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W J Pearce
07-23-2003, 08:47 PM
Hello Bill,

On you site (somewhere) you have a shot of 1000s of B-24s waiting to become bauxite in the AZ sun. Can you post that photo here, and any others. What other aircraft types were there and appox. numbers? How long were WWII aircraft around at sites such as Kingman? Any onther interesting info?

Thanks,

Bill Pearce

Bill Larkins
08-01-2003, 09:57 PM
No problem Bill, just a slight delay while I reduce the size of it to fit this format. The date is 2-8-47. I'll post a couple of others also. The full subject of surplus sales and scrap is much too big to fit into this site but we can touch on it. If you want to go into depth on it see my 52-page article "War Assets" in the Feb, March, April 1992 Air Classics.
There were five large salvage/scrap fields under WAA with each sold to a different contractor. They were at Walnut Ridge, AR; Kingman, AZ; Ontario, CA; Albuquerque, NM; and Clinton, OK. NAS Clinton had the most aircraft, a total of 8,839 Navy planes, but is little known because neither the press nor private collectors ever got there.
WAA had dozens of small sales depots to sell surplus aircraft as opposed to melting them down for scrap metal.

Bill Larkins
08-01-2003, 10:25 PM
Aerial view of some of the B-24's on 2-8-47.

Bill Larkins
08-01-2003, 10:28 PM
B-24M-16-FO shows a sample of the many operational B-17s and B-24s that were flown back from Europe and scrapped at Kingman.

Bill Larkins
08-01-2003, 10:30 PM
These Convair B-32s were for the most part new and flown from the factory to Kingman. In the closing days of the operation new Douglas B-26/A-26s were flown to Kingman.

Bill Larkins
08-01-2003, 10:32 PM
This photo of a TB-26B shows the rows of engines and props in the background that were saved for possible sale rather than scrapping for the metal.

wolfee
08-02-2003, 01:10 AM
Bill,

Are thies fields still around with AC on them? I know AZ has some around still but what about the others. and is it possible to buy an AC for personal use?

Bill Larkins
08-02-2003, 08:47 AM
Originally posted by wolfee
Bill,

Are thies fields still around with AC on them? I know AZ has some around still but what about the others. and is it possible to buy an AC for personal use?
--------------
All of these aircraft were gone by 1948. Kingman is now a County airport and Ontario is the active Chino airport warbird center. I don't know of any surplus military aircraft for sale today and certainly not WW2 types.
Bill L

Kevin L
08-02-2003, 10:23 AM
My grandfather told me of seeing rows of P-51's stacked nose down at Walnut Ridge, AR. He also remembered seeing some 4-engine bombers, possibly B-24's and B-32's. He had some photos, but I have not seen them in years, I'll try and find them.

I was also told that many aircraft were bulldozed into large trenches and then covered over. Mostly new a/c flown in from the factories. The fields are still there, surrounded by fence and posted as gov. property. These dozed bombers are supposed too still be armed and have 2 extra engines loaded in the bomb bays. The CAF has tried to get permission to salvage some of them, but have been denied due to saftey and environmental concerns.

Kevin

Bill Larkins
08-02-2003, 11:19 AM
The planes stacked on their noses were Curtiss P-40's. A photo of them was on the cover of Life magazine as well as Aviation Week. The press and congressmen were invited to the opening of RFC/WAA Walnut Ridge and that is why it got so much publicity. I have not heard that story before about the bombers being buried and I doubt it since The Texas Railway Equipment Company paid $1,817,738 for the 4,890 planes there and was in it to make money - not bury planes in the ground. That might have happened in Europe or the Pacific where there were no civilian salvage dealers involved.

Kevin L
08-02-2003, 09:35 PM
Thanks for the clarification Bill. I thought my grandfather said they were 51's, but he is no longer around to ask. The "buried bombers" story was told to me a couple of years ago by the CAF pilot of "FIFI". They were in Little Rock for a display and were thinking of driving up to Walnut Ridge to look around.

On another "scrap" note. I have heard that surplus V-12's were used to power irrigation pumps in the field. I guess they were cheap and readily available. Have you ever heard of this?

Bill Larkins
08-03-2003, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by Bill Larkins
The planes stacked on their noses were Curtiss P-40's. A photo of them was on the cover of Life magazine as well as Aviation Week. The press and congressmen were invited to the opening of RFC/WAA Walnut Ridge and that is why it got so much publicity. I have not heard that story before about the bombers being buried and I doubt it since The Texas Railway Equipment Company paid $1,817,738 for the 4,890 planes there and was in it to make money - not bury planes in the ground. That might have happened in Europe or the Pacific where there were no civilian salvage dealers involved.

Here is a photo of the P-40s stacked on their noses at Walnut Ridge.

AAFO_WSagar
08-04-2003, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by Bill Larkins
Here is a photo of the P-40s stacked on their noses at Walnut Ridge. Bill, these photos are fascinating and so sad at the same time. IF ONLY anyone had known the historic value of these airplanes!

Obviously, not all of them could have been saved but... with so few left today, especially in flying condition... again, if only!

What were your thoughts at the time, seeing this "carnage" first hand?

Were there many people at that time who gave it all much thought?

Thanks for sharing these amazing images!

Wayne Sagar

W J Pearce
09-08-2003, 08:23 PM
Sorry I have not posted sooner. TV has eaten my attention span.

Thank you for sharing these photos Mr. Larkins. One year when I was younger we (my dad and I) stopped in Kingman to refuel on our way back to TOA from Oshkosh. Inside the terminal there were photos of surplus a/c. I simply never realized or thought about until then, what happened to all the surplus WWII a/c. All of it is a truly remarkable chapter in aviation history.

Thank you,

Bill Pearce