Ghost Towns and Mines


Construction on Tonopah Army Air Field began in 1940. It original purpose was to be a support airfield for a nearby bombing and gunnery range. During WWII its mission was changed to pilot training, beginning with fighter pilots flying P-39s. This too changed, and the eventual mission was training pilots of B-24 bombers.

Additionally, testing of various guided bombs took place here. These early “smart bombs” had wooden wings and were remotely controlled via radio by a person onboard the bomber aircraft.

Several large wooden hangars were built at the site, as well as barracks, offices, and other facilities. Immediately after the war, the air field was placed on inactive status. Currently the landing strips are used by the Tonopah Municipal Airport.

Three of the original wooden hangars still stand, in various stages of decay. The foundations and chimneys of other structures are scattered around the site.

Updated August 2010.

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Tonopah Army Air Field, NV