Marana Army Airfield
Marana Army Airfield (1942-1956) - A World War II U.S. Army Airfield was established in 1942 near Tucson, Pinal County, Arizona. First named Marana Army Airfield after the location. Closed briefly after the end of WWII in 1945.
World War II
The Marana Army Airfield was built in 1942 by the Sundt and Del Webb Construction Companies and opened in March 1943, the facility was used as a pilot training base. Marana conducted basic flight training and the training of transport pilots in instrument flying and navigation, being the home of the 3024th (Pilot School, Basic).
Post World War II
The airfield was closed after WWII, but later reopened and used by several military groups, the Central Intelligence Agency, and commercial airlines for a variety of purposes.
In 1948, after the establishment of the U.S. Air Force as an independent service, Pinal County accepted a deed to the property, subsequent to the Air Force's disposal of most of the buildings, water lines, gas lines, and electrical lines. From 1948 to 1951, Pinal County leased the property to multiple tenants, and from 1951 to 1956, Marana was reused as a contractor-operated USAF basic flying school, operated by Darr Aeronautical Technical Company.
Marana Field became the headquarters of all Central Intelligence Agency air operations during the Vietnam War years when it was the primary facility of Intermountain Airlines, a wholly-owned CIA "front" company that was used to supply covert operations in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. Intermountain was infamous for its thinly veiled CIA special ops which included the development and use of the Fulton Skyhook, but its cover was its non-scheduled freight and maintenance operations. Marana was the principal continental United States maintenance base for Southeast Asia CIA operations including Air America and Continental Air Services. The Marana facility was subsequently acquired by Evergreen International Airlines which performed aircraft modification and maintenance at the airfield.
Now known as Pinal Air Park and as such it provides storage and scrapping services for a large number of surplus commercial aircraft.