South Valley Regional Airport
|South Valley Regional Airport
Kearns Army Air Field
2006 USGS airphoto
|IATA: none – ICAO: none – FAA LID: U42|
|Operator||Salt Lake City Department of Airports|
|Location||West Jordan, Utah|
|Elevation AMSL||4,607 ft / 1,404.2 m|
South Valley Regional Airport (FAA LID: U42) is a public airport located in West Jordan, seven miles (11 km) southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. Established as a Utah World War II army airfield, it is the primary general aviation airport in the area and is a Utah Army National Guard training base with Apache and Blackhawk helicopters. Leading Edge Aviation is the single Fixed Based Operator (FBO) onsite: the FBO and Alta Aircraft Maintenance operate maintenance facilities, and the FBO and Utah Helicopter Flight Academy operate flight schools.
On 10 February 1942, the United States district engineer (Colonel E. G. Thomas) recommended a "5,450-acre dry farming area in Kearns" for an inland Army training site. For one of "the eight new technical training installations rushed into operation" during 1942-3, a Kearns, Utah "plot of 1,405 acres was purchased".:110 The Kearns Center military unit was activated (designated) 1 May 1942, and "a contract for a theater of operations cantonment was let" on 16 June 1942. "Basic Training Center No. 5" began operations on 17 July and opened on 20 July:110 under Training Command. A "Denver and Rio Grande Western" spur was built to the installation's railroad station, and by 21 August all barracks were complete. "Upon completion of their basic training most of the pre-aviation cadets [were] sent to one of the many college operated [flight schools] under the supervision of the Army Air Corp." [sic]. The 510th Training Group and 3 technical school squadrons (1032d, 1033d, and 1034th) were assigned to Kearns on 10 September 1942, and Kearns' commander--Colonel Leo F. Post--arrived by September 12. Construction was completed in October 1942:110 and Kearns' "basic military training and technical training" continued until 30 Sep 43.
Kearns Army Air Field
Kearns Army Air Field was the flight facility constructed[when?] on the larger base and was used by 9 B-24 Liberator bombardment groups--459th, 460th, 455th, 456th, 465th, 466th, 467th, 458th and from Gowen Field, 461st —formed 31 August-17 October 1943. The base transferred to Second Air Force on 1 October 1943, and the bomb groups all were reassigned by the end of 1943 (e.g., the 461st to Wendover Field).[verification needed] In January 1944, Kearns AAF began performing personnel replacement training, rather than group training. In April, ground echelon training for B-24 support personnel was ended.
In April 1944, "Camp Kearns" was returned to the Western Technical Training Command when the WTTC's Fort Logan in Colorado transferred to the Air Service Command—then on 1 July 1944 Camp Kearns transferred to AAF Personnel Distribution Command.
Army Air Base, Kearns
Both the "Overseas Replacement Depot, Kearns, Utah" and "Salt Lake City Army Air Field...under command jurisdiction of Kearns ORD" transferred to Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946. Kearns ORD & SLC AAFld (along with North Carolina's Greensboro ORD & the Greensboro-High Point Army Airfield)transferred to AAFTC on 30 April and Kearns finally transferred to Air Defense Command (31 July). The base (including Kearns AAF) was inactivated on 15 August 1946 and transferred to the War Assets Administration for disposal. The War Assets Administration declared Kearns surplus on 24 January 1947, and the high bid by Standard Surplus was opened in July 1948 for the 1,200 acres (490 ha) installation with only 100 remaining buildings. A "Camp Kearns Memorial" was emplaced at the Arlo D. James Kearns Veterans Memorial Park (later moved to .)
Salt Lake City Municipal 2 Airport
The post-war Salt Lake City Municipal 2 Airport was established and was renamed c. 2009 for the South Valley ("midway between the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains")--South Valley Regional Airport--to distinguish it from Salt Lake City International Airport (cf. Tooele Valley Airport.)
A theater for "colored personnel" became part of Kearns Junior High School. A base chapel is now part of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. The base train station is a day-care center. A cannon that had stood next to the headquarters' flagpole now decorates the corner of 40th West and 54th South.
The World War I-era cannon and flagpole from the old Camp Kearns military base have been relocated to the Kearns township recreation center, 5670 S. Cougar Lane (4800 West). They are now part of the new Kearns Veterans Memorial Plaza, dedicated Nov. 10, 2012.
- "South Valley Regional Airport (1434590)". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- "Salt Lake City Airport II". Utah Airport Operators Association. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
- "Brief Histories of Three Federal Military Installations in Utah: Kearns Army Air Base, Hurricane Mesa, and Green River Test Complex" (PDF). Utah Historical Quarterly (Utah State Historical Society) 34 (2). Spring 1966. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-09-12.
- Futrell, Robert F. (July 1947). Development of AAF Base Facilities in the United States: 1939-1945 (Report). ARS-69: US Air Force Historical Study No 69 (Copy No. 2). Air Historical Office. p. 110.
At Kearns, Utah (just outside Salt Lake City), a plot of 1,495 acres was purchased, a contract for a theater of operations cantonment was let on 16 June, and Basic Training Center No. 5, was opened 20 July, although construction was not completed until October 1942.
- Manning, Thomas A. (2005) [1990s for 1943-1993 version]. History of Air Education and Training Command: 1942-2002 (PDF) (Report). A-090203-089. Office of History and Research. ASIN B000NYX3PC. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- http://www.461st.org/History/461st%20History/PDFs/jul-sep43.pdf "In accordance with an Immediate Action Letter from Hqs of the Second Air Force September 4, 1943,(12) the Adjutant at Gowen Field issued Par. No. 11 of Special Orders No. 251 on September 8, 1943. This Par. Read as follows: "The following named O and EM 461st Bomb Gp this sta are hereby reld fr atchd to the 29th Bomb Gp and WP by rail on 10 Sept 1943 for temp change of sta to AAB Kearns Utah, RUAT CO thereat on Saturday, 11 Sept 1943 for dy and further asgmt."(13) ... On Sept. 29th the C.O. of Kearns, Col. Converse R. Lewis, reviewed his troops in farewell to his command at Kearns. The morning of the following day the Air Echelon of the 461st moved from the Salt Lake City AAB to Kearns. At noon all personnel of the Group boarded a troop train and left for Wendover Field, Utah.(19)
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- [full citation needed] This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
- "Ft. Logan to be Convalescent Center Starting at Midnight" (transcription at PlainsHumanities.unl.edu). Denver Post. 14 April 1944. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
Fort Logan…army air service command will take over the post from the army air forces western technical command, which has operated it since 1 March 1941, as a clerical school. Under the air service command, Fort Logan will become a center for the training of convalescent air force service men returning from overseas. … the western technical training command will take back Camp Kearns.
- "Kearns Gets New Head" (Google news archive). The Deseret News. September 28, 1943. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
With the transfer comes the change in the name of the facility, from Basic Training Center No. 5 to Army Air Base, Kearns.
- "Colonel Walter F. Siegmund, A. C, Commanding Officer Army Air Base Kearns, Utah," inside title "Encamped at Kearns," ca. 1944 (cited by Alexander)
- History of Strategic Air Command: Chapter III Operations and Training (partial transcript at AlternateWars.com) (Report). Historical Study No. 61. Historical Division, SAC Office of Information. n.d. Retrieved 2013-09-27. Declassified 11 October 1991.
- Reavy, Pat (March 25, 2009). "Old guns missing from National Guard helicopter". Deseret News. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- Davidson, Lee (July 20, 2008). "Camp Kearns: Documents offer new glimpse into life at dismantled WWII base". Deseret News. Retrieved 2013-10-25.