Madras Army AirfieldAirfield
Madras Municipal Airport (Formerly Madras Army Airfield)
The hangar was built during WW2 for the Army Air Forces. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
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Originally known as Madras Army Air Field, this was a World War II Army Air Corps training base for B-17 Flying Fortress and Bell P-63 Kingcobras. In 2000, the airport began hosting the annual Airshow of the Cascades. The Erickson Aircraft Collection moved from the Tillamook Air Museum to the Madras Airport in 2014. In mid-2015 the airport's north hangar, which was built during World War II, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Madras Army Air Field North Hangar, built to boost the nation’s efforts during World War II, is among Oregon’s latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1943, the U.S. Army transformed the wheat fields northeast of Madras into a fully-functioning air field to train B-17 bombardment squadrons as part of a nation-wide effort to build the nation’s air force during World War II. The Boeing B-17 was known as the “Flying Fortress” due to its immense size and ability to sustain heavy damage during combat – a reputation earned in the skies over Europe.
The Madras location met the Army’s requirements for a secure site with year-round clear weather ideal for training new crews. The airfield was one of several training bases in the region. The Army quickly constructed the base’s 96 buildings, including officer quarters, squadron barracks and associated living areas, station base buildings, two 120-foot-by-80-foot hangars, and other special-purpose buildings.
The surviving hangar is one of the few remaining base buildings and is a rare intact example of the standard OBH-2 type hangar. The type is notable for its all-wood construction and bowstring roof truss system. Ground crews used the hangar to service B-17 bombers, and while massive in size, the building is just large enough to accommodate a single plane. The hangar’s wood construction uses regionally-abundant and inexpensive materials to meet the Army’s demands for cost-effective and efficient construction.
In 1944, the base’s operations shifted toward training for smaller fighter planes including the Bell P-39Q Airacobra, Bell P-63 Kingcobra and Lockheed P-38 Lightning. The base was closed at the end of the war in 1945.
The newly-listed hangar will be a focal point for activities Aug. 28-29 at the Airshow of the Cascades. An air museum is located nearby.