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A Veteran's Voice: Minter Field

Minter Field to celebrate 80 years
Posted at 8:37 AM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 11:37:39-05

SHAFTER, Calif. (KERO) — We harken back to a time when thousands of voices echoed across Minter Field in Shafter.

Those voices were drowned out at times by the hum of hundreds of airplanes when the small air strip became a training facility for American pilots in World War II.

On Saturday, Feb. 5th, the air museum will celebrate the 80th anniversary of its dedication led by a man who was there.

You might say Ronald Pierce, chairman of the board for the Minter Field Air Museum, is part of Minter Field.

Pierce says the government came to Shafter in the late '30s looking for air strips to train American pilots.

And Ronald spent lots of time at minter field in the '40s after his father, a local jeweler, was recruited to work on planes.

There is one B-T 13 training aircraft left at minter field today, but 80 years ago there were hundreds that took off and some that didn't make it back.

There are plenty of pictures and documents to mark the official dedication on Feb. 7th, 1942, exactly two months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Today not many of the original structures are left.

Minter Field was named in honor of First Lt. Hugh Minter, a veteran of the first World War and part of a prominent local family.

Minter was killed in a mid-air collision in July of 1932.

The museum will celebrate the 80th anniversary on Saturday with an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.