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Lahm Airport History PDF Print E-mail

Mansfield Lahm Airport can truly be called an international airport. Mansfield Lahm is a city-owned and operated, joint usage facility with global ties. In 1925, community leaders encouraged Mansfield City Council to consider and purchase 190 acres of farm land for $15,000. The land would be used to make an "airplane landing field." That landing served as an airport where 1,500 pilots for the armed forces were trained through the Civilian Pilot Training Corps during World War II. Today it has become a 2,400-acre FAR Part 139 airport that exists today. Over the years, Mansfield Lahm has seen the Antonov 124-100 cargo plane land with 110 tons of European Consortium space vehicles, the United States Air Force Thunderbirds perform on four separate occasions, Air Force One bring former President and Mrs. Reagan to Mansfield in 1983, and then former President and Mrs. Bush visit in 1984. During the 1996 presidential campaign, Senator Bob Dole flew into Mansfield Lahm Airport on a number of occasions for his visits to Ohio. Mansfield Lahm was selected over Columbus and Cleveland because of the facilities and the easy access that the airport provides.Mansfield Lahm Airport bears the name of Brigadier General Frank Purdy Lahm of the U.S. Army Air Forces. General Lahm devoted almost 50 years of his life to aviation. He had seen flight evolve from glides of a few minutes to the sophistication of manned spacecraft journeying through the heavens.General Lahm took the controls of a T-33 jet trainer on August 29, 1956. He was 78 years old at the time. "This ride rounds out my flying experience. I have flown in captive balloons, free balloons, propeller-driven planes, auto-gyros, helicopters, landed on and taken off from an aircraft carrier and been launched from a catapult, but this was my first ride in a jet. It's a lot different from the Wright brothers' plane I first flew. It is a lot more stable and easier to fly," he said. If this nation ever had a drum beater for American aviation and American air power, Brigadier General Frank Lahm was that man. He was virtually a one-man promoter for the cause of aviation for the last 20 years of his military career. In 1963 he was enshrined into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio.