Serving the community since 1970

Minter Field celebrates anniversary

Minter Field in Shafter celebrated the 82nd anniversary of the Dedication of the Minter Field Air Field on Saturday, holding an open house for residents to check out the facelift the museum underwent recently.

Thanks to a donation from the Johnson Family Foundation, the museum was able to repaint the building and also remodeled a storage room into a new exhibit for the museum.

According to Museum President Ronald Pierce, the support from numerous individuals and organizations have made this year a great one. "We have had so many opportunities this year, from donations and events to renovation projects."

Pierce is also chairman of the Minter Field board.

The event on Saturday drew a large crowd, many who haven't been to the museum in a while. "I haven't been out here in years," said resident Donald Murtry, who was visiting with his grandson. "I had to come out and check out the new paint job and all of the new stuff that they have on display. There is so much more than the last time I was here."

Barbara Schultz, an author of eight published books, was on hand signing one of her most popular books, [BEGIN ITAL]Pancho: The Biography of Florence Lowe Barnes.[END ITAL] Schultz, who earned her pilot's license while she was a young woman, met her husband, who was a test pilot and together they opened their own airport. She then used her passion for aviation and her skill at writing into another career.

The Minter Field site was dedicated in February 1942 as the Minter Field Army Air Corps Base, in honor of local man Hugh Minter.

Minter Field was originally constructed under the Defense Landing Area Program for the U.S. Army as a flight training center. It was a city within itself, having served the 7,000 personnel stationed at the airfield during World War II for training, living and recreational needs. Although many of the facilities have been removed over the years, there was a chapel, swimming pool, theater, post office and infirmary, among just a few of the services that were provided for those stationed here.

The remaining buildings are now used as offices or warehouses, including the airport administration office.

Today, the site still has a variety of hangars, warehouses, offices and the Minter Field Air Museum. The museum houses thousands of articles of history from every U.S. military conflict. The museum is open every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. They can also give group tours by appointment. Their telephone ist 661-393-0291.


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