Opened as a civil airport in April 1938, Reading Airport was used by the United States Army Air Forces First Air Force as a training airfield during World War II. In the 1950s Reading Air Services sponsored the National Maintenance & Operations Meeting, better known as the Reading Airshow, and later Reading Aerofest. The annual airshow was one of the largest in the United States through the sixties and seventies peaking at 100,000 in attendance in 1976. The show expanded to a week long trade and airshow, then declined and ended in 1980 as infastrcture was overwhelmed and prices escalated. It was revived again in 1985 as a smaller airshow, the Reading Aerofest, ending in 1998. On 5 December 1984 Reading Airport was dedicated as Carl Andrew Spaatz Field. Carl Spaatz was a nearby Boyertown, Pennsylvania native and a World War II General. General Spaatz was the first Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. Since the 1950s the airport has been home to the Reading Composite Squadron (Pennsylvania Wing designation Squadron 811) of the U.S. Civil Air Patrol. In the 1950s TWA, Capital and Colonial (then Eastern) stopped at Reading. Allegheny replaced Capital in 1960, TWA left in late 1962, Eastern left in 1969, and Reading dropped out of the OAG in 2004. It may never have had a scheduled jet.
Annually, the Mid Atlantic Air Museum hosts a WWII Weekend at the airport. If you were wondering why various bombers were flying overhead since yesterday, it’s because it’s happening this weekend! This weekend-long event shows off various military vehicles & planes, chances to meet with WWII veterans and historians, and see all sorts of reenactments. Check out MAAM’s website for more info.
My father was one of the 1st commissioners.