Swan Island Airport Terminal, c1940

VP Fan and previous contributor Bud Holland sent in another great entry. This is the old Swan Island Airport terminal building circa 1940. Bud seems to remember that this was used as the headquarters of Oregon Shipbuilding during WWII. Can anybody provide more information on this? Great photo, Bud, thanks again!

swan island airport(Bud Holland)

13 thoughts on “Swan Island Airport Terminal, c1940

  1. The war era Swan Island Shipyard was operated by the Kaiser Company. Oregon Shipbuilding ran the shipyard further downriver, adjacent to the Port’s Terminal 4 (now home to Northwest Pipe and Schnitzer Steel). That said, I think Kaiser demo’d everything before building the Swan Island Shipyard, and I think the shipyard admin building was constructed in a different location on the island.

  2. It appears this building and the hanger were still on the island after 1960 but gone by 1967. Search under Swan Island, check out “Swan Island, 1967” and “NW Industrial Aerial, 1960”. Great link from lefty.

  3. The Vintage Portland posting from Jan 2, 2013 shows the aerial view of the Oregon Shipbuilding site at Terminal 4 with this building in it.

  4. OK, I stand corrected. Comparing 1936 and 1948 aerial photos shows that most of the airport buildings survived and were apparently re-purposed for the shipyard. However, I still think the shipyard admin building was newly built in a different location nearer the SE end of the island.

  5. i learned to drive on SwanIsland in my Dad’s 1940Plymouth on early Sunday mornings while my Mom and 2 sisters were getting ready4
    church..i’m surprised we didn’t hav 2 replace the clutch..we lived on Killingsworth 1 house from Willamete Blvd.

  6. My Dad used to fly produce from Sauvie Island to the coast as a summer job from Swan Island before WWII. I know he received about a week or so of flight instruction and then turned loose. He went on to become a Cpt in the RCAF flying Sunderlands before the US entered the war.

    I wish I could find out more.

  7. I ran all over Swan Island as a kid, grew up just off Interstate, west side, on Sumner, where the street would be, were there one, to divide double blocks. What’s there now where this was? Thanks!

  8. The Swan Island Airport was still open in Sept 1941. My parents were at a Firemans’ Convention in Bend, Oregon when they were notified my brother had been hit by a car and taken to the old St Vincent’s Hospital in Northwest Portland. The Portland Police met them at Swan Island Airport and escorted them to the hospital where he died shortly after. It could be that it wasn’t open commercially, but they may have landed there because of the proximity to St Vincent’s Hosp.

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