Waynoka, OK – Trans-National Airport

TRANSCONTINENTAL AIR TRANSPORT

“In 1929 Waynoka, Oklahoma, became part of an innovative concept in coast-to-coast transportation.”

“Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) envisioned a combined air-and-rail service to take passengers across the country from New York to Los Angeles in forty-eight hours Lindbergh laid out the route, making Waynoka a plane-train stop between Wichita, Kansas, and Clovis, New Mexico.”

“Crossing America, travelers would sleep in Pullman cars on trains by night and fly on TAT’s Ford Tri-Motor planes by day. On July 7, 1929, the inaugural Pennsylvania Railroad train left New York City with passengers bound for Columbus, Ohio. There, on July 8 they transferred to TAT and made several stops before arriving at Waynoka, where they boarded the Santa Fe train for Clovis. From Clovis on July 9 they flew on TAT into Los Angeles.”

Miles and then Chet Olson owned the property where the old airport stood just NE of Waynoka. I worked a couple of summers for Miles plowing with Chet. Miles used the huge old concrete slab to dry alfalfa seed. Both my dad and Miles told me the story of the brief international importance of Waynoka to US transportation.

Waynoka once had the largest railroad terminal in the state of Oklahoma. Back in the days when we broiled in the sun while plowing the sandy fields we could watch trains hauling long loads of brand new cars bound for Texas. In those days the railroad cars loaded with shiny new cars were open to the view of all whereas today they are mostly enclosed. Occasionally, there would be several carriers loaded with the most beautiful sports cars in America: the Corvette.

Many times I would dream of how to get one of those dream cars off the railroad and drive it off into the western sunset. I would still love to have one of those little beauties…a bit of a twisted dream of unrequited love.

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