History: Birth of the Airfield
As the United States prepared for inevitable entry into World War II, the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) became an important part of training military pilots. Carleton College, in Northfield, MN, formed and modeled the Carleton College Aviation Corps after the CPTP. In the spring of 1942, the college offered courses in air navigation, meteorology, gasoline engines, electronics and mechanical drawing. In order to train military pilots, Carleton purchased 160 acres near Stanton, Minnesota and developed Carleton Airport.
Carleton students were able to take flight training as part of CPTP from November 1942 until April 1943 when the program was renamed the War Training Service (WTS). This program focused on the training of flight instructors for the military. Records indicate 240 students were trained by the time the program ended in 1944.
After the war, a flying club was established on campus. Management and instruction was assumed in 1944 by Triangle Aviation, operated by Malcolm and Margaret Manuel. The Manuels purchased the airfield in 1955 and operated a flight school and charter service. The airport became home to gliders, skydivers and recreational pilots.
In 1990 the Manuels sold the airfield to Stanton Sport Aviation, Inc., a group of flying enthusiasts. The group maintains the grass airstrip and buildings as close to their original appearance as possible. In 2004, their efforts were recognized when Stanton was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was recognized for its role in World War II as well as the preservation of the original buildings and grass turf runways. Stanton continues that tradition today.
More information about airfield’s interesting history is on display at the Stanton History Exhibit at the airfield.