Santa Ana Army Air Base Training Command Class Book. 1943. Army Air Forces Western Flying Training Command. United States Army Air Forces.
The Santa Ana Army Air Base was a facility without planes, hangars, or runways; instead, it served as a basic training camp for new soldiers earmarked for the Army Air Forces. New troops were given nine weeks of basic training and testing to determine if they were suited to become pilots, bombardiers, navigators, or mechanics. After training, soldiers went on to other bases for training in their specialties.
Letter From Cadet Classification.
Edrick J. Miller. THE SAAAB Story: The History of the Santa Ana Army Air Base. The Costa Mesa Historical Society and The SAAAB Wing, 1981.
The first class of 2,601 cadets graduated on July 1, 1942. By the end of 1942, the annual rate of pilot graduates from the 3-month classification and training program was over 45,000. To carry out this program, the Air Force had recruited a faculty of over 250 well-trained and experienced high school, college, and university teachers who later became officers in the Air Corps. The Santa Ana Army Air Base also trained soldiers as bombardiers, navigators, mechanics, radio operators, and other important jobs to support the war effort. The Base reached its maximum strength by the fall of 1943, with a population of some 26,000 service members.
Soldiers of the 414th Air Base Squadron Depart Through Santa Ana Army Air Base's Gate 3 on a Five-Mile Hike to an Undisclosed Bivouac Site. Santa Ana Army Air Base Gate, Santa Ana, California. April 23, 1944. Courtesy of the California Military Museum.
Women's Army Corp (WACS). Santa Ana Army Air Base Training Command Class Book. 1943. Army Air Forces Western Flying Training Command. United States Army Air Forces.
In November 1942, members of the Women’s Air Service Pilots (WASP) began training at the base, followed shortly by members of the Women’s Army Corp (WAC).
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