Municipal Airport
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member wildernessmama
N 43° 34.218 W 096° 44.226
14T E 682732 N 4826636
Quick Description: The establishment and growth of the Sioux Falls Municipal Airport is related on this historical marker found just south of the airport.
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 12/7/2010 7:28:02 PM
Waymark Code: WMA9EE
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member MNSearchers
Views: 11

Long Description:
The first effort to establish an airport at this location was undertaken in 1936 by Mayor A.N. Graff, who advocated purchase of 320 acres of Water Department land. On April 16, 1937, the Department of Air Commerce approved the site for a proposed Sioux Falls Municipal Airport. A Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant of $165,000 was obtained to construct three runways, a terminal building, and a hangar. Construction began in 1938. When the federal Civil Aeronautics Administration built a radio range station for navigation guidance two miles west of the airport, this additional facility placed Sioux Falls on the national air map. A movement to name the airport “Tennant Field” in memory of an early Sioux Falls aviator was unsuccessful. Harold Tennant, a World War I pilot, died while testing a new Karl-Keen airplane north of Sioux Falls near Renner. A wing folded and caused his plane to crash.

The new Sioux Falls Municipal Airport was dedicated on September 15, 1939, with six major airlines included in the festivities. Mid-Continental, Braniff, TWA, United, American and Northwest airlines used DC-3 aircraft to ferry government officials and airline executives to the event. When the Mid-Continent plane landed, it marked the resumption of airmail and passenger service to Sioux Falls. For two years Sioux Falls’ airmail had been moved by rail to make airline connections in Sioux City, IA.

In the early months of World War II, the federal government leased the airfield and then built a huge sprawling United States Army Air Force base to train radio operators for military aircraft. At its peak there were almost 28,000 men and women stationed there. The military school was deactivated following VJ Day in August 1945. Under the leadership of two men, World War II Flying Ace Joe Foss and Duane “Duke” Corning, the South Dakota Air National Guard was established a year later. At first the Air Guard was equipped with P-51 combat fighter airplanes. The city converted an old air base machine shop building to become the airport’s second terminal, and in 1954 the airfield was renamed Joe Foss Field. Federal Airport aid and the Air Guard Bureau funds were used to rebuild and lengthen runways to accommodate larger and faster aircraft. A new modern terminal opened in its present location in 1969. Today the airport continues as Sioux Falls Regional Airport with facilities to handle aircraft up to and including the Boeing 747 and Airbus A300.
Marker Name: Municipal Airport

Marker Type: City

Marker Text:
See above

Visit Instructions:
A photo of the 'Marker' or 'Plaque' is required to identify the location, plus a picture of the 'Historic Site'. If you do not post a photo your log will be deleted.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
stlee visited Municipal Airport 12/21/2011 stlee visited it
dbrockhouse visited Municipal Airport 12/26/2010 dbrockhouse visited it
Peter and Gloria visited Municipal Airport 4/11/2009 Peter and Gloria visited it

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