The 321st Observation Squadron (1923-1941)

The 321st Observation Squadron (1923-1941) (HM5AD)

Location: Vancouver, WA 98661 Clark County
Country: United States of America

N 45° 37.45', W 122° 39.437'

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Although the U.S. Army allowed civilian aircraft to land at Vancouver Barracks beginning in 1905, military aircraft began operating here in 1921, when the U.S. Army Air Service established a landing field for an aviation forest patrol. The patrol was a cooperative forest fire spotting effort by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Forest Service. Two years later, the 321st Observation Squadron arrived at Vancouver Barracks, with three biplanes initially stationed at the field.

The 321st was a reserve training unit which participated in war games and reconnaissance operations, and even mobilized for emergency crop dusting in Oregon when apple orchards were faced with infestation.

Improvements in the form of hangars and the grading of the grass field occurred from 1924-1926, under the supervision of famed aviator Lt. Oakley Kelly. In September, 1925, the field was dedicated as Pearson Field, in honor of Lt. Alexander Pearson, Jr., an Army aviator who had been killed in 1924.

The 321st continued training operations into the 1930s, and was called to active duty in December, 1941, after which military flight operations were curtailed at Pearson Field.
HM NumberHM5AD
Placed ByVancouver National Historic Reserve
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 9:27am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10T E 526716 N 5052348
Decimal Degrees45.62416667, -122.65728333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 45° 37.45', W 122° 39.437'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds45° 37' 27.00" N, 122° 39' 26.22" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)360
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1115 E 5th St, Vancouver WA 98661, US
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