B-52 Bomber History Project
Did you know that Fairfax has historical ties to the B-25 Bomber? Dan Desko and Jim Stella met with the FIA board to discuss possibilities to construct a small monument for the B-25 Bomber that was built at the North American Kansas plant here in the Fairfax District.
The Fairfax Municipal Airport and later North American Kansas Plant was built on the grounds of what now includes the grounds under construction as Central Industrial Park and Kraft Tank, previously owned by General Motors.
Originally called Sweeny airport, Fairfax Municipal Airport, IATA designation "KCK" was operated by Emory J. Sweeney. The Sweeney Auto, Tractor, and Aviation school was open prior to World War I. The first known use of the airport was for an American Legion air meet in 1921.
Between 1921 and 1922, Guy Stanley bought adjacent land and selected the name "Fairfax" because it reminded him of Fairfax, Virginia. In 1923, the land was optioned to the Union Pacific Railroad. Mark, Frank, and George Woods acquired 1,000 of the 1,700 acres of land in 1928 and established "Fairfax Airport, Inc.". After an additional purchase of 230 acres of land, including Sweeney Airport, Fairfax Municipal airport was created.
By 1939, the government was searching for a location for a "war plant" to build bombers. This plant needed to be away from the country's coast lines. By 1940, Fairfax Municipal airport got the nod. On December 7, 1940, the War Department announced a plant would be built on 75 acres adjacent to the Fairfax Municipal Airport.
On March 8, 1941 North American held the official ground breaking ceremony at the site. On December 23, 1941, the first bomber was completed. Over 50,000 men and women built 6,608 assembled bombers with another 947 in spare parts by August of 1945. Producing 6,680 of the 9,889 aircraft, the Fairfax plant built most of the B-25s currently flying worldwide.
August 19, 2015 is the 75th anniversary of the first flight of a B-25. For more information please visit http://b25history.org/history/first.htm. FIA will continue to work with Dan and Jim to help secure a location for this monument.