The Hogans have been involved with the airport since 1929, when Joe and Bernie, Tom’s uncles, would do maintenance on Carl “Pop” Mulberger’s planes in trade for flight lessons. The Hogans were neighbors to the airport, and their family farm was across the street.
The Great Depression forced Mulberger to sell the airport in 1932, and the Hogan family purchased it in exchange for some additional farmland.
In 1935, the Hogans hosted their first air show, which included the Waco 10, the family’s first airplane, purchased in 1932.
During World War II, the legacy of the “Flying Hogans” was born. Joe, Bernie, Art (Tom’s father) and Bill helped train civilians with the Civil Air Patrol and Civilian Pilot Training programs. The airport would receive federal funding to build hangers and an air traffic control station during the war.
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Following the war, the Hogans built up an air charter business, which provided shuttle flights to the Cincinnati and Dayton airports.
“The charter business was pretty big back then,” said Tom Hogan, who added that this was before highways. “People could fly to any city they wanted to.”
Tom Hogan’s grandmother would open a restaurant during this time. On Sundays, he recalled people would come to watch the airplanes.
Although too young to work at the time, Tom Hogan said that “my cousins would work the line, serving popcorn, peanuts, things of that sort.”
The restaurant would later be converted to a terminal for passengers to wait before their charter flights.
In October 1984, the Hogans sold the airport to Butler County, Hamilton, and Fairfield for $2 million. Butler County purchased the airport after the cities fell out of the deal, renaming it the Butler County Regional Airport.
Hogan Field was added to the airport’s name in the early 2000s after a petition received more than 17,000 signatures from people across the industry.
Tom Hogan still works at one of the airport’s 36 hangers, where he maintains a flight school and makes repairs to some of the family’s older airplanes.