8 thoughts on “Swan Island Airport, 1935

  1. I’ll bet there’s an interesting story behind this picture. That one second from left is fantastic looking biplane, even by today’s standards

  2. While I found nothing about a visit of HMA students to Swan Island airport in 1935, a group of students from HMA general science classes made a field trip to the airport in March 1934 to view the airfield’s US weather observatory and receive a guided tour of other airport facilities. The group was led by HMA science instructor Wistar Roseburgh, described as a “noted army reserve flier.” Roseburgh may have had connections at the airfield to help arrange the tour. In January 1935 HMA submitted a formal proposal (through Oregon senator Charles McNary) to the US Weather Service to establish a satellite weather observatory on the Rocky Butte campus of HMA. I don’t know if the proposal was ever accepted. Maybe the group of cadets shown in this photo were somehow connected with an HMA tradition of sending HMA cadets on field trips to Swan Island airport? (Source: Oregonian Historical Archive).

  3. Richard, I was kinda wondering the same thing. I know that HMA had flight simulators for the cadets and at one time, had an aviation headquarters on Rocky Butte. I was curious if they relocated to Rocky Butte in 1931 because they knew in advance the Portland Columbia Airport would be relocating out there later in the same decade.

  4. I knew that Tex Rankin ran a flying school out of Swan Island, but I see on pg 77 of “Portland’s Slabtown” that the Hill Military Academy had a flying school at the Lewis and Clark air field located at Guild’s Lake in 1928. Maybe they relocated their classes over to Swan Island once it opened?

  5. Fascinating! My father and his brother were living at Hill in the early 1940’s. My father later flew for the Army, then Pan Am.

  6. A WWll air force veteran neighbor took his first flying lessons from Tex Rankin at Swan Island Airport before the field went public about 1930.

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