Zach

Zach

Posted on 08/24/2013


Photo taken on August 13, 2013



Keywords

military
Rice Municipal Airport
Rice Army Field
training center
Mojave
WWII
Rice
World War II
CA
USA
California
deterioration
desert
George Patton


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Rice Army Airfield

Rice Army Airfield
A wide angle ground view of the NE / SW runway at Rice Army Airfield. An automobile can be seen (in the full size image) at the distant "end" of the runway.

Rice Municipal Airport was acquired by the U.S. government on September 28, 1942 to become Rice Army Airfield and part of the World War II Desert Training Center in the Mojave Desert. Its purpose was to train Army ground forces for the invasion of North Africa. Commanded by (then) Brigadier General George Patton it consisted of two 5,000 ft (1524 m) runways and facilities to house 3,000 personnel. Military operations ceased in August 1944 and the facility was inactivated and turned over to the Army Corps. of Engineers on January 1, 1946. Rice began use as an active civilian airfield in 1949 then changed to private use sometime between 1952 and 1955. It was eventually abandoned between 1955 and 1958 for unknown reasons.

No standing structures remain. Only deteriorating concrete and bituminous runways (and a rare portion of building foundation) exist, as the area reverts back to nature. It’s become an area for drinking, shotguns, bon fires, dirt bike and dune buggy activity.

In January 2013 it was proposed to use the area for a solar energy project.

34.065167, -114.814589

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