Hammer Field – A Camera Trip Through Hammer Field (PDF)




32 pages
The History of Hammer Field ……. Situated in the beautiful California valley of San Joaquin, near Fresno, Hammer Field is an ideal setting for the heavy air traffic that it accommodates. Here various organizations of the Army Air Forces are in training for the missions they are to perform in this war and the field is a beehive of bustling men and roaring planes. The field was named in honor of Lieutenant Earl M. Hammer, a native of California, who became a member of Squadron 84 of the Royal Flying Corps, the predecessor of the present Royal Air Force of the British Empire. He was the first Californian killed in action in the Air Forces in World War I. Lieutenant Hammer was shot down March 19, 1918 about five miles behind the German lines in the Argonne area. A few hours afterwards, a German aviator dropped a note over the Allied lines saying Hammer had met his death. However, other members of his squadron believed they had seen him land his ship and it was not until some time after the armistice that it was established definitely that he had been killed. At the personal request of General John J. Pershing, a search was made for his grave and it was found between those of two German aviators in a small French village. His grave was moved to the Argonne Cemetery. Twenty three years after young Hammer was shot down, almost to the day, on March 17, 1941, the ground was broken for Hammer Field and it was activated very shortly thereafter. Although much of the operations naturally can not be disclosed we do attempt to illustrate in this book much of the daily activities and life of a soldier at this Base. It is a busy day at best from early morning till taps at night. Yet there are many facilities to be enjoyed by the boys here. There are comfortable day rooms to relax in where all types of clubroom recreations are available. There is a fine theatre, a good Chapel which is well attended, swimming pools and ample sports fields. Although there’s lots of workthe boys’ happiness, both spiritually and mentally, is carefully developed.