Airport makes way for B.O.P. plant


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.

  • Day of thanks develops into national holiday over 240 years

    November 25th, 2015

    Northeast News What we celebrate as Thanksgiving is traditionally tied to a three-day feast involving the Pilgrims after their first harvest in 1621.

    Tunnel gave thrilling ride from downtown to West Bottoms

    November 18th, 2015

    Northeast News Standing in the glass foyer of the State Street Securities building at Eighth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and looking east along the Eighth Street corridor, it’s easy to

    Corner market did business on Ninth St.

    November 11th, 2015

    Northeast News Although there’s a vacant lot where Benedict L. Bredburg’s Metropolitan Grocery once stood, such “corner markets” were the rule rather than the exception in the fabric of communities

    Veterinary school thrives near turn of the century

    November 4th, 2015

    Northeast News What began in 1891 in two rented rooms in the Schutte Building near 11th

    Author Poe lives on through this postcard

    October 27th, 2015

    Northeast News This Halloween, we depart from our traditional Jack-O-Lantern or witching-style postcard and offer this literary postcard published by the Webb Freyschlag Company of Kansas City.

  • Kansas City’s first fire fighters honored in historic postcard

    October 20th, 2015

    Northeast News In March 1867, the Missouri Legislature granted permission to allow Kansas City to organize an official fire department.
    Later that year, an engine company was formed (McGee Hook and

    Sugar Creek’s original amusement park

    October 13th, 2015

    Northeast News Fairmont Park was developed in 1897 by early Kansas City railroad developer Arthur E.

    Kansas City’s first fire fighters honored

    October 6th, 2015

    Northeast News In March 1867, the Missouri Legislature granted permission to allow Kansas City to organize an official fire department.
    In August of that same year an engine company was formed

    Historic postcard offers glimpse of beautiful Penn Valley Park

    September 29th, 2015

    Northeast News The three-acre lake shown on the front of this black and white postcard was once part of an area of ramshackle shanties called Vinegar Hill and bordered OK

    School’s important part of Church’s history

    September 22nd, 2015

    Northeast News Established in 1890 as a school for girls, the Scarritt Bible and Training Institute was located at Harris (now Norledge) and Askew Avenues in Historic Northeast Kansas City.

  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Urban Dirty rides in 2015

    Down and dirty along Cliff Drive. Last weekend, men, women and children of all ages took on a cycling course specifically designed to test their strength and stamina during the first

    Celebrate Whoville Holidays with the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — ‘Tis the season for holiday Who-spitality” at the City Market. Whos of all ages are invited to Whoville Holidays, an annual tradition at the City Market.

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]