III. FAIRFIELD AIR DEPOT 1917-1931
WORLD WAR I ORIGINS
At the same time that the Signal Corps was negotiatingwith the Miami Conservancy District in Dayton, Ohio, toleaseacreage for the establishment of Wilbur Wright Field,simultaneous discussions were underway to purchase landfor a centrally-located aviation general supply depot. Suchan institution was essential for logistics support of theSignal Corps Aviation Schools planned for Wilbur WrightField, Scott and Chanute Fields in Illinois. and SelfridgeField in Michigan. The depot was to be located near Fair-field, Ohio, and would provide everything from airplaneparts and engines to laces on the mechanics’ shoes.Corps Equipment Division paid $8,000 for40 acres of land,then in use as a wheat field. The triangular tract borderedBath Township lands on the east and south, and WilburWright Field on the north and west, and lay about nine andone-half miles north of Dayton. The extreme northeasterncomer of the wheat field abutted the Fairfield Cemetery.*Although the depot and Wilbur Wright Field were closeneighbors, they operated independently and reported toseparate divisions within the Signal Corps.Time did not allow leisurely studies of the most favor-able locations. Rapid negotiations between the SignalCorps Construction Division and the Miami ConservancyDistrict culminated on June IO, 1917. when the SignalIn September 1917, after the grain harvest, crews thathad labored during the summer months to build WilburWright Field were shifted to begin construction of the depotbuildings. The major brick-and-concrete building of theFairfield Aviation General Supply Depot, Fairfield, Ohio(FAGSD), “opened its doors for business” on January 4,1918, less than four months later.*Although it has often been speculated hat the cemetery located next to security Gate I-C is a part of WPAFB. the graveyard,establishedn 1844. hasnever beena part of the military installation. A high chain-link fence delineates he periphery of Area C today
and separates he base from the cemetery.