In 1917, a small group of distinguished Riverside citizens joined with the Riverside Chamber of Commerce to acquire a parcel of land in an area known as the Alessandro Plain on the outskirts of the city. They had a vision – that there would one day be a military airfield on that site – a vision that was finally realized in February 1918 with the creation of what would become March Field.
Since that time, March Field has served as a Headquarters for the Air Force’s greatest Numbered Air Force units, including in the post-WWII years, 12th Air Force and 15th Air Force. Of those Numbered Air Force units, one held a special memory for Riverside citizens.
In December 1940 a numbered Air Force was activated in downtown Riverside and headquartered in the old Virginia Building across from the Mission Inn. That unit was designated Headquarters, Fourth Air Force. Although military requirements subsequently dictated the relocation of 4th Air Force Headquarters to Northern California in December 1941, Riversiders never forgot the ‘Fighting Fourth.’ In April 1998, 4th Air Force Headquarters returned to its original home, now March Air Reserve Base.
As you can tell, the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and the citizens of the great Inland Empire have had a love affair with the military and March Field since 1918. More than 20 years ago, the Chamber, in cooperation with Brig. Gen. (retired) Stan Brown, and the late David Goldware, created the ‘Riverside Trophy’ to honor the most outstanding unit in 15th Air Force. Continuing with that tradition, in 1998 the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce elected to commemorate the ‘return home’ of Fourth Air Force, by creating a new trophy — The Raincross Trophy – to honor the best of the best in 4th Air Force.