Looking at Marin County today, a newcomer would have little idea that there was once a very large military presence here. The military, in fact, was a common source of firefighters for large fires in Marin in the second half of the 1800's and the first half of the 1900's. In the case of what was originally called Hamilton Field, and later Hamilton Air Force Base, the facility had it's own fire department and rescue capabilities.
Hamilton Airfield was named for First Lieutenant Lloyd Andrews Hamilton of the 17th Aero Squadron, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for "extraordinary heroism in action" at Varssonacre, Belgium, in leading a low level bombing attack on a German airdrome 30 miles (50 km) behind enemy lines on August 13, 1918. Thirteen days later Hamilton died in action near Lagnicourt, France.
This week we have started the history page for this fire department and the base, and hope to find many more photos and information over time. Please check it out under the former fire departments section.
Our Blog announces new site content, and gives the context of the topic and it's relationship to fire service history. Written by Bill Lellis & Paul Smith