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    Hamilton Field (Hamilton AFB) California United States
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Curt Holguin 1995

Location
Hamilton Field (Hamilton AFB) was located at Novato northwest of San Francisco.

Construction
On July 1, 1932 airfield construction commenced, with the majority of first phase completed by 1935. Built as a bombardment base and the headquarters for the 1st Wing of the U.S. Army Air Corps. The base was utilized for the defense of the western section of the United States until 1940.

Naming Honor
Named in honor of 1st Lloyd Andrews Hamilton, 1st Aero Squadron awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for extraordinary heroism in action at Varssokacre, Belguim on August 13, 1918 then was Killed in Action (KIA) near Lagnicourt, France on August 24, 1918.

Wartime History
On December 6, 1941 a formation of unarmed B-17 Flying Fortresses departed Hamilton Field on a ferry flight bound for Hickam Field, Oahu. The formation included B-17C 40-2049, B-17C 40-2063, B-17E 41-2408, B-17E 41-2416, B-17E 41-2429, B-17E 41-2432 and B-17E 41-2434. During the morning of December 7, 1941 incoming Japanese aircraft detected on radar were dismissed as the expected flight of B-17s. During the surprise attack, the unarmed B-17s arrived and several were intercepted. None were lost several were attacked by Japanese fighters and accidentally fired on by US Navy anti-aircraft guns.

During World War II, Hamilton Field played a significant role as an overseas staging area for new aircraft being flown to Hawaii. Also, acted as one of three major bases of the West Coast wing of the Air Transport Command's Pacific Division and was involved in the Operational Training Unit Program.

Today
Some of the hangers were turned over the US Navy and Coast Guard before the base was finally deactivated. Many of the prewar and wartime era barracks and buildings remained until 1995, until hey were demolished. The area was developed into "Hamiltown" a residential community with mixed-use commercial areas.

Hamilton Army Air Field Discontinuous Historic District
Located on the southwest part of Hamilton Army Air Field in Novato. Accessible from the Alameda de la Loma and Bell Marin Keys Blvd. exits from Hwy. 101.

Hamiltown
Most of the deactivated base was transferred to Novato, and is now a residential community known as "Hamiltown".

Hamilton Field History Museum
Established during May 2010 by volunteers in the rebuilt firehouse built in 1934.

References
NPS - Hamilton Army Airfield Discontguous Historic District
Hamilton Field of Marin (Hamiltown) Owners Association

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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