Airport makes way for B.O.P. plant

pc-Fairfax-5_1_13

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
May 1, 2013

This 1942 Max Bernstein linen postcard depicts the Aircraft Assembly Plant, Fairfax Industrial District, Kansas City, Kan.

Sent on Feb. 11, 1942, to Mr. Jack Reddan, 3369 Grand Ave., Omaha, Neb., the message reads, “Dear Jack, hope you didn’t forget to mail your value times to Little Rock. I miss your piano practice. Remember, you eat lunch at home Friday. Love, mother.”

First used for aviation purposes in 1921 when the American Legion sponsored a flying show on the grounds, fledgling air-related industries occupied the area around the single dirt runway for eight years prior to its being christened Fairfax Airport in 1928.

Operating as the primary Air Mail departure point in Kansas City through the 1930s, the area was chosen in 1940 as the location of a new light bomber plant  when North American Aviation chose an alfalfa field on the northwest corner of the airfield for its new plant.

Through the war years, the plant churned out two-thirds of the Mitchell B-25 medium range, twin engine bombers used in both the Pacific and European theaters of World War II.

Following the war, General Motors took over the operation of the plant, where for the next 41 years, Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs rolled off its assembly lines, prompting many locals to dub the plant “B.O.P.” In 1985, General Motors announced plans to build a new, larger facility on the site of the airport, ultimately bringing to a close more than 80 years of aviation history on the Fairfax Airport site.

Hugh Hollinger made the last flight out of the airport on March 31 at 11:59:59 p.m. The wheels of Hollinger’s Cessna lifted off from the runway a few seconds past midnight on April 1, 1985.

The plant shown on this postcard was demolished after GM constructed a new facility almost in the center of the old field, where runways 31 and 22 intersect. The ends of the old runways are used to ferry completed automobiles to waiting railroad cars.

 

 

Comments are closed.

  • Uncle Sam ‘Wants You’ to know his origins

    June 30th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Historians aren’t completely certain how the legendary character Uncle Sam was created or how he got his name.
    One prominent theory is that Uncle Sam was named after Samuel


    Winnwood has faded, but its legacy lives

    June 23rd, 2015
    by

    Northeast News A mere three stops after boarding the Interurban car of the KCCC&SJ’s Excelsior Springs line at 20th Street and Burlington Avenue in the then newly chartered North Kansas


    Flooding no is stranger to Kansas City’s West Bottoms

    June 16th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard shows the result of countless days of rain and the lack of a levee system in the West Bottoms during a flood in June 1908.
    The


    Katz’s stores remain an architectural icon

    June 9th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News When Isaac “Ike” Katz was 13-years-old, he quit school and went to work for the Great Northern Railway to help support his family.
    Katz walked the aisles of passenger


    Memories of the 1908 flood

    June 2nd, 2015
    by

    Northeast News As we approach the rainy summer season, it is fitting that we run a postcard showing three scenes from the West Bottoms area immediately following the great flood


  • Ruskin Heights tornado still conjers horror for some

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Fifty eight years ago today, a string of savage storms rose from the southern plains states and tore a devastating path across the Kansas City area that some


    Motel Capri – Northeast’s Gold Standard for Motor Inns

    May 12th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News In the late 1950’s, an empty plat of ground just north of the old Boy’s Hotel at Admiral Boulevard and Highland Avenue caught the eye of three local


    Cursed be the villain who molests these graves

    May 5th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News In January of 1859, the town of Wyandot was incorporated and two streets were cut across what we now know as the Huron Indian Cemetery.


    Cliff Drive’s legacy endures time as a world-class park

    April 28th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Cliff Drive, Kansas City, Missouri.”
    So reads the description on the front of this postcard published by the Fred Harvey Company.


    As KC grew, so grew the City Market

    April 21st, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Building the imposing new City Hall at Fifth and Main Streets required the installation of roughly 60 circular caissons, five feet across, to support the massive structure.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Weather causes havoc in HNE

    Weather damage. More than 40,000 trees were severely damaged or downed Thursday night just in Kansas City, Mo.

    Children’s Choice helping kids for nearly 40 years

    By Michaela Bishop Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Children’s Choice Daycare has helped over thousands of children within the past 39 years. The daycare itself helps children from ages ranging to

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]