Yuma Army Air Field Collection

TITLE: Yuma Army Air Field Collection

DATE RANGE: 1942 - 2007


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 6 boxes (3 linear feet)

RESTRICTIONS: This collection is unrestricted.   

CREDIT LINE: Yuma Army Air Field Collection, Y-MS 19, Yuma County Library District

PROCESSED BY: Benjamin Findley, January 2014


The Yuma Army Air Field was an advanced training ground for army pilots during World War II. The air field was first created in the 1920s as a simple open field with a windsock for use by airplanes. In 1942 the Army was given the use of the land for a flight training school and the first cadets arrived in January, 1943. In the first year alone, the Yuma Field saw a dozen graduating classes. The Yuma Field offered advanced training in AT-6, T-17, and B-17 models.  It was noted as being one of the busiest air fields in the United States.  In 1946, after the war had ended, the Army declared the field to be surplus to their needs and returned the field to civilian control. The field would later become an U.S. Air Force base, a U.S. Marine station, and an international airport.


This collection consists of donations from many individuals who were involved with the Yuma Army Air Field. Papers and other material retained by soldiers stationed at the base make up the bulk of the collection.

The collection is organized in 10 series:

Series I – Airfield: This series contains a variety of information about the field and the people who were involved with it. There are several general histories of the air field in this series, as well as government documents and newspaper articles.

Series II – Memorabilia: This series contains military rank pins, as well as Yuma flight patches. Also in this series is an example of Yuma field stationary with the field mascot displayed at the top.

Series III – Personal Papers: This series contains the personal papers of a number of people connected to the air field. In addition to papers from several graduates of the flight school, there is a large collection of material from Captain John Upton, a decorated doctor who served as Flight Surgeon at the field.

Series IV – Photographs: This series contains a number of photographic prints from a variety of sources.  The subjects range from planes in flight to the personnel and views of the base itself.

Series V – Publications: This series contains a number of pamphlets and training manuals used by the army in general and the air corps in the 1940s. The subjects of the materials range from pilot information files and technical manuals to song booklets and a 1935 army cooking manual. This series also contains a number of copies of the Yuma Actioneer, a periodical published by the Yuma Army Air Field for its personnel.

Series VI – Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP): This series contains documents pertaining to the female pilot program created in World War II. Materials include uniform information, as well as flight training documents and a report on the outcomes of the program.

Series VII – YAAF Veteran Events: This series contains documents about the YAAF Veterans Reunions as well as letters and documents concerning a memorial plaque placed on the grounds of the Yuma International Airport.

Series VIII – Yearbooks: This series contains yearbooks from a number of classes that graduated from the Yuma flight training.

Series IX – Videos: This series contains four VHS videos concerning aeronautics during World War II as well as information pertaining to the Yuma air field in particular.

Series X – Scrapbook: This series contains a single scrapbook of issues of the Yuma Actioneer. The scrapbook does not offer a complete run of the periodical, but does contain the majority of the issues published in 1944 and 1945.


Box Folder Title Dates
1 1 Airfield 1942 – 2007, n.d.
  2 Memorabilia n.d.
  3 Personal Papers: Andrus, Lee 1943 – 1945, n.d.
  4 Personal Papers: Collins, Lloyd 1984 – 1985, n.d.
  5 Personal Papers: Fleming, Nils 1942 – 1945, n.d.
  6 Personal Papers: Military Orders 1943 – 1945
  7 Personal Papers: Miscellaneous 1953 – 1990, n.d.
  8 Personal Papers: Robbins, Mrs. George 1944, n.d.
  9 Personal Papers: Sullivan, Bernard 1983 – 1985, n.d.
  10 Personal Papers: Upton, John 1916 – 1983, n.d.
  11 Personal Papers: Upton, John n.d.
2 1 Personal Papers: A-Z A – Z
  2 Photographs: Aircraft 1943 – 1944, n.d.
  3 Photographs: Machinery 1944, n.d.
  4 Photographs: Panorama (photocopy) 1944
  5 Photographs: People 1943 – 1945
  6 Photographs: People n.d.
  7 Photographs: Places 1941 – 1945, n.d.
  8 Publications: Actioneer 1943 – 1997, n.d.
  9 Publications   1935 – 1940
3 1 Publications 1941 – 1942
  2 Publications 1943 – 1945
  3 Publications 1945
  4 Publications n.d.
  5 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) 1944 – 1993, n.d.
  6 YAAF Veteran Events 1983 – 2001
  7 Yearbooks: Classes 1943c - e 1943
4 1 Yearbooks: Classes 1943f - g 1943
  2 Yearbooks: Classes 1943g - k 1943
  3 Videos: “Superfort: The Boeing B-29” 1992
  4 Videos: YAAF Monument Dedication Ceremony and YAAF Veterans Reunion 1997, n.d.
4b 1 Scrapbook: Illustrated Report ca. 1944
  2 Scrapbook: Photographic Album n.d.
5   Scrapbook: Yuma Actioneer 1943 – 1945


Print this page