell P-39 “Airacobra. ” (Courtesy Fred Hayner. ) 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 desert and an in a single day bivouac (see pages 43–44). (Courtesy Air strength old learn organization. ) The 434th Fighter Squadron additionally moved from Grand important 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 ambitions. S. Sgt. Fred Hayner, an airplane mechanic, designed the 434th insignia.

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