“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Municipal Airport

Municipal Airport Marker <i>(Side one)</i> image. Click for full size.
March 26, 2022
1. Municipal Airport Marker (Side one)
Inscription.  The first effort to establish an airport at this location was undertaken in 1936 by Mayor A. N. Graff, who advocated purchase of 320 acres of Water Department land. On April 16, 1937, the Department of Air Commerce approved the site for a proposed Sioux Falls Municipal Airport. A Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant of $165,000 was obtained to construct three runways, a terminal building, and a hangar. Construction began in 1938.

When the federal Civil Aeronautics Administration built a radio range station for navigation guidance two miles west of the airport, this additional facility placed Sioux Falls on the national air map. A movement to name the airport "Tennant Field" in memory of an early Sioux Falls aviator was unsuccessful. Harold Tennant, a World War I pilot, died while testing a new Kari-Keen airplane north of Sioux Falls near Renner. A wing folded and caused his plane to crash.

The new Sioux Falls Municipal Airport was dedicated on September 15, 1939, with six major airlines included in the festivities. Mid-Continental, Braniff, TWA, United, American, and Northwest airlines used DC-3 aircraft to ferry government
Municipal Airport Marker <i>(Side two)</i> image. Click for full size.
March 26, 2022
2. Municipal Airport Marker (Side two)
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officials and airline executives to the event. When the Mid-Continent plane landed, it marked the resumption of airmail and passenger service to Sioux Falls. For two years Sioux Falls' airmail had been moved by rail to make airline connections in Sioux City, Iowa.

In the early months of World War II, the federal government leased the airfield and then built a huge, sprawling United States Army Air Forces base to train radio operators for military aircraft. At its peak there were almost 28,000 men and women stationed there. The military school was deactivated following VJ Day in August 1945. Under the leadership of two men, World War II Flying Ace Joe Foss and Duane 'Duke' Corning, the South Dakota Air National Guard was established a year later. At first the Air Guard was equipped with P-51 combat fighter airplanes.

The city converted an old air base machine shop building to become the airport's second terminal, and in 1954 the airfield was renamed Joe Foss Field. Federal Airport aid and Air Guard Bureau funds were used to rebuild and lengthen runways to accommodate larger and faster aircraft. A new modern terminal building opened in its present location in 1969. Today the airport continues as Sioux Falls Regional Airport with facilities to handle aircraft up to and including the Boeing 747 and Airbus A300.
Municipal Airport Marker, from the east image. Click for full size.
March 26, 2022
3. Municipal Airport Marker, from the east
2007 by the Minnehaha County Historical Society and the Sioux Falls Regional Airport Authority.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceWar, World II. A significant historical year for this entry is 1936.
Location. 43° 34.218′ N, 96° 44.224′ W. Marker is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is on West Algonquin Street, 0.1 miles east of F Avenue North, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 821 W Algonquin St, Sioux Falls SD 57104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Forgotten Heroes (here, next to this marker); Massacre Site (here, next to this marker); Stratosphere Balloonist (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bomber Rams Skyscraper (approx. Ό mile away); Liberty Tree (approx. 0.6 miles away); Midair Collision (approx. 0.6 miles away); Veterans' Memorial Park (approx. 0.6 miles away); Going Home (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
Municipal Airport Marker, from the west image. Click for full size.
March 26, 2022
4. Municipal Airport Marker, from the west
Credits. This page was last revised on March 30, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 30, 2022. This page has been viewed 55 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 30, 2022.

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Mar. 21, 2023