STOCKTON FIELD AVIATION MUSEUM
WELCOME TO THE STOCKTON FIELD AVIATION MUSEUM'S WEB PAGE
The Stockton Field Aviation Museum is a nonprofit all volunteer organization that is dedicated to the preservation of our countries rich aviation history. Our museum has a special emphasis on WWII aviation and the equipment that was used by the people who designed, built, maintained and flew the aircraft of our countries greatest generation. We are dedicated to preserve the material, technical information and the stories of not only Stockton Field but of all of our countries military aviation heritage.
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, July 16th at the Stockton Field Aviation Museum, 7432 C.E. Dixon St. Stockton Metro Airport, 7 PM
Our guest speaker will be WWII B-24 Navigator Ryan M. O’Brien. Ryan was born and raised in Los Angeles and entered the service in February, 1943. He attended the first navigation school established by the Air Force in the 30's with a contract with Pam American Air Lines. The school was located at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. All of his training was in old Pan American flying boats over the Bermuda Triangle. He was commissioned in June, 1944, and assigned a crew at March Field. In July his crew left Hamilton Field with a new B-24 and flew it to Newfoundland, Azores, Africa and to Italy. He was assigned to the 49th Wing, 484th Bomb Group, 825th Sq. Flew 35 missions and was awarded the distinguished Flying Cross, 4 Air Metals, Purple Heart, 7 Battle Stars, and his Group was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.
After July our next meeting will be September 17th at 7pm
Our Warbird Group meetings are held at the Stockton Field Aviation Museum 7432 CE Dixon St., Stockton Metro Airport, on the third Wednesday of each odd month at 7 PM. This means that the meetings are in March, May, July etc on the third Wednesday. Please note that the group has decided to cancel the January meeting as it is too cold for our older members. Please join us as there is no admission charge. We also have an annual BBQ during the meeting in September and that meeting time is usually an hour early at 6 PM but be sure to check back here for the latest dates and times.
For more information about the WWII Warbird Group you can visit: http://www.twinbeech.com/warbird_group_page.htm.
For more information about the Stockton Field Aviation Museum click here
If you, or a friend, would like to be placed on our e-mail list to be informed about upcoming events, just send an e-mail to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Past events and information:
I wanted to let you know about an event coming up here at the Stockton Field
January 11th, 1941 was the official dedication of Stockton Field
which became what is today what we know as Stockton Metropolitan Airport.
Stockton Field Aviation Museum
We would like to have a reunion for anyone who may have trained or worked here at Stockton Field. If you have any information, photographs or memorabilia about this field please share it with us as we have very little information as yet.
We need the following specific items:
Class annuals for Stockton Field any year or class (ex. 43-A) as we have none.
Any photographs no matter what the subject matter.
News letters such as "Twin Props" which were published here.
Any orders, correspondence parts or what have you relating to the field.
Uniforms or flying gear. Leather jackets, flying helmets or any flying gear is especially appreciated. We especially like to have the history behind the people who wore them to stay with the items.
Actually we like anything WWII aviation related so please don't let that stuff get thrown away!
One gentleman who read the above request for information is Bob Dethlefsen who graduated from Stockton Field, Class 41-I on December 21st 1941, right after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor! He was kind enough to send me some of his documents that are very helpful in preserving the history of Stockton Field. One of his documents showed that he was flying the DC-3 and the Boeing 247 early in his training at Stockton. I was fascinated by this and I asked him to elaborate and this is what he had to say:
I have driven by Stockton Field many times in the past few years, and have often wondered if anything remained of the WW2 activities. It wasn't until a few days ago, when I stumbled on your website, that I was aware of the budding museum. Don't know how I missed it since I have been on the internet for 15 years.
Briefly explaining the Boeing 247--
A few days after graduation, six of us (I have no idea of how we were chosen) were sent TDY to Air Corps Training Detachment, Reno, Nevada. Three of us drove to Reno in my spanking new RED 1942 Plymouth Convertible, on December 22, 1941, and quickly discovered that there was no "Air Corps Training Detachment". For whatever reason, I don't remember, we went to the El Cortez Hotel, and there found that it was the "headquarters" we were looking for. Only difference was that the show was being run by United Airlines. After a week of ground school, at the hotel, we started two-engine flight training. The instructors were United line pilots and the aircraft we used were regular United planes that were used between their scheduled flights through Reno. We received a total of 50 hours, 25 B-247 and 25 Dc-3, with an even mix of day, night and instruments. When finished, we were certified as 2-Engine first pilots, and returned to Stockton. As you can probably see from the photos, it snowed practically every day we were there, so it really was some good real world training. I am not quite sure that I would have felt secure riding as a passenger behind someone with my limited experience at that point. Since this was a civilian school, we were required to obtain a student pilot license, and as military students we were required to carry parachutes. Since we had just entered the war, Reno had hardly ever seen a soldier, let alone six 2nd Lts with wings and leather jackets. I have no idea how it was arranged, but three local socialite families entertained us royally for the entire Christmas-New Years season. Really tough duty.
Here are some photos that Bob sent over of the DC-2, Boeing 247 and flying at Stockton Field. Click on the image for a larger picture.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Bob. If you have something to help preserve the history of Stockton Field or WWII aviation please share it with us.
For more information about Bob and his WWII experiences visit his web page by clicking here.
We have a new web page with information on a Stockton graduate who then became an instructor. His name is Ray Wolf and you can click here to see his web page.
If you would like to share your Stockton Field experiences here please do so. I will gladly post appropriate photos and text if you would like to send it to me just e-mail t
We also need money to help sustain this effort. Right now Vintage Aircraft is the sole supporter of this museum. Our goal is for the museum to become financially self sufficient. We are a 501C3 non profit, for public benefit organization and we are presently applying for our tax exempt status with the IRS. Any help that you can give us is greatly appreciated!
FOR SOME INTERESTING HISTORY ABOUT STOCKTON FIELD VISIT STOCKTON FIELD.COM BY CLICKING HERE
Here is a great aerial image of the field during WWII from Leila Gains. Click on the image for a larger picture. There are over 150 North American AT-6's in this photo along with a B-17, B-25 and several Cessna AT-17's.
Here is a great e-mail from Mel Scarborough who graduated in the last class of cadets at Stockton Field; 44-A.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Mel and thank you for what you did for our country!
Here is an e-mail about the band at Stockton Field:
My Dad (deceased) served at Stockton Field from July 9, 1941 to November 1944, except for a short time at Fort Sumner (7/15/44 to September '44), . He graduated (have class picture) from AC Adv., Flying School and was a crew chief over air mechanics. Then there was a forced transfer into the military band (Mom remembers 142nd, Dad's diary mentions the 42nd, Stockton Field history the 542nd band?).
Original and other band members include: Al Smith, Joe Hosek, Christianson, Wellenbrock, Jackson, Albert Travnick, Don Nogle, Earl Saxton, Paul Faria, Warrant Office Mr. Sheets, Lancelle, Lt. Butler, Cpt. King, Sgt Fred O'Neil, Cpt. Lown, Pete Pinkerton, Col. Gilbert, (Razzendoff who goes AWOL and deserts, gets caught and restricted and court marshalled, busted and 87 days), Cpt. Shullenberger,
Some band history from Dad's 1942 diary:
Issued chairs and instruments, 1/13.
A Chase & Sanborn broadcast celebrates opening of the Chapel; with Jimmy Stewart, McCarthy Bergen, Abbott and Costello; Dad gets in the newsreel.
First military and dance band rehersal, 1/22.
Military band debut in front of the PX on 1/29.
All band members make non-com in the new rating system, 2/2.
Play for boys going to Victorville, 2/7.
Band plays the Officer's Club 2/8.
The dance band plays its first Stockton Field broadcast from Stockton Civic Auditorium, 2/11, which is recorded.
Second PX concert, 2/13.
Dance at the Armory, 2/14.
Playing retreat every night now, 2/17.
First military band broadcast from Hotel Wolf, 2/18.
Max Baer at base for an amateur bout, 2/19.
First concert under shelter in Chapel, 2/22.
The first graduation they play is 42-B, 2/23.
Play for a retiring sergeant, 2/28, and poor marching gets extra practice in PM.
Band plays for Eagle beer bust, 3/3.
Band broadcast, 3/4.
Play College of Pacific, 3/26.
Port of Stockton dance in mess hall, 3/27.
Brass section up at 5:00 AM to play 'Pay Day,' 3/31.
Smitty Emonds sole bugle tonight for first time and plays first 3 notes and freezes, 4/2.
Dance band at McClellan Field, 4/18, -$100.00
Enlisted men's dance, 4/30.
Official band pictures with cross belts taken 5/4 & 5.
Play first early morning Retreat, 5/13.
Play at baseball game and GI dance at Armory, 5/15
Dance band plays Mather Field, 5/23.
B 25s arrive in revetments, 5/25.
Play first U.S.O. dance, 6/20.
Plays the Dean Maddux show in Dobie Hanger 6/22
Pay day at new rate, $50.00, 6/30.
Play party for 81st and a bond drive parade in Stockton, 7/1.
Surprise inspection by Col. Tull, band is asleep, 7/2.
March in parade with necgar(?) helmets, white sam browns, and gloves, 7/4.
Play U.S.O. Wini Shaw Show at Dobie Hanger, 7/25
Plays graduation and picnic dance at Mickey's Grove, 7/26.
Mr. Sheets starts a School of Music, 8/4.
Play dance at 80th Rec Hall, 8/14.
Play for Ice Follies at Dobie Hangar, 8/5.
Field getting a second band, 8/10.
Plays organization dance for 374th in Rec Hall, 8/18.
The 42nd band plays for boys going to Colorado, 8/20.
Plays for Ronald Coleman, Lynn Bari Bond Drive Show, 9/2
Yellow Light Canadian bombers on field, 9/26, when he returns from furlough.
Play 74th boys off to Idaho 9/28.
Play fight and the graduation of the first class of Flying Sargents, 9/29.
"PLAY DANCE FOR JIGS AT CIVIC [Auditorium]. COLORED DRUMMER SITS IN, FAIR."
Play over PA System first time at Retreat, 10/3.
10/26-30 and again in November: Band members are working at Flotil Products (.73 cents/hour): feed cans on belt from box car, loading boxes onto trucks, handle garbage, or truck tomatoes ($1.00/hour) nights (for extra spending money?).
(Capt. Hindesley is in charge of all Air Corps bands between Stockton and Ft. Worth. Gets Mr. Sweets Air Cadets March published 11/11/42. He also writes Parade of Fliers)
Plays two U.S.O shows, one for white boys and the other in colored troops theater, 12/10.
Great information! Thanks for sending it.
Here is a link to a touching song to our WWII veterans:
THE STOCKTON FIELD AVIATION MUSEUM IS LOCATED AT THE STOCKTON METROPOLITAN AIRPORT IN STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THIS MUSEUM IS DEDICATED TO THE HEROES OF OUR GREATEST GENERATION. TO ALL OF YOU WHO FOUGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY IN WORLD WAR TWO, WE THANK YOU!
BUTTONS AND LINKS TO A FEW OF THE MUSEUM DISPLAYS AND INFORMATION
PLEASE BEAR WITH US AS THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. WE WILL BE ADDING MORE AND MORE ITEMS AS WE CAN.
OUR ADDRESS IS:
7432 C.E. DIXON STREET STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA 95206
PRESENTLY WE ARE OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY AND WE HOPE TO HAVE THE MUSEUM OPEN DURING REGULAR HOURS IN THE NEAR FUTURE. WE ARE OPEN FOR WWII WARBIRD GROUP MEETINGS THE FOURTH WEDNESDAY, EVERY OTHER MONTH. PLEASE CHECK THE WWII WARBIRD GROUP PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION. CLICK HERE TO VISIT THAT PAGE.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE E-MAIL:
OR CALL (209) 982 0273
TO ALL OF OUR COUNTRY'S VETERANS, WE HERE AT VINTAGE AIRCRAFT WOULD LIKE TO SAY:
THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID FOR OUR COUNTRY!
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7432 C.E. DIXON STREET
STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA USA 95206
(209) 982 0273
(209) 982 4832 FAX
KEEP 'EM FLYING...FOR HISTORY!