Club History


The Yolo Fliers Club was organized in 1919 primarily through the efforts of O.W. H. Pratt, an aviation enthusiast and sportsman. By June 1920, a landing field was completed Ė the first private field of its kind in Northern California. Shortly thereafter, the first nine holes of the golf course were completed.

Flying became a reality on August 22, 1920 when a squadron of six Liberty powered de Havilland Army planes, led by Major Carl A. Spaatz, landed to inspect the field. Spaatz reported favorably to the War Department, ranking the field as a Class A facility. It was the first civilian field in Northern California.

On May 7, 1921, national attention was focused on the Fliers Club field when an aerial show and races were held. At that time, it was the largest show of its kind ever held on the Pacific Coast. The show attracted outstanding planes and fliers, including General Henry H. Arnold; Lieutenant Lowell Smith, who was later to head the U.S. Armyís first flight around the world; Major Atkinson, commander of Mather Field; Major Fitzgerald of San Diego; Lieutenant Harry Halverson; Major Reed M. Chambers; Frank Clarks and many other nationally known pilots.

Interesting planes featured included an all-metal, low-wing Junkers cabin monoplane entered by Cecil B. DeMille; a Jacuzzi monoplane of U.S. manufacture; the Friezley Falcon, a twin motored, 12-passenger cabin plane built at Gridley; the Le Pere Special, constructed entirely of mahogany by L.C. Brand; Cliff Driantís Italian Balillo; a British SES; an Ansaldo; 14 Lincoln Standards; a Jenny and 16 Army de Havillands.

The field continued in operation with Vance Breese as one of the early flight instructors. He came to the area in 1925 and left a year later to become chief pilot for Pacific Air Transport (later merged with United Air Lines).

During the twenties and thirties, flying activities continued with members of Yolo Fliers Club participating.

Herb Weggers later opened a flying school and leased the field in August 1943, although private flying was limited on the West Coast by World War II. He purchased the airport property in September 1945, with the provision written into the agreement that club members were forever entitled to use of the airstrip. Milton Watts assumed ownership on September 1, 1952 and had continued the tradition of cooperation with the Yolo Fliers Club members, as they share one of the most pleasant spots to fly into in Northern California today.

In 1958, the second nine holes of the golf course were completed, making Yolo Fliers Club one of the better known and enjoyed 18-hole golf courses in the Sacramento Valley.