Fort Vancouver Tapestry

48. Pearson Field

1937 Soviet plane lands at Pearson Field

Click image to switch between the original drawing and the finished panel
Click to switch

Sponsored by: Laura Emerson
in memory of Dr. William Emerson
Pearson Air Park was originally used by the Army for ammunition storage, as a blacksmith shop and a garden. During WWI, a spruce mill produced components for aircraft. On Sept 19, 1905, a dirigible was piloted across the Columbia by 18-year-old Lincoln Beachey and the Vancouver Barracks polo grounds where he landed became the home of the US Army Air Service. Alex Pearson’s career included winning the first cross-country air race in 1919 and making the first aerial survey of the Grand Canyon. He was killed in 1924 while preparing for an air race. The field was named in his honor in 1925.  It is one of the oldest continuously operating airfields in the United States. The Pearson Air Museum is currently housed under the checkerboard roof of the oldest surviving hangar in the nation. 
In 1937 Valeri Chkalov and two co-pilots made the first nonstop transpolar flight from Moscow, Russia to Vancouver, Washington in 63 hours, 16 minutes in their Russian ANT-25 monoplane with a massive glider-like wingspan. More than a few young lads rode their bikes down to see the plane.
The Civil Air Patrol logo and a Hebrew greeting are in the top border.