Standard Airlines, a subsidiary of Aero Corp and later to become TWA, began flights from California to El Paso on Feburary 5, 1929 as an Air-Rail line where passengers would fly part of the route then continue by train east from El Paso. In support of this commercial activity the Department of Commerce had been locating a series of "intermediate fields" along these air routes. Located 40-50 miles apart these intermediate fields provided a measure of safety for early commercial airlines in cases of mechanical or weather related problems. Along the southern routes air traffic converged on Phoenix and Tucson then proceeded via Douglas around the Chiricahua mountains and up the San Simon Valley to Antelope pass where air traffic would again turn east following the rail line to the "planeport" in El Paso, see the video for air traffic maps. Passing the Rodeo Intermediate Field early air traffic then continued through intermediate fields located in Hachita, Columbus, and Mt. Riley before arriving in El Paso.
From an intermediate field to an Army Air Force auxiliary field the Rodeo Intermediate Field slowly grew. More buildings were constructed including a supply depot and radio building which after relocation into Rodeo became Rodeo Cottages. But after the end of WWII the need for auxiliary fields disappeared. Although still in use after the war, see this photograph, the Rodeo Intermediate Field began it's return to nature. As it sits today the Rodeo Intermediate Field lies on BLM land on the east side of the San Simon Riverbed north of Highway 9. The site is marked by a concrete tank stand and building foundations as well as a runway may be seen from the road, while the historical marker is located at the intersection of Highway 80 and Highway 9, 2.25 miles to the west.
A short slideshow of Standard Airlines and the Rodeo Intermediate Field
|Rodeo Intermediate Field historical marker|
|Points of Interest|
The Historical Marker Data Base has published the new maker, the marker listing may be found here.