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Carlstrom Field

G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital

5847 SE Highway 31
Arcadia, Florida 34266
DeSoto County
(863) 494-3323

This site is located in the Southwest region of the state.


The G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital is located SE of Arcadia on SR 31.

Originally used as a World War I pilot training facility, Carlstom Field served as the Army’s principal flying school until 1923. With the need for primary pilot training brought on by World War II, Carlstrom re-opened in March 1941 under the operation of Riddle Aeronautical Institute. Named for Lt. Victor Carlstrom, Riddle contracted to train Royal Air Force aviators and graduated the first class in August 1941.

Closed after the war, Carlstrom Field became the site of the G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital. Many of the WWII era buildings remain in use by the hospital, with former six-plane hangers serving as maintenance buildings. The band shell, site of dances and other entertainment during the war, remains on the site.

The Oak Ridge Cemetery in Arcadia is the final resting-place of twenty-three RAF cadets who died while in the United States for training. A special marker at the cemetery recognizes their service and a ceremony is held in their memory each year on Memorial Day.