Riverside historian Robert J.
Fitch (1988, p. 14) colorfully
described how Roman Warren, known
as the “Cowboy Aviator” for his
skills as both a stunt horseman
and pilot, came to Riverside.
Warren was flying his plane to
Los Angeles to be part of a movie
in 1923, when he was forced to
land in Riverside because his
plane had run out of gas. He decided
to make Riverside his new home,
and by 1925 he had worked with
community leaders to establish
Riverside Airport, just west of
Mt. Rubidoux and the Santa Ana
River (Fitch, pp.22-23). Several
of the people who helped to establish
the airport, such as Arthur M.
Sweet, who owned a downtown clothing
store, also had worked with Frank
Miller as part of a committee
to help create March Field in
1918 (Fitch, p. 24).
the Riverside Airport, the Mission
Bridge crossed the Santa Ana River
with a low arch – a mere sixteen
feet above the ground. If three
average people stood head to toe
in one vertical line, they would
be collectively taller than the
arch of the Mission Bridge.
a dramatic stunt, Roman Warren
made a historic flight under the
arch of the Mission Bridge on
June 14, 1926. His dramatic flight
was filmed by Robert G. Bennett,
a native Riverside representing
Pathe World News, a popular news
reel company of the day (Fitch,