Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Trinidad Dive Bombing and Air to Air Gunnery Range
by Dan Sebby, Military Historian, California Military Department

The former Trinidad Dive Bomb Range was acquired 640 acres through a lease with the Hammond Lumber Company on 1 October 1944. In the June 1945 report, Physical Properties and Facilities of the Principal Naval Activities and Offices Located in the 12th Naval District, the site is shown as being under the operational control of Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) Arcata. Pilots from that station would use this target area to practice precision dive bombing.
Documentation supports the use of inert training bombs dropped by carrier-based aircraft training at NAAS Arcata in preparation for deployment overseas. Spotting charges were often incorporated into training in order to judge accuracy. These inert bombs would be the following type
There is an account by the then-Vice President of the Hammond Lumber Co. that the U.S. Navy dropped live ordnance on the Site. However, when contemporary aerial photographs are viewed, they do show considerable scarring, but not the distinctive cratering that live bombs would create.
According to the Humboldt Times articles dated 6 and 7 October 1945, a 7,000-acre forest fire had devastated the Site and vicinity. Evidence of new vegetation can be seen in the 1948 aerial and burnt stumps were seen during the Site visit. Any wooden structures erected by the DoD would have been burnt in this fire and currently difficult to identify.

After the lease to the Navy was terminated on 4 March 1946, the Site was again used as a timber stand for logging. The Site and vicinity are still timber stands that have changed ownership several times through deeds, mergers, and divisions. Green Diamond Resource Company currently owns the Site and vicinity.
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Updated 8 February 2016