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.

  • Kansas City’s old Convention Hall

    June 21st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, we feature a rare advertising postcard showing the old Convention Hall, which was destroyed by fire in early April 1900 — just 90 days prior to


    Century-old view of KC from river

    June 14th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Kansas City’s riverfront on the Missouri River is pictured in this old, turn-of-the-century postcard published by The Southwest News Company of Kansas City.


    Viaduct connected Kansas cities

    June 7th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This postcard, titled “United States Troops Crossing Intercity Viaduct, Kansas City, Mo.,” shows what seems to be an unending column of Army troops crossing the then-newly constructed bridge


    ‘The great white city’

    June 1st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Electric Park was named for the 100,000 electric light bulbs outlining its buildings and rides.


    Thoroughly modern courthouse

    May 25th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This linen postcard, showing north and west sides of what at the time was the new Jackson County Courthouse and the intersection of 12th and Oak streets, was


  • Summer brings rain, sometimes flooding

    May 17th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News As we approach the summer rain season, it is fitting that we run a postcard showing a scene in the West Bottoms during the great flood of 1908:


    Staley’s Educated Twins

    May 10th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Romeo and Aureo are identical twin pigs. They have traveled all over the country and are well educated.


    Roses are red … and pink, and white …

    May 3rd, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Between October 21-24 of 1864, the area we now know as Loose Park was the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War west of


    ‘One of the greatest playgrounds in America’

    April 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News The description inside this vintage 1930s Curt Teich linen postcard folder of the Lake of the Ozarks reads, “Lake of the Ozarks is formed by a huge dam


    Those were some postcards! (And that’s no exaggeration)

    April 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News William H. “Dad” Martin of Ottawa, Kan., is considered to be the father of the exaggerated postcard.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Highlights from the June 23 Candidate Forum at SVN

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News June 24, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Northeast News and its readers learned a […]

    Bikes, Buggies and good times

    Northeast News June 23, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Eleos Coffee rolled out their first annual Bikes and Buggies show […]

    Body found near Central Bank Monday identified

    Northeast News June 23, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The body of a man found early Monday morning near the […]