Auburn/Lewiston Municipal Airport - Auburn MEPhoto: Andrew Laverdiere © Creative Commons 2019
A 1940 Maine State Legislature report records the Auburn/Lewiston Municipal Airport was one of 6 airports considered important for national defense by the State Defense Commission in 1940 and that construction was undertaken by the WPA. Developed under FERA, it was originally built in 1935 to support recreational flying and consists of two 2,000 x 100 graded runways.
“From late 1942, during World War II, the airfield was under the control of the United States Navy for use as a base for anti-submarine patrols by Squadron VS-31. It was commissioned on 15 April 1943 as Naval Auxiliary Air Facility Lewiston, and used along with Naval Air Station Brunswick to train British and American torpedo bomber pilots until 1945. Naval operations ceased on 1 December 1945, and the site was declared surplus in 1946 and handed back to the cities of Auburn and Lewiston in 1947/8.” (wikipedia)
The 1934 town report:
“FEDERAL EMERGENCY RELIEF PROJECTS DECEMBER 1st 1933 TO FEBRUARY 28th 1935
17. Commencing of the construction of the Lewiston and Auburn Terminal Airport in conjunction with the City of Auburn.”
The 1937 report of the Federal amount spent: “W. P. A. Airport 26,749.76”
March 1939 to 1941
The WPA airport project was approved September 5, 1940. It called for one 3,500 foot north-south runway 500 feet wide with 150 feet width of paved surface, together with sub drain, catchbasins, lights and boundary lights. This runway is 75 % complete.
In November, approval w as given extension of the present northwest southeast runway from 2,500 feet to 3,200 feet, 500 feet in width with a paved surface 100 feet wide. This runway is 70% complete. A 1.000 foot extension 500 feet wide on the northeast-southwest runway was approved at the same time and this unit also is 70% complete.
March 1941 to 1942
Public Works Department
While WPA labor was available on some projects, this type of work was seriously interrupted by transfer of men to airport construction and other defense works.
“A 1940 Maine State Legislature report records the Auburn/Lewiston Municipal Airport was one of 6 airports considered important for national defense by the State Defense Commission in 1940 and that construction was undertaken by the WPA. Developed under FERA, it was originally built in 1935 to support recreational flying and consists of two 2,000 x 100 graded runways.”
W.P.A. project information:
“Improvements to municipal airport”
Official Project Number: 165‐1‐11‐20
Total project cost: $383,930.00
Sponsor: War Department
Maine State Legislature Legislative Record Special Session July 22, 1940
Nationwide Context, Inventory, and Heritage Assessment of Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps Resources on Department of Defense Installations, July 2009 (page C-85).
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on January 2, 2016.
Additional contributions by Evan Kalish.
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