Mather Field was established as an airfield and pilot training school in 1918. The base was originally called Mills Field but was re-named for Carl Mather, a World War I test pilot who died during training.
Following World War I, the base was used intermittently to support small military units. During World War II, Mather Field was used for pilot and navigator training as well as observer and bombardier personnel training.
In 1958, the Strategic Air Command B-52 squadron was assigned to Mather. Through the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, and 1980s Mather continued to be a center for training of military personnel. By 1990, the primary mission of Mather was to provide all formal long range and over water Air Force Navigator training.
Mather Field historically operated its own housing, schools, hospital, commercial, and recreational facilities, as well as the operational air field. The majority of on-base development occurred in the 1940s through the 1960s.
Expansion and improvements continued through the 1980s, but ceased in 1988 after the closure of Mather was announced.
Mather Airport was officially reopened as a civilian airport in 1995. Mather Golf Course resides in Mather Regional Park which encompasses approximately 1,432 acres.