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McCook Field - The Cradle of Aviation

Updated: Feb 26

McCook Field book now available on Aviation Trail Gift Shop page:

McCook Field 1917-1927 The Force Behind America's Golden Age of Flight by the late Mary Ann Johnson covers the fascinating decade of Dayton’s McCook Field and its extensive contributions to aviation technology. The author, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 93, was a founding member of Aviation Trail, Inc. which was formed in 1981 to promote Dayton's aviation heritage and continues to promote the various trail sites in the area that have unique and significant importance in this rich aviation heritage. This book is a definitive source of information on an historic site on the  Aviation Trail. 

(*See the link to the Aviation Trail Gift Shop at the bottom of this page).

Transactions on the Aviation Trail Gift Shop will be purchased from, processed by, and fulfilled by Dayton History, and can either be shipped to the purchaser or held for pick-up at Carillon Historical Park Museum Store at 1000 Carillon Historical  Park, Dayton, OH  45409, (937) 293-2841. (Transactions are subject to Dayton History policies and terms).

An important site on the Aviation Trail:

 The 17 sites listed on the website "Trail Sites" page make up the “Wilbear Trail” and are part of the passport system where visitors can collect stamps to earn a Wilbear Wright teddy bear. But there are many other area locations that are officially designated as Aviation Trail sites by Aviation Trail, Inc. These other sites are notable for interesting connections and contributions to the development of aviation in Dayton and the surrounding area. Even though there is no “visitor stamp” involved, they offer a chance to learn more about the rich aviation history of the area. A few of them are listed under "additional trail sites" on the Aviation Trail website.

McCook Field is one of them:

McCook Field

1444 North Bend Blvd. between Helena St. and Deeds Park Drive, Dayton, Ohio 45404

(area now occupied by baseball fields) Coordinates: 39°46'33"N 84°11'27"W 

An Ohio Historical Marker commemorates the site of historic McCook Field. The airfield, was established by the U.S. Army Signal Corps Airplane Engineering Department in 1917. The research and innovation that took place at McCook was the beginning of the research, development and acquisition missions now at Wright-Patterson AFB. McCook engineers made significant accomplishments and contributions to the war effort in the field’s early years, and in the years after WWI. Many achievements in aeronautical testing and development took place there. Materials, fuels and lubricants, high altitude flight, aerial photography, propulsion, navigation, armament, lighter than air flight, parachute development, and aerodynamics were among the many areas advanced by McCook engineers and test pilots. It quickly outgrew the capacity of the field, which acknowledged its limited size with a large sign on a hangar that proclaimed, “This Field is Small—Use it All” .The field closed in 1927 and its missions were moved to the new Wright Field, now a part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The area of McCook Field is now occupied by ball fields, but the marker remains as a reminder of the many achievements that took place here. 

(USAF photos)

CLICK HERE for the Aviation Trail Gift Shop to purchase the book.

Links for more on McCook Field History & Photos:



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