Known for: An Air Force test pilot, Mather was killed in an air collision in 1918. Mather Field, later Mather Air Force Base and now Mather Airport, was named for him.
Background: Carl Spencer Mather earned his pilot's license at age 16. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps, but five days later, he was killed at Ellington Field in Texas. The remainder of his class was restationed at Mills Field and requested that the facility be renamed in Mather's honor. In January 1919, Mather graduated its 11th class of pilots and training ceased. For the next 22 years, the base lay dormant. As war raged in Europe in 1941, Mather was reborn to train thousands of World War II pilots, navigators and bombardiers. The base's resurgence continued through the Korean War with the addition of Strategic Air Command nuclear bombers. In 1988, Mather was shuttered. In 1995, Mather was reopened as a 2,675-acre cargo airport. An additional 1,432 acres became Mather Regional Park.
A highlight: In 1988, Mather had 1,962 civilian workers and 5,652 military personnel and an annual payroll of $154 million.