Friday, September 26, 2014

Who Knew #9 Telegraph Atlantic Airport

So after posting and writing about Vail Field a few months ago, I came across  people who told me about a possible  airfield on Atlantic and Telegraph in the City of Commerce. As I was doing research on the Alhambra Airport I found a few maps that clearly label this small airfield. It was hard to find much information but hope you enjoy a few things I dug up.

1931- Map that Shows Vail Field and  an airport without a name in the intersection of Atlantic and Anaheim-Telegraph Road

Little research that I found, it was called Ace Field in the 1920's, then renamed Sprott Field in 1931. One of the other many names and most popular one was Telegraph-Atlantic Airfield

According to Aero Files , the location of the airport was on Telegraph Rd, West of Atlantic, South of Telegraph. Right around the Bristow Park area. Perhaps in the 5 freeway area now.

I came across an LA Times article from 1932, about a very well known Southern California pilot who died in an accident after flying from Sprott Airport
Hurtling from 2000 feet over the Sprott Airport at Atlantic Boulevard and Telegraph Road, Maj. John Clifford Bryan, widely known Southern California aviator and former World War pilot, died instantly

The following picture  captures another airplane wreckage in the Sprott Airport. This picture courtesy of the UCLA library.

Crash of Tony Schwamm's Plane, Wreckage from crash that occurred near Sprott Airport at Telegraph Road and Atlantic Boulevard. Pilot and passenger survived. Man next to plane may be George (Tony) Schwamm, pilot of plane and son of former Fire Commissioner Anthony Schwamm
I could not find any information of when the airfield was ceased, with the emergence of Vail Field, I personally think it did not last much. No pictures of the airfield were found or any other mentions in the Los Angeles Times database. The last map I found was a 1939 map that also points out the airport as Telegraph Atlantic Airport.

If you have any further details or information, feel free to share your knowledge.


  1. Hello,
    Web site gives "California Airways" at 94 Telegraph Rd, a school that gave its name to an airfield shown on a 1928's map of LA Area. The adress is different but the numbering might have changed (Telegraph Rd starts here).

  2. I never heard of this airport until today. I was searching for info about a Kellett K-3 autogyro, registration number NC12691, that appeared in two movies - "International House" with W. C, Fields (1933) and "It Happened One Night" with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert (1934). The FAA N-number registry ( shows it was owned by "Hatheway and Mather" at Telegraph Atlantic Airport. The registration was canceled in 1937. Thought I'd throw this in for whatever it's worth to anyone.