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WADC/WADD Digital Collection at the Galvin Library, IIT

From Huffman Prairie To The Moon


The History of Wright-Patterson Air force Base

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Research materials are available from Wright Air Development Center
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WRIGHTFIELD1927-1934..................................................................2 04
STATE-OF-THE-ART ,927 .................................................................... ,204
TheBirdofPurudise ...................................................................... ,207
EARLY WRlGHT FIELD DEVELOPMENTS. ...................................................... .209
Attack Airplanes ......................................................................... ,210
Bombardment Airplanes ................................................................... .2 12
Transport Airplanes ........................................................................ 216
Observation Airplanes ..................................................................... ,218
PursuitAirplanes..........................................................................22 0
PhotographicAirplanes.....................................................................22 2
TrainingAirplanes.........................................................................22 2
WRIGHT FIELD CONTRIBUTIONS TO WORLD WAR II 1935-1945 ............................ ,223
PRlNClPAL DEVELOPMENTS. ................................................................ ,224
AttackAirplanes ........................................................................ ..22 4
Autogiros and Helicopters .................................................................. ,224
Bombardment Airplanes .................................................................. ..22 5
Transport Airplanes.. .................................................................... ..23 6
Observation Airplanes ................................................................... ...23 9
PursuitAirplanes..........................................................................24 I
TrainingAirplanes.........................................................................24 7
POST-WAR CONTRIBUTIONS TO AVIATION 1946-1951 ...................................... ,249

VII. PATTERSON FIELD 1931-1948 ,257

THE PATTERSON NAME .......................... ...... ......... ,258


A LOGISTICS HERITAGE. ......................... ...... ......... ,259
THE DEPRESSION YEARS. ........................ ...... .......... 262
FAD ACTIVITIES DURING THE 1930s .............. ...... ...... ......... ,264
WORLDWARII .................................... ...... .......... 266
MAJOR ORGANIZATIONS. ........................... ...... ...... ......... ,278
MILITARY TRAINING PROGRAMS. .................... ...... ...... ......... ,279
C,“,LlAN TRAINING PROGRAMS ..................... ...... ...... ......... ,281
ASSISTING WITH THE CREATION OF NEW DEPOTS ...... ...... ......... ,284
COMMAND ASSKNMENTS .......................... ...... ...... ......... ,285
PATTERSON FIELD AND THE END OF THE WAR ... ...... ......... ,289

VIII. WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE 1948-1982. ,293

THE 2750TH AIR BASE WING. ......... .......... ......... ,295


WRIGHT-PATTERSON IN THE 1950s .... .......... .......... ......... ,298
ATlMEOFTRANSITION ................. .......... ... .298
THE 2750TH ABW SUPPORTMISSION ...... .......... .......... ........ ..30 2
ASSOCIATE ORGANIZATIONS ............ .......... .......... ... ,305
A DECADE OF GROWTH. ................ .......... .......... ........ ..30 7
ACTlVlTlES ........................... .......... ......... .3ll

DISASTERS ........................... ......... ,313


WRIGHT-PATTERSON IN THE 1960s. ... ........ -313
ASSOCIATE ORGANIZATIONS ............ .......... .......... ........ ..315
GROWTH.. ........................... .......... .......... ........ ..318
ACTIVITIES ........................... .......... .......... ........ -320
DlSASTERS ........................... .......... .......... ......... ,323
WRIGHT-PATTERSONINTHE1970s.........................................................32 4
ASSOCIATEORCANlZATIONS ............................................................... ..32 8
GROWTH.. ............................................................................... ,330
ACTIVITIES ............................................................................... ,333
DISASTERS .............................................................................. ..33 7
THE~~~OSANDBEYOND...................................................................~~ 0

IX. AIR FORCE LOGISTICS COMMAND ..................................................... ,348

THE EARLY YEARS ....................................................................... ,349


THEBEGINNINGS...........................................................................34 9
SUPPLYBETWEENTHEWARS.................................................................34 9
MAINTENANCE IN THE 1920s AND 1930s ....................................................... ,351
EXPERIMENTAL ENGINEERING .............................................................. .352
THE WAR YEARS ......................................................................... ,352
AFRAMEWORKFORSUPPORT................................................................35 2
THEMACHINERYOFSUPPLY.................................................................35 4
THE WORKHORSE OF THE ARMY AIR FORCES .................................................. .356
THEPOSTWARINTERLUDE................................................................35 8
DISMANTLING THE MACHINERY OF WAR. ..................................................... .35X
SUPPORTING THE PEACETIME AIR FORCE ..................................................... ,359
THE ARSENAL OF THE AIR FORCE. ........................................................... ,359
THECHALLENGEOFTHECOLDWAR.. ................................................. ..36 1
THE LOGISTICIANS‘ RESPONSE .............................................................. ,361
THE NEW SHAPE OF LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT ................................................ ,362
LOGISTICS ON A TIGHT BUDGET ............................................................. ,363
THE CREATION OF THE AIR FORCE LOGISTICS COMMAND ....................................... ,364
LOGISTICSINTHE1960s...................................................................36 6
BASE BUILDUP IN SOUTHEAST ASIA .......................................................... ,366
SPECIAL TEAMS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ......................................................... ,366
THE ELIMINATION OF FIELD UNITS. .......................................................... ,367
DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMMAND’S DATA SYSTEMS ........................................... ,368
MODERNIZINGTHECOMMAND...........................................................36 8
DETERRENCE AND AUSTERITY .............................................................. .368
REHABILITATING THE DEPOTS. .............................................................. ,369
THE TECHNOLOGY REPAIR CENTERS ......................................................... ,369
DATAPROCESSING..........................................................................37 0
SPACELOGISTICS...........................................................................37 0
THEVIEWFROMl980........................................................................37 0

X. THE AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS DIVISION .............................................. ,373

PRELUDE1903-1947 ..................................................... ......


THE CASE OF THE B-29 SUPERFORTRESS .................................... ......
FORMING THE WRIGHT AIR DEVELOPMENT CENTER 1944-1955. .......
THE EXPERIENCE OF GENERAL DYNAMICS’ CONVAIR DIVISION ................ ......
MARKING THE NEW DIRECTION 1954-1959 ............................. ......
PLANNINGFORANEWCOMMAND ....................................
CREATING THE WRIGHT AIR DEVELOPMENT DIVISION ........................ ......
THE AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS DIVISION. ............................. ......
THE CASE OF THE EXPERIMENTAL VEHICLES ................................
INTRODUCING TOTAL PACKAGE PROCUREMENT ...................... ......
THE C-SA EXPERIENCE ...................................................

x
k
VIII. WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB 1948-1982 1,

On January 13, 194% Wright Field and F%tterson Field the AMC Flight Test Division and the l62nd Fighter Squad-
were merged into a single installation and designated ron of the Ohio National Guard. A huge six-foot birthday
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.’ The mime change coin- cake was cut and semed in celebration of the Air Force’s
cided with the renaming of numerous Air Force lields as first mliversxy.~
bases. and ended a long succession of designations applied The message conveyed by the Air Force Day open house
to the Dayton installations. Wright-ktterson was assigned was that the Air Materiel Command, through its Wright-
to Hq Air Materiel Command (AMC), and received operat- Patterson AFB offices and laboratories and personnel sta-
ing support from the 4OGiJth Air Force Base Unit. tioocd around the world, would play a key role in making
By September 194X, Wright-Patterson AFB was ready the new Air Force a valuable instrument for international
to display both its pride and its success. A gala Air Force
Day celebration was held on September IX in cornrnetnora- Operation VITTLES, more popularly known as the
tion of the first birthday of the autonomous U.S. Air Force. Berlin Airlift, was the first event of global import to aftkct
Technological advances in Air Force weapons and equip- the newly-designated base and a significant challenge to the
ment were highlighted during the day-long open house oo effectiveness of the Air Materiel Command. Wright-F%tter-
the Area B flightline.* Some l50,OCO spectators attended sooemployees, both military andcivilian, played an impor-
the celebration. tatt role in the success of this operation.
On central display was the Strategic Air Commdnd’s On June 22, 194X, a Soviet-imposed rail and highway
new Consolidated-Vultee B-36 Peacemaker six-engine blockade of West Berlin isolated the American, British, and
bomber. Attendees also enjoyed flight demonstrations by French occupied zones of the city, including more than two

*As pan of the cwsolidated base. Wright Field became known as Area B. Wright-Patterson. The south end oS Patterson Field,
including Hq Air Materiel Command and the officers’ brick quarters became known as Area A. The north end of Patterson Field.
including the forma Fairfield Air Depot, became known as Area C.

293
,
million Ciemudn citizens. U.S. response to the Berlin crisis
demonstrated to the world the ingenuity and flexibility of
the U.S. Air Force and called attention to the intense
logistics planning necessary to maintain a long-term aerial
supply line. Over a fifteen-month period, from June 26, THE 2750TH AIR BASE WING
1948 to September 30, 1949, Operation VITTLES airlifted
more than two million tons of food, fuel, and supplies into Base operating support for Wright-Patterson AFB was
West Berlin. initially furnished by the 4000th Air Force Base Unit,
Hq AMC at Wright-Patterson was responsible for which had provided support for F%terson Field prior to the
providing the parts and supplies necessary to mainiain the merger On August 28, 194X, the4OOOthand its subordinate
Air Force fleet involved in the airlift. The only transport units were redesignated as Hq and Hq Sq 2750th Air Force
airplanes available at the beginning of Operation VITTLES Base.’ The following year, on October 4, 1949, the 2750th
were twin-engine C.47~. AMC’s first priority was to super- Air Force Base was redesignated as Hq and Hq Sq 2750th
vise the transfer of the Air Force’s larger and faster four- Air Base Wing, The “Hq” and -Hq Sq” were subsequently
engine C-54 transports to Germany. The second priority deleted, leading to the modern designation for Wright-
became to ship sufficient spare parts to Europe to keep the titterson’s base operating unit, the 2750th Air Base Wing.
C-S4s in operation. In addition to directing the Wing’s support operations,
As the blockade continued, a priority requisition system the Wing Commander also served as the Base Cotnmander.
was established between AMC Headquarters and the airlift This dual position of Commanding Oflicer of the 27SOth
nerve center at Rhein-Main Air Base in West Germany. Air Base Wing and WPAFB was filled by Brig. Gen. Joseph
Daily cables were received at Wright-Fhtterson, ma”y as T. Morris, former Commander of Wright Field and sub%-
long as 20 teletyped pages with 20 items to the page, listing quently of the Air Force Technical Base. Gcneml Morris
the pxts weeded to keep the cargo transports airworthy. was a masterplarmer, with an impressive breadth of vision.
Orders were disseminated to the various AMC depots. He served Wright-Patterson and its antecedents in a lead-
given highest priority, and filled immediately for air ship- ership capacity from July 1945 until August lY.52. A con-
tnent to Gemuwy. With the support of Hq AMC personnel, temporary of General Morris described him as the “archi-
the airlift’s round-the-clock schedule u’as sustained, win- tect” of Wright-F’atterson AFB, having skillfully guided the
terrupted by maintenance or parts delays.’ installation from a wartime to a peacetime configuration
Although the Soviet surface blockade was finally lifted and from the age of propeller aircraft into the era of jet
in May 1949, the airlift continued an additional four aircraft and missiles.
months to allow reserve stocks in Berlin to reach s&facto- For his meritorious services, General Morris was pop”-
ry levels and assure that the international political situation lady recognized as the “Father of Wright-Patterson AK
was clarified. By the time the tiwdl flight was completed in Force Base.” The 2750th Air Base Wing Headquarters
September 1949, Wright-Patterson AFB had laid a firm building (Building IO, Area C) was named in honor of
foundation for its enduring role in the history of the modem General Morris during formal memorial~u.tion ceremonies
United States Air Force. on August 28, 1981.
BRIG. GEN. JOSEPH T. MORRIS

Joseph Theodore Morris was born in Punxsutawney,


Pcnmylw.nia, April 17, 1894. He graduated from PansyI-
mania State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in
1917.
Enlisting in Februay 1918, Morris was commissioned
June 13, 1918, as a second liwtcnant of Air Service in the
National Army and became a radio officer with the First
Rovisioml Wing at Mineola, l.ong Island, New York.
In 1931, he entered the Air Corps Engineering Schcal at
Wright Field, Ohio, and graduated the following June. He
returned to Dayton next in I941 ~ as Assistant Chief of the
Maintenance Division of the Air Sewice Command at Pa-
terson Field, Ohio.
In July 1943, Morris was appointed Commander of the
8th Air Force Service Command in England. The following
January he became Chief of Maintenance for the U.S.
Strategic Air Forces in the Europan theater. In Februay
1945, he assumed command of the 12th Air Force Service
Command in Italy. After the war ended in Europe, he
tztumed to Ohio once more, this time as Commander of
Wright Field. He served subscqwntly as Commanding
Officer of the AAF Technical Base, Dayton, Ohio, from
December I945 to December 1947, of the Air Force Tech-
nical Base from Dcccmbzr 1947 to January 1948. and of
Wright-&tenon Air Force Base from January 13, I948 to
March 28, 1952.
Brigadier Gencw.1 Morris r&red from the Air Force on
July 3 I, 1953. Upon retirement he returned to Dayton from
Spkane Air Force Depot, his Ias1assignment. He served as
Vice President of United Aircraft Products, Inc., until
1959. General Morris resided in Fairbom from I959 until
his death, on May 21, 1980, in the USAF Medical Center,
Wright-htterson. He was buried at Arlington National
Cemetery on May 27, 1980.

296
27SOTH AIR BASE WING EMBLEM

The official emblem of today’s 275Otb Air Base Wing


was adopted in April 1969 and bean the Wing’s motto,
‘Strength Thmugh Suppat.*’ The emblem is symbolic of
the Wing and bars the Air Force colors, golden yellow and
ultramaine blue. Ultramaine blue denotes the sky, the
primary theater of Air Force operations. Yellow denotes the
sun and the excellence of personnel in assigned duties. The
vintage airplane, a Wright Flyer, is indicative of the heritage
of aviation at Wright-F%tterson AFB, which the Wing has
supported since 1948. Wright-Fxterson is known as the
birthplace of militay aviation and the 2750th has been
assigned to no other air base. The stylized aircraft on the
shield represent m&em-day weapon systems. The center
prtion-math cone or shock wave&notes the aemspace
mission of the unit. The Lamp of Knowledge represents the
research imparted by p+xsonnel of the Wing.

291
WRIGHT-PATTERSON IN THE 1950s mats in technology, delivered to the front as fast as possi-
ble. Congress approptiated $10 billion to buy new air-
A TIME OF TRANSITION planes, and AMC was tasked with setting goals for the
industrial effort, scheduling industrial output, and evaluat-
Air Force blue uniforms were on order as the Air Force ing the impact of aircraft programs on basic national re-
entered the l9SOs. but olive dmh and fatigue green were to sources. As the result of significant efforts at Wright-&tter-
continue as the predominant uniforms for another three son, new airpLmes at the front hy the end of the Korean
years. On June 21,1950, the Air Force was back in combat, conflict on July 21, 1953, included the F-84 Thunderjet and
this time in South Korea. the F-86 Sabre, both capable of engaging and defeating
The Air Force was better prepared for this contlict than Communist MiG aircraft in aerial combat.
it had been for World War II, though not hy much, Most of The flow of supplies to Korea was ably managed by
its 20,000 aircraft were of World War 11 vintage, and a AMC, a difficult assignment under the best of circum-
significant percentage of these, especially combat aircraft,
were in storage. Congressional emphasisover the previous
three years had been on reducing military expenses, and
accordingly, acquisition of new airplanes came very low on
the list of priorities. Although the Far East Air Forces
(FEAF) in South Korea and Japan had a variety of fighters
and bombers in its combat flee, only one model, the F-80,
WiS it Jet.

Support aspects of the conflict in Korea rested heavily


on the Air Materiel Commdnd at Wright-!%tterwn. To meet
immediate demands, aircraft in storage were overhauled,
modilied, and sent into action. By November l9SO. just a
few months after the start of the war, AMC depots had
modified and reconditioned more than 400 aircraft for use
in the Fa East. But whe the Air Force really needed was
thousands of aircraft that incorporated the latest develop-
stances. The long pipeline to the Far East called for extraor-
dinary efforts in maintaining an effective and reliable logis-
tical support system.
As the Korean Wdr was prolonged, Air Force activities
expanded on a global basis. Activities at Wright-Patterson
reflected this expansion. Problems confrontin& the Base
Commander pyramided as the pace of base functions esca-
latcd to nea11ywartime levels, A significant increase in the
military and civilian work force took place as new organic-
tions were added to the base and greater work loads were
lcvicd on all dcpatmcnts. The addition of personnel in turn
compounded the chronic family housin& shortage that the
base had faced throughout the 1940s.
To meet an expanded mission, the Ground Controlled
Approach (GCA) on the Area C flightline accelerated to 24.
hour operations due to the increased amount of Hying. The
Air Base Chaplain’s office monitored a clothing drive for
the aid of Korean war victims. Korean War wounded a~-
rived at the Wright-F’dttcrson hospital for treatment. A spe-
cial blood donor center was operated at WPAFB during the
crisis to meet the demand for blood. The Air Rcscrve
Training Branch, established to continue the military train-
ing of reserve officers in civilian life, was deactivated; its
activities had ceased almost entirely as resene officers were
recalled to active scrvicc.’
In December 1950, the Air Materiel Command was
designated the sole procuring activity within the Depart-
ment of the Air Force. Under the impetus of wartime manner by this major effort. The civilian personnel branch
support and zmxunent, its role became mammoth. Its carried the heaviest load. It was responsible for processin&
work force grew from 93,600 in 194X to 137,000 in 1951, all paperwork involved in the transfer of employees and
and reached 224,OCQby the late 1950s. Fiscal year expa- their positions to fifteen AMC installations throughout the
ditures during the Korean conflict further rcflcctcd the United States. An Employee Utilization Section dealt with
extent of the overall logistics mission: $I .7 billion in 1950; special problems in connection with the deccotnlization
$3.6 billion in l9Sl; $8. I billion in 1952; and$lO.5 billion program. An Out-Service Placement sub-unit assisted peo-
in 1953.’ ple who were unable to transfer with their positions and
AMC began to decentralize its rnany functions in the could not be reassigned at WPAFB. A Transportation sub-
early 1950s. Gen. Edwin W. Rawlings, AMC Commander, unit arranged travel of employees and their dependents to
initiated the decentralization process in edrly lY52. Under the new locations and transportation of household goods.’
his direction, Hq AMC’s primary mission shifted from By 1957, the decentralization process vas complctc and the
operations to program mmagement and field commanders new arrangement was working well.
of the various Air Materiel Areas became responsible for In July 1954, AMC acquired its first computer, a
selected aspects of supply, maintemmce, and procurement. Remington Rmd UNIVAC, signaling a new age in the field
The respective depots were also specialized to handle spe- of logistics. The complex work of computing logistics
cific commodities and given exclusive responsibility for requirements was soon automated, allowing supply, main-
computing requirements, purchasing, receiving, storing, tenancc, and procurement information to be integrated
shipping, and maintaining the paticular items assigned to quickly and accurately, in ways previously unimaginable.
them. Once rclievcd of the voluminous load of paperwork Although decentralization and automation of AMC
these processes involved, Hq AMC was able to concentrate were dominant themes during the early 1950s. perhaps the
on the tnost important phase of procurement-purchasing most signiticant change in the command structure was the
complex and expensive aerial weapon systems and the sepdntion of the rese&ch and development function of
required supporting subsystems. AMC into a distinct R & D command.
The 2750th Air Base Wing, as the base support organi- Research and development was one of three pillars of
zation at WPAFB, assisted in moving many of the AMC AMC’s World War 11antccedcnt organization, the Materiel
divisions to outlying areas. The work load of each compo- Division, and dated from the early expcrimcntal work at
nent of the 2750th Air Bask Wing was affected in some McCook Field.* In the closing stages of World War ll, it
had become increasin~lv armament th& science and tech-
“, . .

nology would determine America’s future air supremacy


and consequently the nation’s security.
The research program of the Air Materiel Command
wx by nature, largely oriented toward development of new
and improved equipment, and hence toward service and
production engineering. This meant that more often than
not, basic research took second place to applied resarch.
The inherent danger was that, over a period of time, the
technological base so crucial to future military superiority
would suffer.
Mindful of this dangerous tendency, Air Force Chief of
Staff Cien. Hoyt S. Vandenberg appointed a special com-
mittee of the USAF Scientific Advisory Board in 1949. Its
mission was to conduct a series of studies into the current
capability and future requirements of the Air Force research
and development progmm. This committee, under the
chairmanship of Dr. Louis N. Ridenow, recommended that
research and development be divorced from production
engineering and placed in a separate command.
The Air Force agreed, and proceeded to establish such a
command, drawn from elements of AMC. The Air Re-
search and Development Command (ARDC), created in
I950 and activated in April 1951, became responsible for
all research and development engineering on aircraft and
aeronautical equipment. ARDC was thus the direct antece-
dent of today’s Air Force Systems Command (AFSC).
The laboratories in Area B were reorganized on April 2,
1951, to form the Wright Air Development Center
(WADC), the largest of ten research and development en-
ten under ARDC. WADC was composed of four elements
drawn from the Air Materiel Command: the Engineering,
l%ight Test. and All-Weather Flying Divisions, and the
OSficeof Air Research. The twelve laboratories under their
jurisdiction were responsible for supervising the develop-
ment of most weapon systans. airborne components,
ground equipment, and materials.”
In June 1951, ARDC relocated its hadquarters from
Wright-htterson to Baltimore, Maryland. The Wright Air
Development Center functions in Area B, however, re-
mained essentially the same.
A major accomplishment of AKDC during the 1950s
was the introduction of the concept of weapon systems-as
opposed to individual development efforts-to the aao-
nautical industry. and the application of the broader
“systems”concept to the production process. An important
corollary of the systems concept was coordinating the
efforts of the various Air Force commands mvolved in
planning and using a given system. Selected agencies with-
in AMC, especially. had to be represented in the pLumin&
and production stages.
The answer to this challenge ws the creation of joint
project offices (JPOsL each concentrating in the develop-
mew and production of a specific weapon system. An
individual JPO drew highly qualified people from ARDC,
AMC, and the command which would ultimately use the
weapon being dwclopcd (e.g., Strategic Air Command,
Tactical Air CommandI. The txsk of the.joint pmject office
was to manage tbc development and production phases of a
weapon system, integrating all aspects oS the project and
dealing with problems that arose. Joint pmject ol’ticcs thus
bridged the technological gap betwccn ARDC engineering
and AMC procurmncnt.
In September lYS3, AMC was assigned responsibility
for devel<>ping support plax for all Air Force we+pon
systems. Thcsc plans were vital to the continumg support
and maintenance of.weapon systems once they were opera-
tiowdl. Accordingly, joint project offices were superseded
hy what vex known as wcapon systems project oftices
(WSPOsV
In January lYSX, ARDC moved from Baltimore to its
present hadquarters at Andrew Air Force Base. D.C., and
in I961 w&s rcdcsignated as the Air Force Systems Com-
mand. The continuing story of research and development
and weapon systems acquiiition conducted at Wright-Pat-
terson by AFSC and its prcdccessors is contained in Chap-
ter X, The Aeronautical Systems Division.
THE 275OTH ABW SUPPORT MISSION was transferred to Wright-Patterson oo June 8, 1958, from
Shelby Air Force Depot at Wilkins Air Force Station, Ohio.
The mission of the 2750th Air Base Wing in the 1950s Storage and distribution of these publications and fomx
and succeeding decades was to provide services and sup- was contracted out to a firm in the Washington, D.C. area.
port to the many associate/tenant organizations located at The Flight Training Branch of the 2750th ABW was
Wright-F?itterson AFB, and to provide limited services to responsibic f&assuring a high degree of Hying proHciency
other governmental agencies and components of the De- among pilots assigned to Wright-Patterson. To fulfill its
partment of Defense located off-base. This support encon mission, the Branch conducted extensive training programs
passed the operation and maintenance of the base’s air- in instrument flight, jet transition Hight, and conventional
fields, aircraft, buildings and grounds, communications transition High,.
systems, automotive equipment, supply facilities and medi- The Area B (Wright) and Area C (Patterson) flightlines
cal facilities, and the housing, messing, and training of vex busy places duting the 1950s. Area C, espec~dily,
military personnel. The Directorate of Base Air Installa- became very active with the advent of more advanced jet
tions (forerunner of today’s 2750th Civil Engineering aircraft. Annual takeoff and landing operations on the two
Squadron) was an essential pat of this support system, landing ficlds by I959 rivaled in number the commercial
responsible for the care and maintcnancc of the base’s many mownentsofNcw York’s International Airport at idlewild.
buildings, surfaced areas, railroads, and utility plants,
comprising a multi-million-dollar houxkeeping operation.
It monitored the work of numerous private contractors, as
well as penonnel attxhcd to a rcsidcnt office of the Army
Corps of Engineers.
In addition to these day-to-day responsibilities, the
Wing maintained a national Air Force records staging arca
oo base during the early 1950s. Known as the Air Force
Records Center, WPAFB, this center was responsible for
the accession, temporary storage, service, and disposition
of noncurrcot and infrequently-referenced records for the
base and certain tenant and command headquarters
“rga”mtl”“s.*
Later in the decade, the 2750th ABW also assumed
responsibility for managing the worldwide distribution of
USAF publications and forms, as well as continental U.S.
commodity management of administrative publications and
blank forms. Responsibility for these mission objectives

*The center was discontinued at WPAFB on February IO, ,953.

302
The AreaC Hightline logged 139,276 takeoffs and landings Operations in Building 8, Area B, and the remainder of this
that year, and Area B 44,699. (Area B was closed to jet vital program continued from that locale.
aircraft operations on February 27, 1958.) A new era opened at Wright-Patterson in 1954 with the
To ensure,mail delivery during the 1951 national rail creation of the Logistics Airlift (LOGAIR) system. AMC
strike, the 2750th Air Base Wing initiated administrative had long been convinced of the need for an efficient air
flights linking Wright-Patterson (Hq AMC) and Wash- transportation network to support its logistics distribution
ington, D.C. (Hq USAF). This shuttle service proved so operations. Airlift capability was recognized as a key factor
satisfactory that it was continued and became known as the in constructing a modem system of logistics management
“Kittyhawk” Right. In November 1952. the shuttle’s schcd- capable of global mobilization.
ule was extended to six days a week. with ten dedicated Mercury Service, as the AMC airlift system was first
crews.” known, was approved in February 1954 as a scheduled
In July 1951, all base Hying activities, with the cxcep- airlift within the continental United States (CONUS). Its
[ion of the Base lnstmmcnt School, were consolidated in purpose was two-fold: to move materiel quickly to
Area B. In turn, WADC‘s Flight Test Division was trans. CONUS-based operational units, and to shuttle materiel
fcrrcd to Area C. The longer and heavier Patterson runways between the AMC air depots. Aircraft and serwccs to
were better suited for the types of aircraft used by the Flight support this system were contracted from civilian airlines,
Test Division. Using the Area C facilities also eliminated much as they had been in emergency situations during
the inherent danger of mishaps occurring in the housing World War II, Korea, and the Berlin Airlift.
areas adjacent to the Area B Hightline.
In connection with the move, all aircraft operations
activities wcrc moved from Building 206, Area C, to Build-
ing 8. Area B. Certain rooms of the FAD0 Hotel were also
occupied by WADC offices.* The only Base aircraft left
on the Patterson side of the base were two B-175. twelve
C-47s, and one C-54 used for administrative flights and
instrument training.
Two AMC courier nights, known as the Dixieland and
the Alamo, were inaugurated at Wright-Wttcrson on Oc-
tober 6, 1952, to provide military air courier service for
AMC pcrsonnrl on official business. The Rights wcrc also
used to expedite mail service between Hq AMC and outly-
ing Air Materiel Areas. The Dixieland departed on Mon-
day, Wcdncsday, and Friday for points east and south, and
the Alamo departed on the same days for points west and
south. Beginning in 1954, weekly passenger-cargo flights
wcrc also made between Wright-Patterson and Brookley
AFB. Alabama.
In July 1953, the Arca C control tower was shut down
temporarily for rehabilitation. A modem FRC- I9 console
was installed in the tower and the approach control was
moved from the tower to the new radar traffic control room
in Building 206. Normal control of air traffic was resumed
on August 16. Transmitters for the tower were located in
‘Building 199. with rcccivcrs off Sand Hill Koad. east of the
Hightline.” The installation of UHF equipment broadened
the facilities available in the tower, and the new equipment
proved easier to operate.
During 1954. Wright-Patterson joined other Air Force
bases in establishing a special jet transition program for its
pilots. using F-80 and T-33 typz aircraft to carry out the
program. Ground school instructors from the WPAFB
Flight Training Branch completed the jet indoctrination
course at Craig AFB. Alabama, and opened the ground
school phase of the WPAFB jet program on July 27. The
Pilot Transition Branch was eventually transfcrrcd from the
main Training Branch located in Arca C to Wright Field

‘The FAD0 Hotel served as transient pilot quarters. SeeChapter 111.Fairtirld Air Depot, for details.

303

-
Mercury Service was composed of eastern and western would represent significant savings, such as aircraft en-
trunks, operated by Capital Airlines of Nashville, Ten- gines and spare parts. LOGAIR also provided a means of
nessee, and the American Export and Import Company of movin& some sensitive items, such as hazardous materials,
Miami, Florida, respectively. Wright-Patterson AFB was that civilian airlines were not allowed to carry.
included in the Eastern Zone, which consisted of five-day- During the last few months of 1954 and the first half of
a-week round-trip service from Kelly AFB. Texas, to Tin- 1955. the young airlift system grew impressively. One year
ker AFB, Oklahoma; Wright-Patterson AFB; Olmsted after the beginning of LOGAIR, the number of route miles
AFB, Pennsylvania; Westover AFB, Massachusetts; flown and amount of tonnage transported had doubled, and
Robins AFB, Georgia; and Brookley AFB, Alabama. The a year later had doubled again. Operations had increased to
Western Zone provided flights from Kelly to Tinker; Hill round-the-clock, seven days a week at key locations.
AFB, Utah; Travis AFB, California; Norton AFB, Califor- As service expanded, other Air Force commands also
nia (Rag stop only); and McChord AFB, Washington.” negotiated for use of LOGAIR service, including the Strate-
Initial contracts under LOGAIR, as it became known in gic Air Command, the Air Defense Command, and the Air
August 1954, expired on October 31, l954.* A second Research and Development Command. LOGAIR’s capaci-
phase began in November and included a new transconti- ty for rapid response and flexibility soon established the
nental operation. Daily service was established from the system as an essential element in America’s combat
principal Air Materiel Areas to aerial ports of embarkation readiness.**
for transport to overseas destinations.” The transcontinen- On September 9, 1957, the Air Traffic Control Division
tal operation was conducted by Resort Airlines, while the of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) accepted
eastern and western trunks were retained by the original operational responsibility for controlling air traffic within a
contractors. Twin-engine C-46 and four-engine C-54 air- x-airport area, including WPAFB. This organization,
craft were used throughout the system. designated Dayton RAPCON (radar approach control),
Priority within the LOGAIR system was placed on handled civilian and military air traffic for Wright-Patterson
transporting items that were urgently needed or which

*Since American Airlines also used the Mercury designation for part of its fleet, the AMC Council changed the name of its system to
LQGAIR.
“Today, Wright-Bxterson AFB and the five AFLC Air Logistics Centers (at Hill AFB, Utah; Kelly AFB, Texas; McClellan AFB,
California; Robins AFB. Georgia; and Tinker AFB, Oklahoma) scwe as hubs for the MGAIR system. Contracted by Military Airlift
Command and operated by AFLC, MGAIR in a typical year Hits more than 12 million miles and transports more than 121,000 tons
of materiel.
AFB. Clinton Countv AFB. and the Davton. Swinefield. Other major associate organizations on Wright-Patter-
and Richmond (Indiana) municipal airports. son during the post-war 1940s and into the 1950s were:
Also during 1957, Wright-Patterson, with WADC assis- 1914th Airways and Air Communications Service
tance, furnished materiel support and services to the Strate- Squadron
gic Air Command for I I Boeing B-52 Stratofortress com- 2046th Airways and Air Communications Service
bat-mission airplanes. As RED SCRAMBLE heavy Squadron
6th Weather Group (formerly Hq 1st Air Weather
bombers committed to initial-phase missions, these aircraft
Squadron)
had to be maintained in combat-ready status. In November
66lst Air Force Band
1957, WPAFB provided support and services to five Stratc- 2750th USAF Hospital
gic Air Command Boein& KC-135 Stratotanker airplanes 2702nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron
during Operation SUN RUN, a transcontinental speed and (formerly 1st EODS)
effectiveness test. Ii 1350th Photo Squadron (MATS)
4602nd Air lntclli~encc Services Squadron
3079th Aviation Depot Wing
ASSOCIATE ORGANIZATIONS 5th District Office of Special Investigations
7th Group. Ohio Wing. Civil Air Patrol
As the host organization at WPAFB, the 2750th Air 779th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Armed Forces Technical Information Agency
Base Wing provided support services for a wide range of
In addition to providing support services, the Wing
associate, or tenant, organizations during the 1950s.
exercised administrative control over the USAF Orientation
Then as today, the largest organizations on base were
Group and command jurisdiction over the 66lst Air Force
Hq Air Matcricl Command (predecessor of the Air Force
Band and the 2750th USAF Hospital.
Logistics Command), located in Building 262, Area A; and
Four major associate organizations joined the Wright-
the Wright Air Development Center (predecessor of the
Patterson family between 1951 and 1959:
Aeronautical Systems Division), located in Building 14,
97th Fighter-tnterceptor Squadron
Arca B.*
(Air Dcfcnse Command)
The Air Force Institute ofTechnology, the AirTechnical 3500th USAF Recruiting Wing
Intelligence Center (antccedcnt of today’s Foreign Tcch- (Air Training Command)
nology Division), and the USAF Orientation Group were 58th Air Division (Air Defense Command)
also located at Wright-Patterson. The Air Force Technical 4043rd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command)
Museum, which had been closed since World War II, The Y7th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (FIS) was a
reopened its doors to the public in Building X9, Area C, in component of the Eastern Air Defense Force. It arrived at
1954. In 1956. it officially became the Air Force Museum. Wright-Patterson on January 8, 1951, as part of the Air
Defense Command’s program to provide aerial defense for
all industrial areas of the United States. The squadron was
equipped with F-86D Sabre all-weather interceptor jet air-
craft, and was placed under the operational control of the
56th Fighter Wing at Sclfridge AFB, Michigan. This
marked the first time in the long history of Wright-Patterson
that an Air Force lighter squadron had been based here.
The 97th moved its aircraft into new operations facilities
constructed for them at the north end of Area C in De-
cember 1952 (location of the WPAFB Aero Club and Bldgs.
I51 and 152.) The squadron maintained a 24.hour state of
alert readiness. Four aircraft loaded with live ammunition,
and their crews, were stationed near the end of the Patterson
Rghtline, ready to scramble within five minutes.
The squadron also occupied Buildings 1445-1451 in the
Sherwood Area as well as portions of Building 206 (base
operations) and Building 146 (the air cargo terminal).
In August 1955, the 97th FIS was redesignated the 56th
Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. The squadron’s specific mis-
sion was to provide air defense for the heavily populated and
industrial areas of the greatcr Miami Valley, which included
Lorkheed F-104 Startiphterr were Run” hy the 54th Fi#“rr-t”terrep Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, andTennessee. From mid-summer
tur Squadron. assigned L” Wright-Patterson frum 1955 to t%o. of 1958, the squadron flew F-104 Startighter airplanes. On
March I, 1960, the 56th FIS, with a strength of 3M) assigned
*In late 1959, WADC undcnvent reorganization and from 1959 until 1961 was known as the Wright Air Drvelopmcnt Divismn
(WADD).

I
305
I
dispersal program initiated in 1958 to decentralize large
concentrations of bomber aircraft and thus make SAC bases
less attractive targets for enemy missiles. Under this
USAF-mandated program, not more than I5 aircraft were
to be stationed at each of 33 locations. A 5549 million
construction bill was passed by the House of Reprcsen-
tatives authorizing construction at 29 locations, including
$22.6 million for facilities at Wright-Patterson.
Because of tight security requirements for stratcgtc air
operations and the &sting layout of Wright-Patterson. it
was decided that facilities for the new strategic wing would
be constmcted as a separate complex in Area C. The project
started in August 1958 and was completed by mid-1960.
The 4043rd Strategic Wing was activated at Wright-
Patterson on April I, 1959. Major components were the
42nd Bombardment Squadron and the 922nd Air Refueling
Squadron (assigned cffcctive December IY59).” On Scp-
tember 15, 1959, the 66th Aviation Depot Squadron was
also assigned to the 4043rd. Effective October I, 1959,
four additional units were designated and organized at
WPAFB and assigned to the 4043rd Strategic Wing:
4043rd Armament and Electronics Maintcnancc
SCpZh”
4043rd Organizational Maintenance Squadron
4043rd Field Maintenance Squadron
in September 1955 ofthe 4043rd Support Squadron
58th Air Division (Air Defcnsc Command). Air defense The lint KC-135 refueling aircraft was delivered on
February 29, 1960. On June 15, 1960, the 42nd Bombard-
was composed of four functions: detect, identify, intercept,
and destroy. The 58th Air Division, upon rcccipt of ground mcnt Squadron moved its B-52!% in combat-ready status to
observation and radar information, was responsible for Wright-Patterson from the I I th Bomb Wing. Altus AFB;
transmitting “scramble” messages to appropriate fighter- Oklahoma and the SAC B-52 strategic wing became fully
intcrccptor squadrons, Air National Guard components. owrational.
and Navy units; and tar@ information to Army anti-air-
craft artillery organizations. The 58th was designated as the
control center for the air defense forces in I I states of the
Eastern Air Defense Region. * *
An arm of the Eastern Air Defense Force, headquar-
tered at Stewart AFB, New York, the 58th Air Division was
activated at WPAFB on September 8, 1955, with an autho-
rized personnel strength of 75 officers, 24 airmen, and I4
civilians. It was one of four such divisions activated. Build-
ings 1419, 1420, and 1421 in the Sherwood Area of
WPAFB were modified for use as headquarters for the new
division.
The 58th remained at Wright-Patterson for three years.
On August 11, 195X, both the 58th Air Division and the
associated 4717th Ground Observer Squadron were inacti~
vated here.
USAF directives issued in early 1958 led to the signing
of a joint tenancy agreement between the Air Materiel
Hq 4043rd strategic Wing ,SAC,, Building ‘mo, Area c. ‘The 4043rd
Command and the Strategic Air Command (SAC) for the
wds the taqeat tactical associate organicrtion to join WPAFB during
support of SAC units at WPAFB. The location of a SAC the 1950s. Its majorrnmponentsaerethe4Znd BombardmentSquad-
B-52 strategic wing at Wright-Patterson was part of the SAC roll and the YZZ”d Air Refueling Squadron.

‘Prior to that time, rccmiting for the Air Force had been a joint responsibility of the Air Force and the Ammy.
**The Eastern Air Defense Region encompassedthe statesof Alabama. Georgia. Illinois. Indiana, Kentucky. Mississippi, Norrh
Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee,Virginia, and West Virginia.

306
A DECADE OF GROWTH more housing for the Wright-Patterson area. Extensive pub-
licity campaigns were carried out, urging home and apart-
The face of Wright-Patterson was altered significantly ment owncrs to make their units available to base person-
during the decade of the 195Os, as new facilities were nel. and builders were urged to begin construction
constructed and wartime structures were modified to meet programs to alleviate the critical housing shortage. Col-
current needs. leges in the area were requested to provide additional space
A major facet of the new construction program was for unmarried personnel.‘h
additional housing and community facilities for base per- Real relief in the area of family housing did not come,
sonnel. Providing adequate quarters for military and civil- however, until 1953, with completion of the 2,000.unit
!a” workers at the base had been a persistent problem Pdge Manor Housing Development (named in honor of
throughout World War II and during the early post-war Brig. Gen. Edwin Randolph Page). Plans for the con-
years. With the swift upturn in defense requirements during struction of Page Manor were drawn up in 1949 and 1950
Korea, the housing shortage became critical. under authorization of the Wherry-Spence Amendment to
Housing on base could accommodate only a small per- the National Housing Act (August 1949). which permitted
centage of the military families assigned to Wright-Patter- the Federal Housing Administration to insure privately-
son. Hundreds of officers and enlisted personnel legally financed housing on or near military installations.
entitled to government-furnished quarters were forced to Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new complex, lo-
commute from areas around the base, some from as far cated on the south side of Airway Road in Mad River
away as Cincinnati. Many were still living in temporary Township adjacent to Area B, were held July 12, 1951. On
wartime barracks and in hastily-built substandard housing October 29, 1952, Brig. Gcn. C. Pratt Brown, WPAFB
in local communities adjacent to the base. Commander, cut the ribbon during opening ceremonies for
These conditions precipitated an in-depth study of the the first 1,000 units of Page Manor. The second 1,000 units
problem, which in turn led to a coordinated military/civil- were completed and occupied in 1953. The Page Manor
ian housing drive. Conferences initiated by the Base Com- development represented a major step forward in the effort
mander between civil, governmental, and military officials to retain critically needed specialists and highly skilled
explored several proposed programs designed to provide technicians at Wright-Wtterson.*

*Page Manor was privately owned from its completion in 1953 until August 15, 1960, when the entire complex, consisting of 103. I7
acres.waspurchasedby the Air Forceat acostof %18,876.154.33. The 2750th Air BaseWing acquiredjurisdictional and operational
responsibility effective October I. 1960.

307
The influx of Wright-Patterson families into the new As new housing went up, some of the old came down. In
housing project, however, precipitated yet another concern Skyway Park (constructed under the Lanham Act during
for base planners-providing education for the children of World War II), 536 family units were removed by De-
the post-war “baby boom.” In October 1953, base officials cember 31, l957.*
forwarded a request to the U.S. Department of Health, Construction of facilities other than housing continued
Education and Welfare, through the Ohio Department of throughout the decade. Twenty-five new buildings, for ex-
Education, for permission to construct an elementary ample, were under construction during 1955 and 1956.
school on Wright-Patterson to accommodate the Page Man- Among these were several devoted to community services,
or children. Simultaneously, the superintendent of the Mad including a new NC0 Club and a new hospital. The original
River Township School District, which adjoined the base, NC0 Club, built in 1943 and enlarged and modified in
applied for federal assistance to construct additional school 1952, was destroyed by fire November 8, 1953. In June
facilities in the event that the base request was denied. In the 1956, a new NC0 Club was completed in Wood City and
meantime, the school district was provided space in Build- opened to serve the Wright-Patterson community.
ings 1445 and 1448 on base for emergency school rooms to Serving the community’s medical needs was the new
accommodate students from the Pdge Manor area. In 1954, 34%patient USAF Hospital in Area A. Administrative and
the Mad River Township School District received a federal professional staffs at the hospital had begun reviewing
grant to constmct a new elementary school on Spinning plans for the new facility during 1952. In November 1952,
Road in lieu of a base school for WPAFB.” the location for the new hospital was decided upon and
Meanwhile, additional on-base quarters for bachelor construction began the following October. Effective Oc-
military personnel were being constructed elsewhere on the
base. Building 825, Area A, was erected as bachelor of-
ficers’ quarters (BOQ). When it opened for occupancy on
July 13, 1954, 223 officers were assigned to rooms. The
Wood City troop housing area in Area C. which dated from
World War II, was scheduled to be replaced with permanent
buildings. When the Korean conflict developed, however,
the vintage wooden barracks were covered with siding and
thus quickly upgraded to “permanent” status. In 1956,
funds were made available to constmct three new dormito-
ries and a.dining hall for airmen (Buildings 1212, 1213,
1214, and 1215). All four buildings were accepted for
occupancy on February 12, 1957. In 1959, 194 units of
visiting officers’ quarters (VOQ) were opened in Building
826, providing hotel-type units for both men and women
officers.

*Skyway t?uk was locatedat the intersectionof Cot. Glenn Highway and Kauffman Avenue. This land is now part of the Wright State
University campus.

308
WOOD CITY PICNIC AREA
Elcility in Area B. This facility, which originally was to be
a small Materials Laboratory nuclear reactor, grew far
beyond expectations. The initial concept envisioned a 100.
kilowatt capacity materials test reactor. When the require-
ments of other WADC organizations besides the Materials
Lab were interjected, however, the facility was scaled up to
IO megawatts. In 1956, the project was removed from the
Materials Lab and placed under the Directorate of Research
for ARDC. Construction of the final facility, with a capacity
of 20 megawatts and the capability to accommodate a full-
scale jet engine, was begun in 1958. The building was the
seventh largest of its kind in the United States, and was

HADDEN PARK

Hadden park was dedicated on September 19.1953, as


tribute to the servicesof Mr. WillianHadden. Mr. H&&t
began his careerasa non-commissionedofficer inchvged
utilities at Wilbur Wright Field in 1917. In later yews
Hadden servedas Chief of Maintenance in the Direetoraie
of Base Air Installations. Prior to his retirement in 1952,~
Mr. Hadden was instrumental in developing this p&k area;
tober 15, 1953, the Hq 2750th Base Medical Group, as it In 1958, the decisionto build an operational complexon
was then known, was redesignated the 2750th United States the north sideof Area C to housethe 4043rd StrategicWmg,
Air Force Hospital. Construction of the hospital was com- (SAC)required the abandonmentof Hadden Park. Dissatis-
pleted in June 1956, at a cost of just over $5 million. fied that the park should be lost permanently, Brig. Gen.
In 1957, Warehouse 209 in Area C was remodeled to John D. Howe, BaseCommander, establisheda Joint Wel-
fare Long-Range RecreationalCouncil to develop another~
provide a new Base Exchange store. A new chapel in Wood
larger sitefor the park. A tract of land locatedon 4t~acres$
City was completed and occupied during late 1959. forest and grasslandbetween National and Zink Roads Was
A significant amount of non-housing construction oc- selectedasasite. TherelocatedHzddenPwasdedicated
curred during the 1950s to accommodate operational needs on June 3, 1960.
of the base. On the Patterson flightline, Runway 5L23R was In the early 19705, time and change again caght up
extended in 1957. In Area B, major additions were made to with the park when the land wasappropriated for the c?#t.
facdltles of the Armament Lab and the Materials Lab. A ptruction of the 3oOunit Woodhmd Hills how&g are&.
Propeller Control and Fatigue Research Building, the Fuel Again, an even larger, more permanent site was &aside.
Systems Components Test Building, a Rocket Test Lahora- Sixty-five acres of land adjacent ,to Woodland Hills was
tory, the Compass Testing Building, and the Microwave deveiopcd into a modem park facility featuring hiking
,,trails. picnic areas; sport and’other facilities. Work began
Building were constructed. The Gas Dynamics Research
on the site in Augti%k972, and w conducte&almost
Building was accepted in 1959. Also near the end of the
entirely on B self+eIp basis.
decade, the Universal Dynamic Sight and Computer Test Official ~dedi&ii ~cw$no&zr for new Ha&lee pBrk
Facility was completed and planning was begun for several were held in ,Au@sr, 1976, with Base Commander Gel,
new buildings to house the Air Force Institute of Rane,E. Lueker.@e$ding. Ha&n Pa& continueStoday es
Technology. B s&feed nelixation and recreation for all Wright-F%@&
One project that drew considerable attention during this &a, AFl’ftiilies.’
time was constmction of the Nuclear Engineering Test

31”
completed and accepted in 1960?” (Internal facilities were On April 16, 1952, an official change of address was
not completed in full until late 1965 .) registered for the base, from Wright-Patterson Air Force
Construction of facilities to house new associate or Base, Dayton, Ohio, to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,
tenant organizations assigned to Wright-Patterson was an- Ohio.
other major facet of the overall construction program during On August 13, 1953, aircraft from Dover, Delaware,
the 1950s. During 195 I and 1952, buildings were erected at and from Andrew AFB, D.C., were evacuated to Wtight-
the north end of the Area C flightline (on the present site of Patterson to escape hurricane damage. In September, the
the WPAFB Aero Club) in anticipation of the arrival of the base again provided haven for aircraft from Moody and
97th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. Personnel of the 97th Tynddll AFB during Hurricane Florence.
moved into their new facilities in December 1952. On July I, 1954, a Class “B” printing plant was char-
On October 13, 1954, the base acquired 465 acres of tered on base, with fixed capital assets of $168,174 and
land on its northeastern boundary. This property was valued working capital of $200,000. The WPAFB Printing Plant,
at $74,300, and lay along the Mad River adjacent to the formerly in the WPAFB budget, commenced operatmn as a
Area C Very Heavy Bomber runway, near the site of the component of the Air Force Printing Service.
former village of Osbom. This area was admirably suited The Wright-Patterson Non-Commissioned Officers
for strategic air operations and soon became the home of the (NCO) Academy was established in 1955, and provided a
4043rd Strategic Wing (SAC). concentrated four-week course in Icadership, management
Between August 1958 and the mid-1960s, an entirely principles, problem solving, oral and written communica-
separate complex was created for the 4043rd. at a cost of tions, military justice, world conditions, drill, and com-
more than $25 million. The construction required that the mand. Each month, 25 non-commissioned officers were
land be leveled and subgraded, and that the Mad River be selected from the 2750th Air Base Wing and base tenant
widened at that point. The decision to build on the north organizations to attend the academy. The academy received
side of Area C also required the relocation of the Fairborn, official accreditation on December 11, 1957.”
Ohio, sewage and waste treatment plant and a base recrea- The 661st Air Force Band was an active part of base life
tional area known as Hadden Park. in the 1950s. Organized on Patterson Field in 1942 as the
When complete, this area became known as the West 361 st Army Air Forces Band, it was redesignated two years
Ramp. It is home today of the 4950th Test Wing (AFSC). later as the 66 1st Army Band. It became the 66 I st Air Force
Band in 1947. In addition to its normal on-base duties
(participating in and providing music for military forma-
ACTIVITIES tions and other appropriate ceremonies), the band also
presented concerts each week at schools and other locations
A wide variety of events and activities occurred at throughout the Dayton and southern Ohio area.*
Wright-Patterson AFB during the 1950% only a few of
which can be mentioned here.
In February 1951, new work schedules were imple-
mented to help ease traffic congestion surrounding the base
during peak rush hours. Under this plan, the first contingent
of employees arrived for work beginning at 7:30 a.m.,
followed by second and third shifts at X:00 and 8:30 a.m.,
respectively.

*Today the band, a component of Hq AFLC, makes more than 600 appearances and travels more than SO.ooO miles each year m
accomplishing its mission. If is popularly known as the “Band of Flight.”
On July I, 1958, the 2750th USAF Hospital was re- subsequent contests and field exercises and providing back-
designated the United States Air Force Hospital, Wright- up communications during actual emergencies in the
Patterscn Air Force Base. The hospital remained under the Dayton area.*
jurisdiction of the 2750th Air Base Wing. A number of traditions in community service were
The 2750th Air Base Wing also maintained respon- initiated at Wright-Patterson during the 1950s. Many of
sibility for the base news publications. During the 1950s these projects became annual events, and provided a firm
these house organs wae The Post Scripr newspaper and foundation for Wright-Patterson’s continuing commitment
Wingspread magazine. Wingspread began publication in to community service and involvement.
September 1956. A commercial publication, it was sup- Annual observance of Air Force Day was initiated in
ported by commercial advertising, and was planned to meet 1948. During the 1950s. the event was celebrated as pat of
the publicity needs of not only the 2750th Air Base Wing, a combined Armed Forces Day held each May. The celebra-
but all tenant organizations on base, and civilian as well as tion was traditionally an open house in Area B, featuring
military employees. One of the many special events that static displays of aircraft and including participation by the
received coverage in the 1950s was the 50th anniversary of Army, the Navy, Civil Air Patrol, the Ohio National Guard,
powered flight, observed in December 1953. the Civil Defense Organization, and the Air National
The Annual American Radio Relay League “Field Day” Guard.
exercises were held on the Hilltop Area of Area B at Wright- Base participation in Annual Fire Shows and later Fire
Patterson on June 19-20, 1954. Military Amateur Radio Expos dates from 1952, when the base first became in-
System (MARS) members and radio amateurs of Hq AMC, volved in National Fire Prevention Week.
WPAFB, and WADC participated in the event. The exer- Wright-Patterson began its active involvement in the
cises were designed to test the capabilities of MARS radio National Aircraft Show at Cox Municipal Airport in 1953.
stations operating in the field under conditions approximat- For many years, WPAFB served as the staging base for
ing those encountered during an actual emergency. During ‘aircraft in the show. The base also provided logistical
the two-day event, the group made radio contact with other support for participating armed services organizations,
amateur radio stations in all 48 states and in the Canadian providing housing and messing facilities for personnel,
Amateur Radio District, some of which were beyond the procuring, storing, and dispensing fuels, lubricants, and
Arctic Circle. They also worked stations in Alaska, Puerto other items required in support of the airshow, and placing
Rico, and North Africa. The success of the exercises led to Its maintenance facilities and services “on call” for emer-
the formation of an official WPAFB MARS and Amateur gency duty.
Radio Club. The goals of the club included participating in

‘The MARS designation today stands for Military Affiliate Radio System and is a component of the 2046th Communications Group at
WPAFB. The primary mission of MARS is to supplement normal Air Force communications channels and provide a back-up for
telephone services in the event of failure. MARS also provides a primary on-scene communications network at air crash disasters and
in the event of civil emergencies.

312
Wright-Patterson has become a traditional location for
mummerencampments for Air Force Reserve Officer Train-
ing Corps (AFRtXC), Civil Air Patrol (CAP), U.S. Mili-
tary Academy (West Point), and U.S. Air Force Academy
cadets, as well as Explorer and other scout groups. During
the 1950s. thousands of AFROTC cadets from midwestern
colleges and universities received special preflight briefings
1 and other instruction in preparation for flight experience in
C-45, C-47, and T-33 aircraft at WPAFB.
Wright-Patterson employees have always been enthusi-
astic supporters of area-wide charity drives and service
projects. March of Dimes campaigns on base during the
1950s included a Wright-Patterson March of Dimes Revue
broadcast over radio station WING. Campaigns against
polio also received the wholehearted support of the Wright-
Patterson community in the mid-1950s.
American Red Cross blood campaigns have been part of
base community life for nearly forty years. During the projects, property, and equipment on base was estimated at
Korean conflict, a blood center was established for base $219,950.
personnel to give blocdevery third Thursday. Although this On January 21, 1959, base personnel participated in
center was discontinued after the war, a permanent blood rescue missions to evacuate people marooned by the flood
donor center was established several years later. along the shores of the Miami River and in the west Spring-
field area. A total of nine missions were flown. A Bell H-13
and two Army helicopters, one local and one transient,
DISASTERS made up the rescue fleet.

Natural disasters and fires have not been uncommon in


the Miami Valley/ WPAFB area over the last century. The WRIGHT-PATTERSON IN THE 1960s
1950s were no exception to the norm.
An unusually heavy snowstorm blanketed nearly the On April I, 1961, shortly after the inauguration of John
entire state of Ohio over Thanksgiving weekend, 1950. A F. Kennedy as President, a major realignment of Air Force
snowfall of 10 inches was recorded overnight on Saturday, commands occurred, resulting in new names for the major
with two more inches the following morning. The storm organizations at Wright-Patterson AFB. The Air Research
resulted in drifts up to five feet high and halted all city, and Development Command (ARDC), with headquarters at
county, and state traffic. It was the deepest 24.hour snow- Andrew AFB, D.C., assumed the Air Materiel Com-
fall recorded by the Dayton weather bureau until that time. mand’s functions of procurement and production for new
WPAFB employees were unable to report to work until the systems and was redesignated the Air Force Systems Com-
following Wednesday. mand (AFSC). AMC was redesignated the Air Force Logis-
In the early morning hours of Sunday, November 8, tics Command (AFLC) effective the same date.
1953, fire gutted the NC0 Open Mess in Wood City. Only This restructuring of commands was the result of years
the club office and boiler room remained standing among of search for the most efficient method of weapon systems
the charred ruins. Estimated damage from the blaze was acquisition and maintenance. It was also the result of ad-
$87,ooO. Temporary quarters for the club were set up in the vancmg technology, in that as Air Force weapon systems
recently-vacated Stockade dining hall across the street from grew more complex, fewer were produced. The new organi-
the club. A new NC0 Club was completed in June 1956. zational structure meant that one single command (AFSC)
Between January 20 and 25.1959, flood waters from the was responsible for the entire acquisition process and an-
Mad River, impounded by Huffman Dam, closed the Pxter- other (AFLC) for supply and maintenance of all systems.
son airfield to jet aircraft operations. All except 6,000 feet The most dramatic organizational changes at Wright-
of runway were inundated. Night aircraft operations were Patterson occurred on the Wright Field (Area B) side of the
suspended, and transient air traffic was diverted from Area base. As part of the realignment of commands, the procure-
C to Area B. ment and production duties of what was known as the
Flooded conditions at the base resulted in tbe loss of Aeronautical Systems Center were added to the research
441.45 flight hours, with the cancellation of numerous jet and development functions of the Wright Air Development
and conventional navigation and instrument training Division (WADD). The resulting organization was named
Rights. Low temperatures and ice following in the wake of the Aeronautical Systems Division (ASD). Accompanying
the flood impaired effoits to clean up the airfield with the realignment was a revised organizational nomenclature
bulldozers and graders and resulted in $16,250 damage to for the Area B complex. The former directorates became
the field night lighting system. Damage to construction deputates. Thus, the three principal directorates emerged as

313
the Deputy for Systems Management, the Deputy for Engi- were transferred to the Wing from 10 tenant units on base
neering, and the Deputy for Technology. This system re- for purposes of scheduling, operation, and maintenance.
mained in effect until April 1962, when AFSC announced a Responsibility for operation of staff aircraft from Hq AFLC
further realignment aimed at emphasizing research and was transferred to the base Transport Flight oSfice effective
tec!mology. A Research and Technology Division (RTD) October I I, 1960.“’
was established at Boll&g AFB in the District of Columbia, WPAFB received the USAF Flying Safety Award for the
and two ASD functions, technology and engineering, trans- first time in its history on September 27, 1961. In the period
ferred to its control. from January to June 1961. base pilots flew more than
The 2750th Air Base Wing remained the host organiza- 25,000 hours in a wide variety of aircraft without a single
tion for Wright-Patterson AFB and its many associate/ accident or incident. The Wing subsequently received the
tenant organizations during the 1960s. At the beginning 01 AFLC Command Flying Safety Award for the period from
the decade, approximately 100 tenant support agreements, January I to December 3 I, 1961, in recognition of more
representing over I50 diverse organizational units, were in than 54,000 hours of accident-free flying.”
force, making the Wing mission a very complex one. To ensure survival and mission continuity, a Wright-
Headquarters AFLC, in keeping with command man- Patterson AFB Central Command Post was established in
agement and organization policies, exempted the 2750th Building II, Area C, effective August 1, 1960. As an
Air Base Wing from air materiel area command jurisdic- element ofthe Plans and Programs office, this post provided
tion. Under a mission and organization regulation, the a controlling point for emergency operations and test
2750th reported directly to the parent headquarters in exercises.
Buildings 262.262A. WPAFB’s real property was geo- A new unofficial base newspaprr, The Skywighrer, was
graphically located within the ten-state Mobile (Alabama) first distributed on February 5, 1960. The Winkler Com-
Air Materiel Area of responsibility. Fixed capital assets of pany, a civilian printing firm. published the newspaper with
Wright-Patterson AFB at the end of Fiscal Year 1961 the full cooperation and pamission of the Department of
amounted to more than $208 million on base, and nearly $6 Defense. Starting circulation was 16,000 copies. In Febrt-
million off base. ary 1962, The Skywrighrer won third place in the AFLC
To keep pace in its management ofresources, the 2750th Base-Newspaper-of-the-Year competition, the first in a long
ABW established an electronic data processing system in series of awards the newspaper has won over the years.
Supply early in the 1960s and implemented a micro-mecha- Skywrighrer continues today as the unofficial base news-
nized Engineering Data Automated Logistics Program. paper of WPAFB. with a weekly circulation of 31,000.
A Consolidated Military Personnel Center was estab- In 1962, sixteen new T-39 aircraft were received by the
lished at WPAFB on July I, 1962, using mechanized 2750th ABW. These airplanes provided advanced facilities
payroll and record services. Civilian and military gross for jet pilot checkout on base and supplanted the older C-47
payrolls handled by the 2750th Wing Comptroller in FY aircraft in carrying passengers. The air terminal at WPAFB
1961 totalled nearly $135 million, reflecting Wright-Patter- handled an average of 472 flights and 1,310 tons of cargo
son’s impact as a major employer in the southwest Ohio per month in 1962. Takeoffs and landings averaged
area. 192,000 per year.
On November 3, 1960, Hq USAF directed the 2750th During the autumn of 1964, the mission of the 2750th
Air Base Wing to provide mission support airlift fororgani- ABW gradually changed to retlect Wing support of AFLC
zations assigned or attached to WPAFB. Sixteen aircraft requirements in Southeast Asia (SEA). The AFLC mission

314
son in May 1965. Subsequently, contracts for more than
$18 million were let by the 2750th ABW Procurement
Division for manufacture of revetments. Standard revet-
merits consisted of rectangular steel bins, IO ft by 7.7 ft and
I6 ft high, made of Ih-gauge steel. At their destination, the
bins were filled with dirt, sand, or gravel to provide max-
imum protection to aircraft from enemy mortar fire and
accidental explosions on the ground between air missions.
2750th ABW agencies wrrc involved in processing
civilian and military personnel bound for Vietnam. For
example, in November 1965, Wtight-Patterson‘s first 15.
man team of maintenance specialists left for four months
temporary duty in Southeast Asia. These airmen, all from
the 2750th ABW. were AFLC‘s first contribution to the Air
Force Prime BEEF concept of a mobile military civil engi-
neering force. *
Flight training, small-arms weapon trainins, and vehi-
I cle operator training were conducted on base in support of
Best
~.~, .,,...I.,in,.~
,.,,.,,. Air
,,.,‘ Force!
...~“,,,:(I,,~
,,.,,
::,::lr .,.,,,, SEA operations, as were courses in laundry management.
The 2750th also handled shipments from the Lexington
Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky; the Ravenna Ordnance
Plant. Ohio; the USS Enterprise; and the National Cash
Register Corporation. The Wing supplied vehicles and
weapons in accordance with levies, and provided for off-
loading, temporary storage, and reloading of SEA-bound
materiel. A limited maintenance mission was also sup-
ported by the Wing. Stock number user directory recon-
ciliations were handled on base, and the Wing furnished
wpplies. in-flight lunches, quarters, and rations as tasked.
Support operations continued for the remainder of the
decade.”
In 1967, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base celebrated its
Golden Anniversary. A half century of dedication and pro-
during the Vietnam conflict involved providing materiel grcss separated the establishment of Wilbur Wright Field as
support to the major Air Force commands engaged in a Signal Corps training school for World War I pilots and
combat zones. The bulk of this support was provided the sophisticated research and flight operations that charac-
through the Secramcnro Air Materiel Area. In addition to terized Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on the horizon of
the massive airlift of airplane parts. supplies, munitions, the aerospace age. Celebrations on base were accompanied
and other materiel, highly skilled teams of depot mainte- by publication of a pictorial history of Wright-Patterson’s SO
nancc technicians, known as Rapid Area Maintenance years of accomplishments.
(RAM) teams, were deployed to Southeast Asia to repair
weapon systems that had sustained crash or lxttlc damage. ASSOCIATE OKGANIZATIONS
Teams often worked to salvage valuable airplanes and
cquipmcnt at the crash site. under highly dangerous During the 1960s. the 2750th Air Base Wing performed
conditions. services and provided resources to support an increasing
The level of 2750th ABW support to Southeast Asia number of associate/tenant organizations lwdted on base.
operations wa limited in comparison to other AFLC Air Largest in terms of size and scope were Hq Air Force
Materiel Areas, but the Wing did provide certain essential Logistics Command, the Aeronautical Systems Division,
services and a limited number of personnel in support of the the 6570th Aerospace Medical Research Lab, the Air Force
AFLC mission. Wing support of USAF operations in SEA Aero Propulsion. Avionics. Flight Dynamics, and Mate-
began in September 1964, when the Wing shipped flying rials Labs, the 17th Bomb Wing of the Strategic Air Com-
and hangar equipment to the 285 1st Air Base Group at mand. the Air Force Museum, the Air Force Otientation
Kelly AFH. Texas. The 2750th ABW became a prime Group, and the 661st Air Force Band. In addition to these,
procurer of loaders. revetments. and shelters used in the by l96Y the Wing provided support services to 155 other
protection of resources in-Southeast Asia. The tint pro- organizations, on and off base, under I I2 host-tenant and
totypc revetments were erected and tested at Wright-Patter- interservice agreements.

315
To support these organizations, WPAFB managed real
property resources in June 1969 amounting to nearly $281
million. These fixed capital assets consisted of real estate,
supply and other facilities, and utilities and ground im-
provements at 20 locations in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky,
Maryland, and West Virginia.”
Many notable changes occurred in associate organiza-
tions during the decade, including the activation of Detach-
ment 15, 15th Weather Squadron, which today provides
weather forecasting services to Wright-Patterson AFB. Det.
15 was established on base effective July 8, 1961.
The USAF Hospital, WPAFB, was reassigned from
2750th ABW jurisdiction to Hq Air Materiel Command
(later AFLC) effective January 1, 1961. The hospital was
assigned its current designation as the USAF Medical Cen-
ter Wright-Pdtterson, on July I, 1969.
On January 1, 1962, Hq AFL.C transferred its fully
operational Dayton Air Force Depot at Gentile Air Force
Station, Dayton, Ohio, to the Department of Defense Sup-
ply Agency for the establishment of the Defense Elec-
Headquarters tronics Supply Center (DESC). Certain elements, sup-
2750th Air Base Wing (AFLC) ported by the 2750th ABW, continued to be managed by the
United States Air Force Air Force, and one major component, the Heath calibration
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433 and internal guidance complex at Newark, Ohio, was reas-
signed to the Middletown Air Materiel Area (Pennsylvania)
Dffice of the Commander 15 May 1967 of AFLC.*
All Rrsonnel The X318th Air Force Reserve Base Support Group was
Wright-PattersonAir Force Base, Ohio called to extended active duty at WPAFB effective February
1962. The Hq 2750th ABW Reserve (Mobilization Assign-
Dear Friend ment Reserve Section) was discontinued April I, 1962.

This marks the 50tb anniversaryof military aviation at


Wright-Pattenon Air Force Base. During this span of fifty
years,our contribution to the growth of aviation and t” “uT
nation’s air power has been etKm”o”s.
only at Wright-Pattersoncan one trace all aspectsof an
aircraft systemliterally from the cradle to the grave. That
is, fmm the original concept of researchand development,
tbmugh the entire operational life phase supported by the
Air ForceLogisticsCommand, to its final restingplace, the
Air ForceMuseum. As a consequence,Wright-Wtterson is
today one of the greatest and best known air basesin the
world.
The conhibutinn this basehasmade to air paver and the
significant mle we have played in Air Force history was
made possible “nly through the individual efforts of the
many thousands of military and civilian pcisonnel who
mre and are stationed and employed here.
You, as a member of this great team, should be justiy
pmud of the mle you haveplayed: for the true history ofaoy
organization is really written in the combined efforts of its
people.
.. .
The Dayton Air ForceDepot at GentileAir FarceStationwastrans-
ferred from Hq AFLC to the Department OfDefense supply Agencyin
JOWELL C. WISE huary 1962far the establishment“f the DefenseEtectmnicsSupply
Brigadier Oenend, USAF, center tmsc,.
Commander

*This installation is known today as the AerospaceGuidance and Metrology Center (AGMC) and is a component of the Air Force
Logistics Command.

316
Hq AFLC’s 3079th Aviation Depot Wing and its five the former 1914th and 2046th Airways and Air Communi-
aviation depot groups were also inactivated at WPAFB cations Service Squadrons, was redesignated the 2046th
effective July 1, 1962. Communications Group on January 1, 1965.
On July I, 1963, the 4043rd Strategic Wing (SAC) was The U.S. Air Force Museum, WPAFB, was reassigned
reorganized as the 17th Bombardment Wing (Heavy). The from Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, to Hq AFU:
4043rd’s redesignation was part of an Air Force-wide pro- on October I, 1965. Effective September 15, 1968, this
gram to retam units with rich historical traditions. The 17th directive was modified to read that the Air Force Museum
Bomb Group of World War II fame distinguished itself in was attached to the 2750th ABW for administrative and
1942, when 80 of its men flew with Lt. Col. James “Jimmie” logistical support.
Doolittle on his historic Tokyo raid. The Group also earned The Air Force Packaging Evaluation Agency (AFPEA)
two Distinguished Unit Citations for exceptional service in was officially transferred to Wright-Patterson from
Europe during World War II and a third for interdiction and Brookley AFB, Alabama, in July 1967, in connection with
close support missions during Korea. Nicknamed the Black the scale-down of the Mobile Air Materiel Area. The mis-
Knights, the unit had been inactivated on June 25, 1958. sion of the AFPEA was to investigate, develop, test, and
Also effective July I, 1963, one of the 17th Bomb evaluate packaging materials, containers, methods, and
Wing’s components, the 42nd Bombardment Squadron technologies. It provided packaging engineering services to
(Heavy), was inactivated. It was replaced by the 34th Bom- all Air Force commands.
bardment Squadron (Heavy), a unit which had been promi- The 2863rd Ground Electronics Engineering Installa-
nently connected with the old 17th Bomb Group. The 42nd tion Agency Squadron (GEEIA) moved from Brookley
had been assigned to the 4043rd Bomb Wing on June I, AFB, Alabama, to WPAFB on October I. 1968.
1960.* The Air Force Contract Maintenance Center, constituted
The reconstituted 17th Bomb Wing was awarded the Air and assigned to Hq AFLC, was activated at WPAFB effec-
Force Outstanding Unit Award in 1963. On July I, 1968, tive April 8, 1969. The mission ofthis center was to provide
the Wing converted to B-52H model aircraft, which came contract management direction and control over contract
to Wright-Patterson from Homestead AFB, Florida. Be- management functions at contractor plants assigned to
tween 1968 and 1973, the 17th Bomb Wing deployed 70 AFLC by the Department of Defense.
B-52 strategic bomber crews to Southeast Asia in support of On February 8, 1969, the following activities which had
the ARC LIGHT program. Over 125 KC-I 35 aerial tankers been assigned to the 2750th ABW were inactivated and
and crews also participated in YOUNG TIGER or COM- their unit designators reverted to Depiutment of the Air
BAT LIGHTNING operations in Southeast Asia. Force control: the USAF Radiological Health Laboratory,
The 66lst Air Force Band was reorganized effective WPAFB; the Regional Environmental Health Laboratory,
July 1, 1964, with an authorized strength of I officer and 44 Kelly AFB; and the Regional Environmental Health Labo-
airmen. ratory, McClellan AFB. These units were subsequently
The 2046th Communications Squadron, composed of constituted, activated, and assigned to Hq AFLC.
‘The42nd’s 1960-1963tourmxkedthesecond timeit hadbeenassignedlocally.Thcorganization’searliestantecedent, the42ndAero
Squadron. was transferred from Camp Kelly. Texas,to Wilbur Wright Field on August 25, 1917. The 42nd Aero Squadron was
redesignatedas Squadron I (Eye) on October I, 1918, and demobilized at Wilbur Wright Field on February 21, 1919.

317
GROWTH land along State Route 235 in September 1959 prevented
private ownership adjacent to this sensitive area and
In 1960, new ground test facilities were constructed by provided right-of-way for highway acceleration and de-
the Wright Air Development Division for simulation of ccleration lanes.
aerqxtce operations for the X-20 Dyna-Soar and the B-70 Easements for 269 acres in Clark and Greene Counties,
bomber programs. The $7.7 million addition to the struc- valued at $60.000, extended the Area C airfield approach
tural test complex at WADD made it the largest and most area in 1961. The clearance easement deeds granted the
versatile facility of its kind in the country. United States the right to remove all aerial obstructions
:
The base gained an additional nine-hole golf course from the land. The Universal Atlas Cement Division of the
during the summer of 1961. Construction of the 3,439.yard United States Steel Corporation retained ownership of the
Twin Base course was completed by fall, and the course properties and continued quarry operations.
opened to both military and civilian personnel. A second Plans to relocate the Air Force Museum to a new multi-
nine holes were added to the course in 1963. million dollar Facility were revealed in I962 by the Air
The free world’s largest aerospace and missile sonic test Force Museum Foundation, a private, non-profit organiza-
chamber was constructed at WADD during 1961. The sonic tion. Eugene W. Kettering, son of the Dayton inventor and
test chamber was used to measure the effects of sonic President of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, was
fatigue-the weakening and malfunction of tlight vehicles named Chairman of.the Museum Foundation board. Frank
and components from sound wave pressures. G. Anger, President of the Winters National Bank and Trust
Ground was broken December 18, 1962, for the Air Company, was named as President of the Foundation. As
Force Institute of Tcchnolopy School of Engineering build- proposed. the new facility was to hwe about 500,000
ing. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, Air Force Chief of Staff, was cquarc feet under roof. seven times more space than the
guest of honor at the ceremonies. Dedication of the com- current structure (Building 89. Area C).
pleted building was held August 28, 1964. The Honorable On November 19, 1964, Secretary of the Air Force
Eugene Zuckert, Secretary of the Air Force, presided at the Eugene Zuckert presented the deed to 225 acres of Air
ceremonies. Force land along the west edge of Springfield Pike to the Air
One of the most significant projects in Area C in the Force Muscum Foundation. Public-spirited citizens in
early years of the decade was construction of the new Dayton and across the nation contributed more than 56
Patterson airfield control tower. The old tower, although
modilied and upgraded several times since the 1940s to
improve air and ground traffic control, was no longer cost-
effective to maintain and was obsolete in regard to modem
safety standards. In FY 1962, Congress approved $237.000
for construction of a new tower. The new Wright-Patterson
control t”wer was officially opened on June 17, 1963. Nine
stories tall, the new tovia was constructed on the West
Ramp near the 17th Bomb Wing (SAC) area.
Construction of facilities and extension of utilities con-
tinued on the West Ramp in the early 1960s in support of the
17th Bomb Wing mission. Hot water transmission mains, a
liquid oxygen generating plant, missile fuel storage, a
missile research test shop, and a propulsion research test
facility were all constructed. The purchase of I .32 acres of
million to the Foundation over the next scvcml years, allow-
ing construction of the new mu.seum to begin in June 1970.
Formal dedication ceremonies were held September 3,
197 1, with President Richard M. Nixon and members of the
Wright family in attendance.
The WPAFB NC0 Club in Wood City underwent a
$1 IO.000 renovation during the summer of 1963. A new
two-story brick Airmen‘s Service Club was also opcncd in
Wood City, on May I, 1965. The original Service Club had
been destroyed by fire on January 28, 1963. Groundhreak-
ing for a modem I .000-seat motion picture theater in Wood
City took place in February 1966.
Construction of a chapel in the F’age Manor housing area
began in April 1967. The new facility was dedicated Febm-
ary 25, 1968. Guest speaker at the event was Maj. Gen.
Edwin R. Chess. Chief of Air Force Chaplains.
The world’s largest optical collimator was completed at
Wright-Patterson in 1967. It was housed in a new $S million
Optics Laboratory that enabled Air Force scientists to test
all sizes of precision photographic lenses for accuracy and
clarity. The lens of the gigantic collimator was a fused silica
mirror IO0 inches in diameter and I2 inches thick. Weigh-
ing 9,000 Ibs. the Icns was installed at the bottom of a 155.
foot vertical vacuum chamber that cxtended 85 ft above and
70 ft below the ground. The new facility was part ofthe Air
Force Avionics Laboratory, Reconnaissance Division.”
Gen. John P. McConnrll, Air Force Chief of Staff,
presided at the June 8, 1967 opening of the $2 million
Electronic Warfare Research Facility in Area B. The rcin-
forced concrete, double-towered building was the first in a
three-phase construction program for the Air Force Avi-
onics Laboratory. Prior to completion of the struct~rc, the
Electromagnetic Warfare Branch and the Electromagnetic
Wafare Applications Branch conducted their research in
Building 22. Area B.”
In 1969, the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory ACTIVITIES
completed a six-year program aimed at doubling its capaci-
ty to conduct research in toxicology. The improved Toxic A landmark in aviation history was commemorated at
Hazards Research Facility contained eight long-term ex- WPAFB on June 15, 1960. Brig. Gen. Frank P. Lahm, the
posure chambers called Thomas Domes, four ambient pres- first military man to fly with one of the Wright brothers, was
sure laboratory exposure chambers, several laboratories, recognized as the “Father of Air Force Flight Training”
and animal pre-conditioning facilities.‘” during official ceremonies at the base.* General Lahm
traveled from his home in Mansfield, Ohio, for the occa-
sion. Six hundred Air Force Academy cadets were on hand
for the celebration, which included an aerial demonstration
by pilots of the Wright Air Development Division. The
inscription on the plaque presented to General Lahm read in
part:”
Presentedto Brig. Gcn. Frank P. Lahm in recognition
of his lifelong devotion to aviation and aeronautical sci~
exe. Taught to fly by Wilbur Wright in the first military
aeroplane, Signal Corps No. I, at Collcgc Park, Md.. in
1909. Awarded by “The Early Birds.” an organization of
those who flew solo before December 17. 1916.
Air Force chiefs of staff of I5 South American countries
made a brief visit to Wright-fitterson on April 18, 1961, to
inspect Strategic Air Command facilities and operations.
The visit, at the invitation of Gen. Thomas D. White, U.S.
Air Force Chief of Staff, was part of the Inter-American Air
Forces commanders’ conference and tour of United States
Air Force facilities. The agenda of discussions included
technical training, airport and air traffic control. personnel
procedures and logistics, and the role of Latin American
military in internal security and civic advancement.
Two huge moving vans parked in front of Hq AFLC the
week of April 17, I96 I, spelled the end of an era at Wright-
Patterson. The vans were chartered to carry off the huge
UNIVAC computer, dismantled to make room for more up-
to-date equipment. The machine being tom down was a
1951 model, first installed at AFLC headquarters in the
spring of 1954. The machine was the first of its sire to go
into operation in the Dayton area. Many employees at the
headquarters remembered the dedication ceremony when
the machine was first installed. Festivities that day in I954
had been attended by General of the Army Douglas Mac-
Arthur (USA-Ret.) in his capacity as a Sperry-Rand of-
ficial, and by Air Force dignitaries.
Seven Wright-Wtterson scientists received recognition
for their scientific knowledge and achievements during a
12.day International Air Show in Paris, France, in June
1961. Forty-four American scientists in all were selected as
representatives of American industry and the Department of
Defense. A photograph of each and a biographical sketch of
accomplishments were featured in a segment of the U.S.
exhibit entitled “Salute to Scientists.” Designed, con-
structed and directed by the Wright-Patterson-based Air
Force Orientation Group, the “Salute” included seven
WPAFB scientists of international renown: Harrell V. No-
ble, Dr. Alan M. Lovelace, and Dr. Henning Edgar voo
Gierke from the Aeronautical Systems Division; and Dr.

*Lieutenant Lahm wasthe passengerwhen Orville Wright flew the first official test Right of a military airplane on July 27, 1YO9,at Fort
Myer, Virginia.

320
Hans van Ohain. Kadames K. H. Gebel, Dr. Goottfried pressive. Both days of the event began with a fly-by of jet
Guderley, and Dr. Demctrious G. Samaras from the Aero- aircraft led by the ASD Commander, Maj. Gen. W. A.
nautical Research Laboratory, an element of the Office of Davis, piloting a T-39 Sabreliner. Aerial demonstrations by
Aerospace Research.” fighters, bombers, and cargo airplanes followed, including
The first official reunion of World War 1 flyers was held midair refueling of a B-52 bomber by a KC-135 tanker. On
at the Air Force Museum June 24-27, 1961. The reunion, the ground, numerous USAF and U.S. Navy aircraft and
the first in 43 years, was attended by over 400 World War I missiles were on static display, together with a variety of
aviators, including Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, the country’s exhibits by industrial and military concerns. Air Force
“Ace of Aces”; Douglas Campbell, the first U.S. ace; and Museum indoor and outdoor displays were also open to the
George Vaughn, the second ranking living ace. Also in public.
attendance were such dignitaries as Gen. Carl Spa&. and On May 17, 1962, civil authorities renamed the Greene
Brigadier Generals Frank P. Lahm and Benjamin D. County portion of Aitway Road, which terminated at the
Foulois, two of the first three military pilots taught to fly by main AFLC gate to the base. It became Colonel Glenn
the Wright brothers.” Highway, in honor of Ohio native and astronaut, Lt. Col.
Large Armed Forces -Day celebrations, begun in the John H. Glenn, USMC. Colonel Glenn completed three
1950s. were continued at Wright-Patterson during the orbits of the earth in the space capsule Friendship 7 on
1960s. In May 1962, the airshow was particularly im- February 20, 1962.

321
Beginning in lY63. officials at Wright-Patterson were
closely involved in the development of a new state univcr-
sity. Dayton leaders had long sought a solution to the need
for expanded higher education opportunities in the Dayton
area. The new institution would be known as Wright State
University. in honor of both Wilbur and Orville, and would
be located on land adjacent to the base. The university was
to open as a joint branch of The Ohio State University
(Columbus) and Miami University (Oxford).
AFLC Commander Gen. Mark E. Bradley. Jr. acted on
behalf of the Air Force in the formal transfer of 190 acres of
vacant Wright-Patterson property to the new branch campus
in April 1963. The Air Force gift was a significant portion
of tfie 613 acres eventually acquired by the university. The
donation involved two txxts along Kauffman Avenue, in-
cluding the old Skyway Park housing area and a former On April 9, 1964, Brig. Gen. Arthur J. Pierce, Com-
section of the Miami Conservancy District, both of which mander of the Foreign Technology Division (AFSCI, di-
had been declared excess by the base. Title to the lands was rected groundbreaking ceremonies for a new laboratory
presented to Dr. John W. Millett, President of Miami Uni- facility adjacent to the Hq FTD building in Arca A. Con-
versity, and Dr. Novice G. Ewcett, President of The Ohio struction on the new L-shaped. single story laboratory
State University, by General Bradley at a luncheon at the building (Building 829) was completed the following year.
Wright-Patterron AFB Officers’ Club. On April 22.24; 1965, the “Doolittle Raiders” held their
Throu&hout the planning stages. officials from the 23rd annual reunion in Dayton and wcrc warmly recrivcd at
Dayton campus worked closely with Wright-Patterson of- Wright-Pzttcrson. Dayton was an especially significant site
ficials. Because the new university was to be a commuter Sor the annual gathering because the Kaiders’ World War II
campus, traffic control and the master land-use plan for the unit, the 17th Bomb Group, had been reconstituted by the
university required close coordination between the two Strategic Air Command as the 17th Bombardment Wing
institutions. (Heavy). and stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB cffcctive
Construction of the first building at Wright State. Allyn July I, 1963.
Hall, was completed during the summer of 1964. Classes The Supply Division of the 2750th ABW marked the
for the fall quarter began on September 8. Formal dedica- beginning of a new logistics era in February 1966, with the
tion ceremonies for Wright State University were held in programming of a new UNIVAC 1050 II computer system.
Allyn Hall on September 18, 1964, with representatives The new system was designed to hold data on more than
from Wright-Patterson and the local community in lOO,OW supply items and 30,000 equipment items, and
attendance. was one of only I2 such systems Air Force-wide. This
The sixth annual Dayton Soap Box Derby was held July specialized computer system was developed by the Air
1 l-12, 1964, on the inclined Accelerated Kunwey in Area Force Systems Command for universal use throughout the
B. This was the second year in a row that the base helped Air Force. It provided the capability for standardization of
sponsor thts event. Seventy-live boys in the Dayton arca requisitioning. purchasing, receipting, storage, stock con-
competed. The derbies, initiated originally in 1933, con- trol. issue, shipment, reporting, disposition, identification,
tinued as a base and community tradition into the 1980s. and accounting functions.

322
A ten-year timber management program was adopted by
WPAFB in 1966, in cooperation with the Ohio Division of
Forestry and Reclamation. The goal of the program was to
reforest a total of 420 acres of base land over the following
decade. Tens of thousands of frees wcrc planted by volun-
km from various base organizations, most notably by
members of the Twin Base Rod and Gun Club. The overall
scheme provided for adequate road and firchreak develop-
ment, erosion control, insect and disease control, and wild-
life habitat conservation. Simultaneously. a surviiy was
made of existing base rimherland to identify salcablc sau
timber and timber products. As a result of this inspection,
75,000 hoard feet of sawlogs and 200 tons of pulpwood
were harvested in the fall of 1966.
Base records, in tact, reflect a long history of coopera-
tion and association with state forestry oflicials. From 1928
through lY53, more than 7.500 trees were planted. pri-
marily for ornamental purposes. In 1960, lO.OOO multillora
rose trees were planted in conjunction with the stare fish and
wildlife conservation program. Some 51 ;OOO trees were
planted on base in the spring of 1964 as part of a hasc
heautilication project entitled Operation GREEN RUSH.
Wright-Patterson AFB was awarded the Gcncral
Thomas D. White Fish and Wildlife Conservation Award by
Iiq USAF four times during the 1960s. This prest~gmus
award is given annually to the two Air Force installations
showing the most improvement in their conservation pn,-
grams. Wright-Patterson rook the Class B award. gwn to
bases with Icss than 2,000 acres under active conservation
managcn1ent.

DISASTERS

Several disastrous fires at Wright-Patterson in the first


three years of the 1960s destroyed a number of World War
II-vintage‘huildinfs and damaged others.
On September 2, 1960, a fire in the 2750th Air Base
Wing headquarters building (Building IO, Area C) resulted
in $6,500 in damages. Four months later, in January 1961,
over $15,000 in damages was sustained to a base cold
storage facility adjacent to the base commissary store
(Building 94, Arca C). The base had earlier sought rrplace-
merit of this building. Soon after the fire, Congress ap-
proved $80,000 for construction of a new facility.
On November 21,1961, Wednesday evening before the classified safes, but identification of the individual safes
Thanksgiving holiday, the annex of the AFLC headquarters was diflicult because dials, numbers, and other markings
building (Building 262-A. Area A) and its contents were were burned off. Reconstruction of personnel 201 tiles
totally destroyed by tire. Two base firemen, Station Chief required more than one year but was completed by April I.
Dale V. Kelchnrr and William J. Collins, lost their lives 1963.
fighting the blaze. Fire damage was xt at nearly $I .5 Building 262-A was replaced during 1963 and 1964
million. with a new $2.7 million building (Building 266). built on
Losses included destruction of approximately 3,200 the same site. Gen. Mark E. Bradley, Jr, AFLC Com-
ofticial personnel records housed in the Central Civilian mander, cuf the ribbon at opening ceremonies on July 6,
Personnel Office. Row- aftcr row of liles, heavy office 1964.
equipment, and safes crashed tu the basement of the two- Less than one week after the Building 262-A fire. on
story wooden building as the first and second floors col- November 25, 1961, fire claimed three buildings in the
lapsed. The only documents spared were those stored in Wood City area (now Kittyhawk Center) and damaged four

323
others. The three buildings were one-story structures oc- during the base’s support of Operation HOMECOMING.
cupied by the USAF Orientation Group. Except for a small The return to U.S. control of former Southeast Asia pris-
amount of equipment which was evacuated, the buildings oners of war culminated a series of plans that had begun in
and their contents were completely destroyed. Total loss June 1968. In July 1969, these plans were called SEN-
was set at $693,920. TINEL ECHO, and in September 1972 were renamed
The Airmen’s Service Club in Wood City was com- EGRESS RECAP. On the eye of the POW release, Secrc-
pletely destroyed January 28, 1963, by the third major fire tary of Defense Melvin R. Laird changed the project’s title
on base in 14 months. The spectacular blaze caused an to HOMECOMING.
estimated $66,000 damage, and was particularly difficult to Based upon World War II and Korean War experiences,
control in the sub-zero January weather. Fourteen persons it was expected that the returnees might require significant
were treated for frostbite at the USAF Hospital, as firemen medical and psychological assistance. Therefore, the pris-
fought the blare. oners were placed under military medical auspices as soon
In February 1962, it was ice rather than fire that brought as possible after their release and remained in medical
disaster to Wright-Patterson. Freezing rain and sleet turned channels for transportation to the continental U.S. After
the base into an icy wonderland, coating the entire out-of- initial examination, treatment, and processing at the over-
doors with a thick and hazardous layer of ice. Base mainte- seas point of return to U.S. control. the men were to be
nance crews labored long hours to cut down broken tree evacuated by air to CONUS medical facilities of the respec-
limbs and branches, clear away fallen debris, salt roads and tive services. The USAF Medical Center Wright-Patterson
walks, and make emergency repairs. was one of ten Air Force medical facilities named to receive
and process returnees, many of whom had been incarcer-
ated for more than five years, some for as long as eight
years.
The 2750th Air Base Wing’s principal role in the pro-
grammed repatriation was to provide logistical support for
the operation. Wing agencies were responsible for provid-
ing family quarters for next of kin, as well as operational
facilities for the USAF debriefing team, the WPAFB pro-

WRIGHT-PATTERSON IN THE 1970s

The 1970s was a decade for celebrating anniversaries,


welcoming home heroes, responding to emergency situa-
tions, and bidding farewell to familiar friends.
WPAFB joined the nation in celebrating the country’s
200th birthday in 1976, and in marking the 75th annivcrsa-
ry of powered flight in 1978. In 1973, thirty USAF officers
were received at Wright-Patterson following their release
from North Vietnamese prison camps as part of Operation
HOMECOMING. A 1974 tornado in Xenia, Ohio, and a
blizzard during the winter of 1978 tested Wtight-Patterson’s
disaster response capabilities; and a world-wide energy
crisis called for new approaches to the management of vital
resources. Also in the 1970s. the 2750th Air Base Wing
witnessed the departure of one of the base’s finest associate
organizations, the 17th BombWing (SAC), and lost its own
Heet of administrative support aircraft.
One of the most touching scenes in Wright-Patterson
history unfolded between February I5 and April I, 1973,

324
ING ended on April 4, 1973, at Clark Air Base, by which
time 597 former captives of Asian Communists had been
4 returned to freedom.
Thirty of the repatriated prisoners were flown to Wright-
Patterson between February I5 and April I. Upon disem-
barking, the returnees were warmly greeted by Gen. Jack I.
Catton, AFLC Commander, or by Lt. Gen. Richard M.
Hoban, AFLC Vice Commander, and by Brig. Gen. lrby B.
Jarvis. 2750 ABW Commander. The returnees walked
down a red carpet extending from the aircraft and smartly
saluted the American flag held by a four-man Color Guard.
Most returnees were then greeted by their families on the
Rightline, in view of media representatives and spectators,
before being transported to the Medical Center.
Processing of the former POWs involved intelligence
debriefing, medical examination and evaluation, personnel
records updating and counseling, fiscal affairs, chaplain’s
visitation, family assistance, and public affairs activities.
Five news conferences were held by families in the News
CClltC*.
Once processing was completed, the returnees were
granted 90 days of convalescent leave. All repatriates,
along with their wives or mothers, were invited by Presi-
dent and Mrs. Richard M. Nixon to a White House recep-
tion and formal dinner on May 24, 1973.
Conservation policies and efforts, which were a matter
of continual concern at WPAFB, were suddenly intensified
in November 1973 as Arab oil-producing nations cut off
shipments to the United States in retaliation for the U.S.
support of Israel during the Yom Kippur war. This embargo
on crude oil and petroleum products precipitated the AFLC
PACER ENERGY fuel conservation program which con-
tinued through the end of Fiscal Year 1974.
On November I, 1973, the 2750th Air Base Wing estab-
lished a PACER ENERGY Task Force to plan, implement,
and administer a comprehensive energy conservation pro-
gram at WPAFB. The Task Force outlined three general
target areas for fuel savings in Fiscal Year 1974: 14 percent
reduction in aviation fuels, I5 percent reduction in motor
fuels, and I5 percent reduction in utilities, especially heat-
ing fuels and electricity.
cessmg team, and the HOMECOMING Press Center. De- USAF, AFLC, SAC, and AFSC guidance directed the
pendents were housed in Visiting Officers’ Quarters (Build- aviation fuel conservation practices of the three flying
ings 832 and 833). which were reconfigured temporarily as wings at Wright-Patterson: the 2750th ABW, the 17th Bomb
family-type accommodations. The reception room for vis- Wing, and the 4950th Test Wing. Programmed Hying hour
itors was located in Building 833. The debriefing team used reductions for each of the three wings were in effect by
rooms in the north wing of the USAF Medical Center for January 1974. Through reduced Hying hours and greater
administration and consultation. The Dodge Gymnasium economies in ground and air operations, the 2750th ABW
(Building 849) ballroom and lobby housed the HOME- during the tirst eight months of FY 1974 used 12.3 percent
COMING News Center. All returnees were quartered in the less GP-415 jet fuel and 22.7 percent less aviation gasoline
north wing of the Medical Center. than the previous year. Monetary savings were $743,000
Actual repatriation began February 12, 1973, when 143 and $114,600 respectively.
American servicemen landed at Clark Air Base, Republic Similar reductions were achieved in consumption of
of the Philippines, in the first of I2 increments of release. motor fuels and utilities. Overall, significant energy sav-
Immediately following their arrival at Clark, invitational ings were achieved during Fiscal Year 1974 due to the
orders were issued, authorizing dependents to travel at vigilance and cooperation of Wright-Patterson military and
government expense to the CONUS hospitals receiving the civilian workers and by on-base residents. In dollar terms,
repatriates. The initial phase of Operation HOMECOM- between July I, 1973 and March 31, 1974, WPAFB saved

325
ply with both federal and state environmental standards in
regard to particulate and sulfur dioxide emissions.
On July 31, 1974, the 2750th AHW received the Air
Force Outstanding Unit Award for “cxccptionally mer-
itorious service in support of military operations” for the
period February I, I072 through January 31. 1974. Wing
Commander Brig. Gcn. lrby B. Jxvis. Jr. received the
honor on behalfol’the Wing from AFLC Vice Commander
Lt. Gen. Edmund F. O’Connor during an imprcssivc ccre-
mony held October 23, 1974, in the base theater. The award
was referred to by General O’Connor as the “highest pcacc-
time unit award.”
In early Novcmhcr 1974. the AFLC Deputy Chief of
SI;347,018 in energy consumption compared to a similar Staff for Procurement and Production announced that the
period during the previous liscal year. 2750th ABW had been selected as the command‘s “lead
Nor did energy conservation efforts end with the pm- base” for implrmrnting the Customer Integrated Auto-
~ect's termination. Plans were Sormulated to cover future mated Procurement System (CIAPS). CIAPS was an autw
contingencies, aimed at achieving up to 75 percent curtail- mated system designed by the Air Force Data Systems
mcnt of specific energy sources. By September 1976. the Design Center for all USAF base procurement activities.
Wing had achieved a 6.8 percent reduction in energy con- The system provided computer-produced delivery orders
sumption (i.e., electricity, natural gas, coal. motor vehicle for the Federal Supply Schedule. CIAPS used the Bur-
fuels, and fuel oil for heating purposes) over Fiscal Year roughs B-3500 computer as an automated link with the
1974. The decrease was greater than had been anticipated Base Supply Univac 1050-11computer system and the Mcd-
when the campaign began. Throughout the remainderofthe ical Supply B-3500 computer system. The WPAFB imple-
1970s. especially during the SCYCIC winters 011976-1977 and mentation was complctcd in April 1976.“’
1977.1978. emphasis was placed on continuing and enlarg- In 1975, the 2750th ABW received the USAF Flight
ing the base’s energy conservation program. The Base Safety Certificate in recognition of three years of accident-
Conservation Committee, chaired by the Wing Vice Com- free Hying. This was the last such award for the Wing. By
mander, spearheaded these el’i’orts. June 1975, the 2750th had transferred all of its support
Considcrahle progress was also made during the 1970s aircraft to other Air Force units, in compliance with Air
in the area of environmental protection. The single largest Force directive.
project conducted during the decade was a three-phase, $37 In November 1974, Hq USAF decided, for financial
million coal-fired heating plant modification program. Six reasons, to drop nearly 400 aging administrative support
new large-capacity boilers wcrc installed to replace 17 aircralt from the active inventory. A tentative disposition
antiquated units that dated from the 1930s. High-efliciency schedule was released affecting 343 aircraft; including both
electrostatic precipitators removed nearly all particulate reciprocating-engine aircraft and jet-engine T-33s. Among
matter exhausted from the heating plants. Ovcrall, the new the 36 AFLC airplanes involved were six T-33s from
system provided Wright-Patterson with the most modem Wright-fitterson AFB scheduled for transfer to AFLC‘s
solid fuel boiler plants and fuel handling facilities in the Air Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center
Force, and enabled the base’s coal-fired operations to com- (MASDC) at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. In early De-

326
I ember 1974, AFLC published a more comprehensive Insofar as real property was concerned, the 2750th
phase-out schedule covering the remainder OS the 2750th transferred facility responsibility for a number of Area C
ABW support fleet. It called for the transier of all remain- buildings m the 4950th Test Wing, including Buildings Ii,
ing aircraft to MASDC. except for live T-OYs, by the end of 105. 148, 152, 169, 206.North. 256. and 8X4. Building
the fiscal year. IX8 in Area B was also assigned to the 4950th.
Meanwhile. the Military Airlift Command (MAC) was Following closely on the reassignment of the 2750th
selected as the single manager for “pooled T-39 aircraft ABW aircraft, another era in Wright-Patterson’s long histo-
located in the CONUS.” Wright-P&tenon was chosen as ry ended in September 1975, with the planned transfer of
one of IS host bases. MAC subsequently announced that the 17th Bombardment Wing (Heavy). On September 30,
WPAFB would bed down nine T-39s. including the five the Bomb Wing was transferred in name only, without
I
transferred to MAC from the 2750th ABW. personnel OT equipment, to Beale AFM, California. The
The Wing began dispersing its aircraft in February 1975 Wing‘s I4 B-52 bombers and 15 KC-135 tankers were
with the reassignment of the T-33s to MASDC. On April dispersed to other SAC bases and to the Ohio Air National
2 I. 1975, MAC began central scheduling for a portion of its Guard. Wing personnel were assigned to other installations
new T-3Y Hcet. Central scheduling for WPAFB began on or “rganmtlons.
June 20. As the 17th Bomb Wing vacated its facilities on the West
By June 1975, the 2750th had transferred all of its 24 Ramp in Arca C. the buildings were rcassigncd one by one
support aircraft. The five 7-39s were reassigned to the to the 4950th Test Wing. Reassignment of facilities began
Military Airlift Command and operated by the newly-estah- July 23 and was complete by September IS.
I lished Del. 2. I4Olst Military Airlift Squadron (MAS). The In June 1976. yet another era ended at Wright-htterson.
initial personnel for this detachment came from the 2750th Effective June I, the aerodrome in Area B (Wright Field)
ABW’s Flight Operations Branch. was officially closed, cnding nearly 50 years of service to
For the first time since 194X, the 2750th ABW did not the Air Force and its antecedent organizations. All air
possess its own aircraft. The Wing did, however, continue traffic operations at Wright-Patterson today are handled on
to operate the airfield and to support the 4950th Test Wing the Area C (Patterson) runways.
(AFSC), Det. 2. 14Olst MAS. and transient aircraft in
temx of aircraft supplies, petroleum, oil, and lubricants.
Base-lcvcl maintenance was aswned by the 4950th Test
Wing effective July I, 1975. This included the transient
alert function and such rcspomihilities as chief of mainte-
nance. quality control, maintrnnnce control, organira-
tiunal maintenance. field maintenance. survival equipment
maintenance, avionics maintenance, and the Precision
Measurement Equipment Laboratory (PM!%).
The transfer of support aircraft also affected the mission
of the 2750th ABW Simulator Training Hranch. As of July
I, 1975, the Branch ceased all operations with the excep-
tion of the T40 Trainer. Thr Branch’s equipment was trans.
ferrcd to the 4950th Test Wing effective Scptrmbcr 15.
Instructor and maintenance personnel were rassi&ned to
the 4950th on October 26.

I” ,975, WPAFLI was selected as 0°C “f 15 bases to host Military Airlift


Cammand ,MAC, T-39 aircratt mc MAC Rret at WPAFH is assigned
to Det. 2, t4Otst Military Airlift Squadrun.

327
A milestone in air traffic history occurred at Wright-
Patterson on September 20, 1978, when the precision ap-
proach radar ANIFPN-16 in Area C was decommissioned
after 26 years of continuous operations. A new solid-state
dual instrument landing system was installed to assist pilots
using Runway 5L23R. With the new equipment, a pilot
received control tower permission to land. then automat-
ically received the required instrument data to make an
instrument landing without further assistance.
On June 6, 1978, the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) relocated the Dayton approach control facility (acti-
vated in 1957) from WPAFB to the Dayton International
Airport, Vandalia, Ohio. Predicated by the relocation of
equipment and personnel from Wright-&tterson, the mem-
orandum of understanding between the 2750th Air Base
Wing, the 2046th Communications Group, Det. 15, 15th
Weather Squadron, and the FAA terminated October 1,
1978. Space that the FAA had occupied in Buildings 206
and 841 in Area C of WPAFB was released effective Janu-
ary 15, 1979. The 2750th ABW Operations and Training
Division maintained its management of the WPAFB aero-
drome in coordination with other USAF and federal govem-
merit agenaes.
A significant project begun in the 1970s but with far-
reaching implications for the future, was the Air Installation
Compatible Use Zone (AICUZ) program. AICUZ is a
community interface program designed to coordinate the
needs of the Air Force with the development of surrounding
communities, in order to assure continuance of Wright-
Patterson AFB as a center of flying operations.
The conceptual goal of AICUZ is to achieve compatible
land uses around military installations. The development of
lands near Air Force bases is a continuing concern to Air WPAFB Airport Zoning Commission (counties involved
Force officials. On the one hand, the Air Force recognizes were Montgomery, Greene, Clark, and Miami). The reg-
the responsibility to protect public areas surrounding air- ulation defined noise and accident zones about the air base
fields from noise, pollution, and flight hazards. On the and suggested compatible land use for these zones. Some
other hand is the undeniable fact that lands near air bases are areas were recommended to remain in open space, while
intrinsically attractive areas for development. other more densely settled areas could limit construction
Due to the growth of the air base and surrounding and design noise reduction features into buildings along
communities, 2750th Air Base Wing commanders have for with other planning measures.
many years been aware of the potential adverse impact of
business and residential encroachment on Wright-Patterson
flying operations. As early as 1962, Base Commander ASSOCIATE ORGANIZATIONS
Brig. Gen. Glen I. McClemon held meetings with com-
munity leaders concerning land use and development in By 1973, the 2750th Air Base Wing had logged 25 years
areas adjacent to the base. In October 1966, a WPAFB of service to its associate organizations, including Hq
Airport Zoning Regulation became law. Although subse- AFLC, ASD, FfD, the 17th Bomb Wing (SAC), the Air
quently challenged and rescinded, this basic document Force Museum, the USAF Medical Center Wright-Patter-
provided a firm foundation for the AICUZ concept. The key son, AFOG, and the 2046th Communications Group. Dur-
element was an atmosphere of mutual trust and helpfulness ing the remainder of the 1970s. a number of new organiza-
between the base and the surrounding communities. tions were assigned to WPAFB, and several departed.
In May 1975, after years of careful planning, the final The 3025th Management Engineering Squadron was
AJCUZ study developed by the base was released to the organized and designated at WPAFB effective October I,
public. Invitations from the Base Commander were ex- 1973. The squadron was assigned to AFLC headquarters
tended to state and local officials and Ohio’s U.S. Con- under the operational control of the Directorate of Man-
gressional representatives to attend a special briefing on the power and Organization. To support this reorganization,
study. In July 1975, a revised WPAFB Airport Zoning Detachment 7, 3030th Support Squadron, was inactivated
Regulation was finally enacted by the four-county Joint and succeeded by Detachment I, 3025th MES.

328
These changes were part of an effort t” upgrade the 30, 1975, as mentioned earlier in this chapter. The SAC
manpower function. The manpower program at WPAFB as aircraft from Wright-Patterson were transferred t” other
it is kn”wn today was established in 1966, when the Man- Strategic Air Command bases and the Air National Guard.
power Validation Program and the manpower and organiza- The Wing’s B-52H bombers were dispersed t” other “H”
tion functions were consolidated under the Management model bases in Michigan and North Dakota, while KC-135
Engineering Team concept. In the early 197Os, USAF tanker aircraft were transferred throughout SAC and to the
conducted a two-year study to further identify headquarters Ohio Air National Guard at Rickenbacker AFB near Co-
and headquarters squadron manpower costs. As a result, all lumbus, Ohio. Although many bomb wing personnel were
major USAF commands were directed to withdraw man- reassigned to bases throughout the U.S. and overseas, a
agement engineering and manpower and organization re- large segment were stationed together with the bombers at
sources from previously designated headquarters support SAC bases in the upper Midwest. Approximately one-third
squadrons like the 3030th, and to consolidate these func- of the Wing’s 1,200 military members remained at Wright-
tions into major command management engineering squad- Patterson and were assigned t” other base units such as
rons/detachments. Det. 1, 3025th MES was thus estab- AFLC, ASD. and the 2750th ABW.
lished at AFLC. Det. I continues today to provide The official “Buckeye Farewell” was extended to the
manpower management services to the 2750th ABW. Its departing 17th Bomb Wing on July 7, 1975, as its two
major responslbdltles are management of manpower re- remaining KC-135s and one B-52H left Wright-Patterson’s
sources, development of wartime and peacetime manpower VHB runway for the last time. Facilities vacated by the 17th
requirements, and the preparation of cost studies to assess Bomb Wing were reassigned t” the 4950th Test Wing.
I the feasibility of contracting out Air Force services. In The Air Force Museum, a named activity at WPAFB,
addition, Det. I provides management consulting services was inactivated effective August 8, 1975, and the unit
t” the Wing Commander. designation reverted t” the Department of the Air Force.
Wright-Patterson continued to set a fast pace in aero- The Museum was then activated as a named unit and as-
space exploration and development during the 1970s. On signed t” the Air Force Logistics Command at Wright-
July I, 1975, the four AFSC laboratories in Area B were Patterson, effective the same day. The Air Force Museum
realigned into the Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laborato- subsequently was assigned to the 2750th Air Base Wing for
ries (AFWAL). Retaining their organizational titles, identi- logistical support.
ties, and functions were the Aero Propulsion, Flight Dy- A significant event within AFLC was the July I, 1976
namics, Materials, and Avionics Laboratories. The Aero- activation of the Air Force Acquisition Logistics Division
space Research Laboratory was disestablished and its (AFALD). The new division was formed from existing
programs distributed elsewhere.” AFLC sources, primarily the Deputy Chief of Staff for
Also effective July I, 1975, the 4950th Test Wing Acquisition Logistics and the 2732nd Acquisition Logistics
underwent a major realignment as it absorbed the Precision Operations Squadron. AFALD’s mission was to expand and
Measurement Equipment Laboratory (PMEL) and the base strengthen the interface between AFU: and the Air Force
aircraft maintenance and allied support functions which Systems Command (AFSC), thus improving operational
had previously been the responsibility of the 2750th Air utility, field availability, and supportability of new systems,
Base Wing. while reducing their operating and support costs. The Air
The 17th Bombardment Wing (SAC) moved, in name
only, without personnel and equipment, from Wright-fit-
ters”” AFB t” Beale AFB, California, effective September

Alr Force1
//ij/r
Wright 9
Aeronautical :
l.abontorlro :
i

329
Force Acquisition Logistics Division was designed to act as
a catalyst to stimulate and improve the AFLC/AFSC inter-
change of knowledge, particularly the How of feedback
information from uscrs in the combat commands.”
A second major AFLC organization was created at
WPAFB in 1978. The AFLC International Logistics Center
(ILC), identified as a %ajor field organization,” was acti-
vated effective May I, 1978. The new center merged ele-
ments of the Hq AFLC Office of the Assistant for Intcma-
tional Logistics and most of the international logistics
functions of AFALD. The ILC had three principal offices:
plans and procedures, programs and resources, and opera-
tions. Its charter was to establish and implement an AFLC
International Logistics Progmm for the development, nego-
tiation, and management of AFLC Security Assistance
programs. This included foreign military sales, grant aid,
and international military education and training.
On October I, 1976. the Air Force Institute of Tech-
nology asked for 7,390 sq ft of space in Building 288. Arca
A, to accommodate the newly-established Defense Institute Kobins AFB. Georgia; and Det. 15, WPAFB. Ohio. On
of Security Assistance Management (DISAM). DISAM June I, 19X0, the 15th Weather Squadron moved, again
was an element of the Dcfcnsc Security Assistant Manage- without personnel orcquipment. from WPAFB to McGuire
ment Education (DSAME) program which was scheduled AFB, NJ. Det. 15, 15th Weather Squadron remained at
to become fully operational at Wright-Patterson in June WPAFB and continues today as the weather support organi-
1977. (DSAME was programmed originally to opcratc as a zation for the base.
department of the AFIT School of Systems and Logistics. j A new tenant organization at Wright-Patterson effective
The DSAME program was subsequently elevated to the December I, 1976. was the 87th Port Squadron (Air Force
status of a “scparatc school with an expanded mission Rcscrvc). Located in Building 146, Area C, the squadron
within AFIT.” DISAM held its tint classes in Building 2X8 moved to WPAFB without personnel and equipment from
on January IX, 1977, and later relocated to the second floor McClellan AFB. California.
of the west ccntcr section of Building 125 in Arca B. On Dccembcr 12, 1977, the 3552nd USAF Kecruitinf
The 15th Weather Squadron (MAC) moved without Service Squadron (ATC) complctcd its relocation to Build-
personnel and equipment from Scott AFB, Illinois, to ing I, Area C. from the Defense Construction Supply
WPAFB cffcctive January I, 1976, where it was reassigned Center (DCSC) in Columbus, Ohio. The squadron sup-
from the 5th Weather Wing to the 7th Weather Wing. The ported 25 Air Force recruiting offices in the Southern Ohio
15th was assigned the following detachments: Det. I, Tin- area.
kcr AFB, Oklahoma; Det. 6. Hill AFB, Utah; Det. 7, Kelly On April 5. 1979. Hq USAF approved a plan to relocate
AFB, Texas; Det. 8, McClrllan AFB, California; Dct. 13, all of the facilities OS the Air Force Orientation Group
(AFOG) from Area B, WPAFB to the Defense Electronics
Supply Center (DES0 at Gentile Air Force Station.
Dayton. The mwc was initiated in April 1981 and the
Group was settled in its new quarters by August of that year
AFOG currently occupies Buildings 4 and 74 at DESC.

GROWTH

Two major construction programs during the early


1970s greatly improved military family housing at
WPAFB. Traditionally. the demand for on-base housing
had been high, particularly among enlisted personnel. In
1970, it was noted that there were approximately 4,900
families assigned to Wright-Patterson. while thcrc wcrc on-
base accommodations for only 1.900. Contracts were sub-
sequently awarded by the Base Procurement Branch on
April 5 and June 14, 1971~ for the design and construction
of two new projects of 300 and 500 family housing units,
respectively.

330
Work began May 21, 1971, on the $7.5 million Wood-
land Hills 300.unit project in Area B. This package,
awarded to the National Homes Construction Corporation,
Inc. of Lafayette, Indiana, was the first military family
housing built on base since the brick quarters were erected
in Area A during the mid-1930s. Ground was broken July
9, 1973, for the construction of 500 military family housing
units430 located in Area A, adjacent to the USAF Medi-
cal Center and 70 sited in Area B, off Zink Road, near
Woodland Hills. The $12.1 million contract was also
awarded to National Homes, Inc. In addition to these new
construction projects, $8.7 million plans were underway at
the end of June I974 to convert 904 apartments in the Page
Manor housing area into 640 larger, more modem quarters.
Wood City underwent dynamic changes during the
197Os, including a name change. That portion of the base,
Air, F&e S&ion, a 16S-acre sit& pn traditionally used for housing and recreation, became
Vike in Kettering, is the home of theDefenSe. known as Kittyhawk Center. Kittyhawk quickly changed
Supply Center (DESC). The facility Was ,&a from a quiet, residential neighborhood into a bustling com-
in, 1Y44 to serve as a centrahzed storage facility f&r munity. It was designed to be “people oriented,” providing
Sand was known as Dayton Air Face the products, services, and accommodations needed by and
it had served as a commercial
for Wright-Patterson’s military population and their
Flying Service. On August l4,,
dependents.
by the Chief Signal Officea far
During 1971, nearly $350,000 in combined appropri-
ion depot on Wilmington Pike:-
r 5.1943. and the project coni- ated and non-appropriated funds were expended to upgrade
@leted than a year. Formal dedication ceranonib~ dormitories, the dining hall, and recreational facilities in
.+ercheld in October 1944. Kittyhawk Center. In October 1978, the Noncommissioned
.e‘, III .lY45, Signal Corps functions were integrated into the Officers’ Open Mess completed a $363,000 modernization
Aptly AIr’Forces and the installation became known as the program. Nearby, a $463,909 child care center opened in
862ndAmryAirFo~sSpecializedDepM. In 1951, it was August 1979 (Building 1235). replacing three wood-frame
twz+ned Gentile Ai Force Oepot in honor of World Warn single siory buildings erected during World War II.
nearby Piqua, Ohio;,Io~ Outdoor sports benefited from a program completed in
October 1979. To replace sites lost during construction of
other facilities, $396.700 was spent to constmct new recre-
zation being designated Dayton
ation facilities including softball diamonds and a football/
soccer lield.
The crown jewel of the new Kittyhawk Center, however,
was the four-acre, $7 million Community Shopping Center
Complex. Housed within the new complex were the train
sales store of the Base Exchange, as well as concession ,
shops, a commercial bank branch, and the Base Commis-
sary store. The center resulted from a coordinated effort by
the Army-Air Force Exchange Service, the Air Force Com-
missary Service, the 2750th Air Base Wing, and the Win-
ters National Bank and Trust Company, Dayton, Ohio. The
center was opened for business following gala ceremonies
on August 26, 1980.
Employees of the Foreign Technology Division moved
into Building 856, the newest addition to the FTD complex
in Area A, on August 24, 1976. More than 600 dignitaries
attended dedication ceremonies on September 16, includ-
ing Secretary of the Air Force James W. Plummer and U.S.
Representative Clarence J. Brown of Ohio’s 7th Con-
gressional District.
On July 5, 1977, the Air Force Institute of Technology
also moved into new quarters. AFIT‘s School of Systems
and Logistics was relocated from Building 288 in Area A to
the new $3.5 million Building 641 in Area B. The Honor-
able Hans M. Mark, Under Secretary of the Air Force, was
the principal speaker at dedication ceremonies on Octo-
ber 4.
Progress on base during the 1970s was sometimes
tinged with bittersweet as old landmarks changed. Many
current and former employees had cause to reminisce when
it was announced in 1979 that Buildings 2, 3, and 10 in
Area B, the first hangars constructed at Wright Field (1928)
were to be razed. In their place, ASD planned to construct
an $I I million Fuels and Lubricants Laboratory.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new facility were held
on July 30, 1980.
Conversion of the Civilian Club, Building 274 in Area
A, also evoked memories for many people associated with
the base. Constructed during World War II and opened on
December I, 1944, the Civilian Club was open to all
WPAFB civilian employees, military members, their fam-
ilies and friends. The club was noted for hosting nationally
famous dance orchestras and square dance groups. and was
the scene of countless dances, wedding receptions, and
other popular events.* In 1979, the Club was closed, and
remodeling began to convert it for use as the Wright-
Patterson AFB Conference Center.

The modern $7 million Cmnmunity ShoppingCenter Complex in


Kittyhswk Center
*Chapter VII, PattersonField, contains further details of this time period

332
I ACTIVITIES grounds attracted nearly IO,oM) scouts and their troop
leaders. On July 23, the Museum dedicated its new $1
Among the most exciting activities at Wright-Patterson million Visitors Reception Center, a gift of the Air Force
AFB during the 1970s were those associated with celebra- Museum Foundation. Principal speaker at the dedicatory
tion of the nation’s bicentennial. Throughout the nation, the ceremonies was Senator Barry M. Goldwater. Also present
Bicentennial observance was divided into three themes: was Secretary of the Air Force Thomas C. Reed, who
Heritage ‘76, Festival USA, and Horizons ‘76. At Wright- snipped a symbolic ribbon to open the Center. The scissors
/ Patterson, separate parallel committees were established to used during the ceremony had belonged to Orville Wright
carry out programs based on all three themes. Overall and were loaned for the occasion by Mr. Wright‘s niece,
direction of the base-wide program for the Bicentennial Mrs. lvonette Wright Miller.
celebration was coordinated by the WPAFB Planning and
Coordinating Committee, chaired by the Base Commander.
Wright-Patterson also supported the civilian Bicentennial
efforts of cities, towns, and villages located in the base’s
immediate vicinity.
A Community Day observance opened the base sched-
ule of events on May 24, 1975, one week after Armed
Forces Day. The highlight of the local six-hour program was
an acrobatic demonstration by the USAF Thunderbirds
team flying six T-38 Talon aircraft. The Ninth Virginia
Regiment, attired in Revolutionary War uniforms and re-
gal&, gave two demonstration drills with muskets. (The
original regiment was organized November 19, 1776, and
fought in many major campaigns, including incursions into
the Ohio River Valley during the Revolutionary War.)
On August 19, 1975, the American Revolution Bicen-
tennial Commission officially recognized Wright-Patterson
AFB as a “Bicentennial United States Air Force installa-
! tion.” During the autumn and winter months of 1975.1976,
the various Bicentennial committees coordinated with each
other and with their counterparts in civilian communities to
assure the best possible local and area observance of the
nation’s 200th anniversary. The thoroughness with which
they planned was reflected in the diversity of programs that
took place during the Bicentennial year.
The Air Force Museum was the scene of the first ac-
tivities during July 1976. From July 11-13, an Ohio Region
Bicentennial Boy Scout Jamboree held on the Museum

Certificate of Official Recognition


The dedication of the Visitors Center coincided with the were selected for this honor. Five of them had spent a
annual enshrinement ceremonies of the Aviation Hall of portion of their Air Force career at Wright-Patterson. The
Fame and with the Dayton Air Fair ‘76. The Fair, which collective span of service represented by these men spread
attracted over lOO,OOiI spectators, featured both military from August I, 1907, when the U.S. Army Signal Corps
and civilian aircraft and performers, and was supported, as Aeronautical Division was established, to July 31, 1957,
in past and future years, by a wide range of WPAFB when the last individual among them retired. The honorees
organizations. including the 2750th ABW. represented the following Ohio hometowns:
Activities on base during August and September in- Gen. Benjamin W. Chidlaw ClCXS
cluded the National Meet of the American Model Aircraft Lt. Gen. George H. Brett Cleveland
Association, the reopening of Hadden Recreation Pxk, and Lt. Gen. David M. Schlatter F”st”ria
the staging of the 2750th Air Base Wing’s Festival ‘76. Lt. Gen. Barton K. Yount Troy
Maj. Gm. Robert G. Breenr Dayton
The highlight of the base Bicentennial celebration,
Brig. Gen. Frank I? Lahm Manshcld
however, was the grand People-for-People Festival held
Brig. Gen. Nelson S. Edbat Dayton
September 20, which attracted nearly 16,000 visitors. The Cd Charles deF. Chandler ClW&“d
purpose of the Festival was to “promote human relations Cd Gerald K. Johnson Akron
through awareness, communication. and understanding,” 2nd Lt. William E. Metrgcrf Lima
and to provide a suitable program to represent the heritage Dedication ceremonies were held on July 22, 1977.
of America “through arts, crafts, drama, display, dance, Gen. F. Michael Rogers, AFLC Commander, presented the
cuisine, fashion, music, and song.” dedicatory address to the assembled guests and next of kin
Honoring Air Force members of past decades was also of the men being honored.
an important part of Wright-Patterson’s Bicentennial obser-
vance. An initiative that grew out of the Bicentennial in this
regard was the formation of a Base Memorialization Com-
tmttee. Established as part of the USAF memorialization
program, this committee was tasked with naming appropri-
ate streets, buildings, recreational areas, and medical facili-
ties in honor of distinguished deceased Air Force military
members.
The first such action on Wright-Pmerson was the Oc-
tober 27, 1976, dedication of Building 262, Area A, in
honor of Brig. Gen. Wjlliam E. Gillmore, first Chief of the
Air Corps Materiel Division, McCook Field. The Materiel
Division was an antecedent of today’s Air Force Logistics
Command, whose Headquarters occupy Building 262.
The final observance in Wright-F%ttrrson’s year-long AFIX: Headquarters ~B”ildi”l: 262. Area A, is named in honor of
celebration of the Bicentennial was the dedication of an Brig. Gen. William E. Giltmore, tint Chiefdthe Air Corps Materiel
“Employees’ Monument,” to honor all military members Division at MeCwk Field.

and civilian employees who have ever worked at Wright-


Patterson AFB, from its World War I origins to the present.
Designed by Wright State University art student Ray
Williams, the monument was a sculpture in stainless steel,
mounted on a reinforced concrete pedestal. The design was
described as an abstract of upswept wings. symbolizing
man‘s reach toward outer space which started from the first
day that work began at WPAFB. Six feet high and approx-
imately 20 feet wing tip to wing tip, the monument was
erected in the spring of 1977 at the comer of Skeel Avenue
and Novick Road in Area A, overlooking the site of the
Wright brothers’ original 1904 hangar on Huffman Prairie.
In the four years following the Bicentennial, three addi-
tional memorializations of facilities on Wright-Patterson
took place. Following the dedication of Gillmore Hall. the
Mrs. Michael J. Lallg, granddau&ter of the late General Giltmore,
Memorialization Committee recommended redesignation
views the dedicatory brunce plaque for Building 262 with Gen. F.
of the lettered and numbered streets in the senior officer Michael Rogers. AFLC Commander, during eeremoni*s Oet”brr 27,
brick quarters in Area A. Ten officers, all Ohio natives, IY76.

*Lieutenant Mctrgerreceivedthe Medal of Honorposthumously in 1945, furvalorabovc and beyond the call ofduty as a B-17 copilot
over Germany.

334
On September 23, 1977, a beautiful living memorial
was dedicated to the memory of Ma;. Gen. Frank G.
Barnes. General Barnes served as Deputy Chief of Staff,
Engineering and Services, Hq AFLC, from February 1973
until his death in 1976. The Frank G. Barnes Memorial F%rk presided at the ceremonies held June 22, 1979, and un-
is located adjacent to Building 266 in Area A. The park veiled six bronze plaques bearing the names of the
features twenty-one varieties of deciduous, flowering, and honorees:
conifer trees, flowering bushes and shrubs, and eleven TSgt. Roy D. Prater
species of perennial flowers. Sgt. JamesR. Lute
Following the renovation of live dormitories and the SSgt. Fredcrick Wilhelm
dining hall in Kittyhawk Center, these buildings were dedi- AIC William H. Pitscnbarger
cated in honor of six Ohio airmen who died from enemy AK JamesE. Pleiman
action in South Vietnam. This marked the first time in the Sgt. JamesD. Locker
current series of formal dedications that deceased enlisted Walnut plaques with sketches and biographies ofthe airmen
men were honored. General Bryce Poe II, AFLC Com- were placed on permanent display in the dayrooms of the
mander, and Cal. James Rigney, 2750th ABW Commander, respective dormitories and in the dining hall.*

*Three more memorialiations occurred in the first yearsof the 1980s.On June 19. 198I, streetsin the vicinity of the U.S. Air Force
Museum were named in honurofGen. Carl A. Spaatz, Maj. Richard I. Bang. and 1stLt. Edward Ward. On August 28, 1981, the
2750th Air BaseWing Headquarters, Building IO, AreaC, wasnamed in honor uf Brig. Gen. JosephT. Morris, first Commander of
the 2750th ABW. On November 18, 1982. the Air ForccInstitute of Technology dcdicatrd its Schoolof Engineering (Building 640.
Area B) in honorofcol. Thurman H. Bane, the first post-World WarICommandcrofMcC~ak Fieldandfounderufthe Air Schoolof
Application. forerunner of AFIT.
The year 1978 was celebrated as the 75th Anniversarv of Wright brothers. U.S. Postmaster General William F.
Powered Flight. A special steering committee of the Greater Bolger spoke at the ceremony preceding the initial sale of
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce coordinated the vti- the two differently designed 31.cent airmail stamps.
“us local observances of the anniversary. Chairing the On December 16, the eve of the official anniversary,
group was Lt. Gen. James T. Stewart, USAF-Retired, who about 700 persons attended a “First Flight Banquet Honor-
had commanded the Aeronautical Systems Division from ing the 75th Anniversary of Powered Flight” held at the
June 1970 to August 1976. At Wright-fitterson a special Dayton Convention and Exhibition Center. Participating
“75th Anniversary of Powered Flight” logo was adopted dignitaries included Lowell Thomas, famous newscaster
and proudly displayed on all letters posted from the base and author; Lt. Gen. James Doolittle, USAF-Retired; for-
during the year. mer Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the
On September 9, 1978, three parcels of land that had moon; and Milton Caniff, nationally-known cartoonist
been intimately associated with the Wrights were trans. (creator of the Steve Canyon series).
ferred to the Air Force and the 2750th Air Base Wing by the The morning of December 17th marked the actual anni-
Miami Conservancy District. The first was a 0.52 acre plot versary of the first flight. Visitors began arriving early on
of land on Pylon Road in Area A commemorating the site of Wright Brothers Hill, base employees and local citizens
the Wright’s first hangar on Huffman Prairie. The concrete alike. The formal ceremonies began with appropriate re-
monument that marks the spot was completed in June 1941 marks by Gen. Bryce Poe and Lt. Gen. James Stewart. Mrs.
by the Wilbur and Orville Wright Commission in coopera- lvonette Miller and Mr. Horace Wright laid large wreaths at
tion with the Miami Conservancy District. The other two the base of the granite Wright Brothers Memorial monu-
parcels of land comprised a 27.acre park and memorial site ment. At IO:35 a.m. a bugler sounded taps and two T-39
dedicated to the memory of the Wright brothers. Known as aircraft flew overhead in trail. This precise hour and minute
Wright Brothers Hill, this property is in Area B near the coincided with Orville Wright’s historic first lift-off at Kitty
intersection of State Route 444 and Kauffman Avenue. Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903. The cere-
About I50 guests and visitors attended the formal cere- mony served as fitting tribute to the spirit and accomplish-
mony marking the transfer of properties. Mr. Robert S. ments of the Wright brothers and to the thousands who
Oelman, President of the Miami Conservancy District followed them in the intervening 75 years.
Board of Directors, conveyed the original copy of the
special warranty deed to General Bryce Poe II, AFLC
Commander. In his remarks, General Poe stated that it was
fitting that the memorial, “which for 38 years has rested on
Miami Conservancy District land is now a part of Wright-
Patterson-just as Huffman Prairie--also once Con-
servancy land, is now part of the Base.”
Among the distinguished attendees were two U.S. Con-
gressmen, Clarence J. Brown of Urbana, and Charles W.
Whalen of Dayton, as well as Mrs. lvonette Wright Miller
of Dayton, and Mr. Horace A. Wright of Xenia, niece and
nephew of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
An unusual honor was accorded Wright-Patterson later
in the month. On September 23, the Dayton Stamp Club
and the 75th Anniversary of Powered Flight Committee.
supported by the U.S. Air Force Museum, hosted the first
day sale of two commemorative stamps honoring the
DISASTERS with a steady stream of traffic from the base to the disaster
scene. Thirty-seven of the most seriously injured were
Once data from the national disaster control center were admitted to the USAF Medical Center. Drugs. medicine,
tallied, April 3, 1974, entered United States history as the and equipment from St. Elizabeth Hospital in Dayton were
“Day of the 100 Tornadoes.” Slightly more than IO percent airlifted to Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia. A 4950th
of the deaths resulting from these natural disasters occurred Test Wing CH-3 helicopter flew eight sorties to fulfill this
in and around the city of Xenia, Ohio, a quiet but pro- mission. Five hundred volunteers at the base contributed
gressive community twelve miles southeast of Wright-Pat- blood at the Medical Center for use in the emergency.
terson AFB. Residents of the city included I.297 WPAFB Meanwhile, base civil engineers had dispatched heavy
employees (I ,064 civilian and 233 military). equipment convoys to Xenia to assist in search and recovery
The killer tornado struck Xenia at 4:40 p.m., carving a operations and to open traffic arteries. As the first long
swath of destruction four miles long and one-half mile night following the tornado waned, other supplies and
wide. In its wake, 34 persons lay dead and 500 injured. assistance arrived, including generators for emergency
More than a thousand homes were destroyed (including lighting, floodlights, gasoline, 7,000 gallons of water, box
those of 293 base employees), 660 were heavily damaged, lunches, and 30 gallons of coffee for volunteer rescue
and another 904 slightly damaged. Insurance adjusters workers.
placed losses at $500 million. Wright-F&tenon’s support continued throughout the
At 5~00 p.m., Brig. Gen. lrby B. Jarvis, Jr., 2750th entire next week. Volunteers were recruited from nearly all
ABW Commander, activated the base Disaster Prepared- WPAFB organizations. Among the more significant con-
ness.Control Center and the entire base moved into action. tributors was the 2046th Communications Group, which
The USAF Medical Center and the 2750th ABW responded moved its Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) van to
quickly to two of Xenia’s most pressing needs: medical aid downtown Xenia. VHF, UHF, and radio-telephone com-
for the scores of injured victims and assistance in sorting munications were established, linking on-scene civil de-
through tons of debris to recover other casualties. At 6:30 fense, the WPAFB Fire Department, and base Security
p.m., a medical team was dispatched to Xenia, as were Police with the Disaster Preparedness Control Center. The
three on-scene commanders from the Wing to direct 2046th also opened the Springfield (Ohio) Muniapal Air-
WPAFB‘s assistance. From that time forward, until I:00 port tower to assist Ohio National Guard helicopters ferry-
p.m. April 4, roads between WPAFB and Xenia were filled ing emergency supplies.

337
heit. During the month there were 13 days with tem-
peratures at zero or below. A total of 20.2 inches of snowfall
in January was second only to the record of 34.4 inches
recorded in January 1918. Temperatures in February regis-
tered 2.9 degrees below normal. As temperatures de-
scended, energy usage ascended, causing a state-wide cri-
sis in supplies of natural gas.
Paced by the 2750th Civil Engineering Squadron and
the 2750th Logistics Squadron, the Air Base Wing exerted
extra efforts to keep WPAFB fully operational and to simul-
taneously help distressed local communities struggling
with blocked roads and frozen water lines. Assistance to
local communities included delivery of 1,500 gallons of
fresh water to Trotwood, Ohio, where many homes had
frozen pipelines, and the dispatching of snow blowers to
Clark, Greene, Preble, Clinton, and Fayette Counties.
Water-thawing equipment was loaned to the cities of Eair-
born, New Carlisle, and Xenia. Water containers were
supplied to M&m&burg, West Milton, and the American
Red Cross. The quality ofthe Civil Engineering Squadron‘s
assistance to local communities helped the organization
earn the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period
Aerial photography was provided by the 4950th Test April 1, 1976 to March 31, 1977.
Wing and the 155th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, As the winter of 1977.1978 approached, early indica-
Nebraska Air National Guard at Lincoln, with assistance tors pointed toward a repetition of the 1976.1977 season,
from the 2750th ABW Operations and Training Division. and the 2750th ABW made preparations accordingly. Fore-
On April 6, a Federal Disaster Assistance Team (FDAT) casts proved to be accurate. The 1977.1978 season was
established temporary offices in Building 89, Area C, and almost as harsh-and decidedly more dramatic. A severe
assembled a staff of 30 people. A 5th Amy liaison officer blizzard with 75 mph gusts and 7-12 inches of snow
to the FDAT arrived at WPAFB from Fort Knox, Kentucky, whipped the Miami Valley, reducing activities on base to
to coordinate all militwy assistance efforts. In coordination minimum essential operations from January 26 to January
with these agencies, WPAFB’s major support of disaster 29. Wright-Patterson was closed to all aircraft traffic from
operations was terminated on April 8. 4:33 am. January 26 until 4:00 p.m. January 27. The
On April 9, President Richard M. Nixon arrived on base 2750th Civil Engineering Squadron assisted beleaguered
via Air Force One to survey the disaster area. Included in communities within a seven-county area through the loan of
the Presidential party were James T. Lynn, Secretary of snow removal equipment and military operators.
Housing and Urban Development; Thomas J. Donne, Chief
of the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration; and
Presidential Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler. After viewing
the disaster area from the air, the President’s helicopter
landed at an elementary school on the outskirts of Xenia
and the party drove into town, where the President con-
ferred with Greene County and other officials. That after-
noon the President returned to Wright-Patterson where he
was greeted by about 500 spectators.
On April I I, the Wing’s Disaster Preparedness Control
Center was inactivated. In all, Xenia disaster relief assis-
tance from April 3-8, 1974, amounted to $61,701 for the
2750th ABW ($13,000 of which was reimbursable). An
additional $3 1,410 in expenses was incurred by the USAF
Medical Center Wright-Patterson (of which $6,370 was
reimbursable).
The winter of 1976.1977 entered Ohio history as one of
the worst on record. “The most unforgiving weather this
region has ever seen,“ was how General F. Michael Rogers,
AFLC Commander, described the winter which blasted
WPAFB and the surrounding vicinity. January 1977 set a
record with an average temperature of I I .6 degrees Fahren-
Emergency measures notwithstanding, snow removal
on base was hampered by insufficient equipment in the
active inventory, especially front-end loaders and dump
trucks. The services of commercial contractors were
needed into mid-February to supplement base efforts to
clear and haul snow from WPAFB streets and parking lots.
According to a local newspaper, Dayton’s 1977-1978
snowfall totalled 62.7 inches, bettering the 1976.1977
winter total of 38.8 inches. Both years set new records for
the Dayton area.
The 2750th Logistics Squadron earned the Air Force
Outstanding Unit Award for “exceptionally meritorious
service” for the period from April I, 1977 to March 3 I,
1978. The squadron was honored specifically for sustaining
vital base functions during the January 26, 1978 blizzard.

THE 1980s AND BEYOND spent on construction, supplies, equipment, and services in
support of Wright-Patterson’s mission in 1982. Another $60
Today Wright-Patterson is one of the nation‘s most im- million in military contracts-mostly for research and de-
portant military installations. It is the headquarters for a velopment of sophisticated military hardware-was divid-
vast, worldwide logistics system and is a major research ed among 30 Dayton-area contractors by various divisions
and development center for the United States Air Force. and laboratories at Wright-Patterson.
More than 85 organizations, representing several different Clearly, Wright-fitterson is “big business” for local
Air Force commands and a host of Department of Defense communities. The base has traditionally played a signiti-
organizations, are located at Wright-Patterson. cant role in the Dayton-area economy. It has acted as a
By many measures, Wright-Wtterson is the largest, stabilizing force during years of recession in the auto and
most diverse, and organizationally complex base in the Air housing industries, and provided stimulation to the local
Force. Civilian visitors compare the base to a large indus- economy during periods of increased government spending
trial park with city-like characteristics. And the base is for military hardware and research.
steeped in tradition. It has been a leader in military aviation Wright-Patterson stands out among U.S. Air Force
development from the open cockpit era of the Wright broth- bases in many ways. It is the home of the United States Air
ers to today’s aerospace age. Force Museum, recognized as the largest and most com-
From any perspective, Wright-Patterson’s vital statistics pletc military aviation museum in the world. It is also the
are impressive. It encompasses 8,176 acres of land in home of the Air Force Institute of Technology and the
Montgomery and Greene Counties, Ohio, with approx- Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management,
imately I.600 buildings on base plus more than 2,300 which provide professional education for Air Force and
family housing units. The fixed capital assetsof WPAFB in Department of Defense personnel and for military and
March 1982 totalled $463583,872, consisting of real es- civilian representatives of foreign nations. Wright-Patterson
tate, utilities and ground improvements, and facilities at has the third largest medical center in the Air Force. one 01
eight locations within Kentucky and Ohio. six regional centers serving more than 40.000 family mem-
More than 30,000 people are employed at Wright-Patter- bers of Department of Defense active duty and military
son, making the base the fifth largest employer in Ohio and retirees throughout the northeastern and north central Unit-
the largest employer at a single location. Included in that ed States.
figure are about 16,Mx) Department of the Air Force civil- The host organization for Wright-Patterson AFB is the
ian employees, 8,000 military, and an additional 6,MlO 2750th Air Base Wing. In addition to providing base sup-
service and contractor employees. Nearly one of every port, the 2750th also operates the largest aircraft tire stor-
eleven people employed in the greater Dayton area works at age and distribution depot in the Air Force. About 50
,Wright-Patterson. The fiscal year 1982 payroll to Wright- percent of the tires and tubes distributed DOD-wide are
Patterson employees amounted to $636 million--equiv- shipped annually from WPAFB. The 2750th ABW also
alent to more than $1.7 million in salaries per day. offers Wright-Patterson military members and civilian em-
The work force payroll is only one indicatorofthe base’s ployees one of the largest Morale, Welfare, and Recreation
impact on the Dayton-area economy. The importance of the (MWR) programs in the Air Force. Annual revenue from
area defense industry to southwest Ohio is also reflected in the program’s I2 branches and clubs grossed $13. I million
dollars spent by the base on local purchases in the com- in FY 1982. The Wright-Patterson AFB Aero Club, which
munity and in the large flow of government contracts to operates as a function of the MWR program, is the largest
local business. In the greater-Dayton area, $53 million was and one of the most successful in the Air Force.

340
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB AERO CLUB

The Wright-&%erson AFB Aem Club is one of the


oldest aero clubs in the Air Force, having been an active
organization on base since the late 194%. The dub can also
boast that it is one of the largest, the most modem, and the
safest in the Air Force. With over 400 members and 19
aircraft, the club flew a total of 10,240 accident-free hours
in 1982.
The primmy purpose of the Aem Club is to make gener-
al aviation flying available to Air Force military and civilian
personnel and their families. Many club members,
however, also use Aem Club aircraft during temporary duty
(TDY) assignments rather than travel by commercial air-
lines. In addition to saving money for the government, such
Wright-htterson’s greatest resource is its people, who flights offer convenience for the traveler and a way to log
possess a wide range of highly capable skills. Wtight- additional flying hours.
The “largest” and %ost modem” aspects of the organi-
Patterson employees likewise constitute a significant re-
zation date fmm the 1980 Aero Club campaign to increase
sauce far surrounding local communities. When not work-
membership and expand its fleet. The club accomplished
ing at theirjobs on base, many serve as elected non-partisan both aims with tremendous success. Membership increased
officials in the communities where they reside, serve on by nearly 70 percent, and the club inventory was expanded
school boards and other committees, teach as adjunct pro- with the purchase of 12 new aircraft from the Piper Aircraft
fessors at area universities, save as technical advisors to Corporation. This sale represented not only the largest new
local governmental bodies and industry, and contribute aircraft acquisition in Air Force aero club history, but also
generously of their time, expertise, and financial resources the largest block sale ever made by Piper to a govemment-
to numerous charitable and community service programs. affiliated club.
In addition to their personal commitments and activities,
WPAFB employees collectively donate more than $1 mil-

342
343
Youthparticipantsuftk t!xL?DomesticA&m summerencampment

lion to the Combined Federal Campaign each year, which


helps to support some 147 private and community agencies
locally and nationally.
As an Air Force installation, Wright-F%tterson itself is
I
also closely involved in community affairs. Annually, the
i base supports the Dayton International Airshow and Trade
Exposition at Cox lntemational Airport, a Fire Expo on
c WPAFB which attracts exhibitors of fire-fighting apparatus
and safety equipment, and AFROK summer Field Train-
ing Encampments for students representing colleges and
I universities throughout the nation. The base maintams
close relations with a wide range of educational Institutions.
I
The University of Dayton, Sinclair Community College,
Central Michigan University, and Park College (main cam-
pus in Parkville, Missouri) offer degree programs on base
from the associate to the masters degree level. Represen-
tatives from many other colleges associated with the
I
Dayton-Miami Valley Consortium of Colleges and Univer-
sities, including Wright State University, the University of
; Dayton, Wittenberg University, Central State University,
Wilberforce University, and Sinclair Community College,
l
provide registration services and courses on base for mi!i-
1 tary and civilian personnel. Youth employment programs
for local high school and college students are coordinated
by the base Equal Employment Opportunity Office. Addi-
tionally, the base participates in cooperative education pro-
grams with about 30 colleges and universities nationwide.
/ Locally, co-op programs are conducted with many of the
universities mentioned above.
Wright-Patterson provides camping facilities for area
Boy Scout and Girl Scout councils and from time to time
hosts regional scouting “jamborees.” Other community
activities supported periodically by the base include the
Greater-Dayton Soapbox Derby. civilian fly-ins, visits by
civic officials from other Air Force base communities, and
various sports tournaments. The base also promotes and
supports the Junior ROTC and Civil Air Patrol programs in
local high schools. The Air Force Museum is especially
noted for hosting a wide variety of special programs
throughout the year, including symposiums, band concerts,
film festivals, guest lectures, and hot air balloon rallies.

344
345
The most important community associations the base I
holds are with government and civic leaders in the sur-
rounding communities. Base representatives meet reg-
ularly with local officials to exchange ideas on such issues
as airport zoning, proposed highway systems, citizen con-
cerns, and other subjects of mutual interest. To carry ant its
mission effectively, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base must
depend upon healthy relations and efficient communica-
tions among the base and its immediate neighbors.
For the remainder of the 198Os, Wright-Fatterson faces
many challenges. New facilities must be constructed to
accommodate modem Air Force programs. Current base
facilities mut be maintained and actively upgraded to meet
the changing needs of a modem Air Force installation with
many specialized associate organizations.
By June 1982, construction was underway on a $115.3
million addition to the USAF Medical Center Wright-
Patterson (scheduled for completion in 1987). Also under

346
construction were a major addition to the Biotechnology the same: rising costs, aging facilities, and the mandate to
Laboratory of the Air Force Aerospace Medical Research spend public monies wisely and effectively.
Laboratory. and two new dormitories and a modem gym- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base looks to the future with
nasium for the Kittyhawk Center. optimism. Wright-Patterson represents a tremendous in-
Other new facilities under consideration for the re- vestment, not only in terms of physical plant, but also in
mainder of the decade include a Logistics Air Freight terms of technical skills and knowledge. It is these skills
F’roccssingFacility to replace the existing air freight termi- and a dedication to exccllencc that have earned Wright-
nal, the third and final phase of the ASD Materials Labora- Patterson its reputation as a significant force in America’s
I tory complex. a Base Conference Center, a Base Hetitage national defense for over 65 years. The legacy of the Wright
Center, additional dormitories in the Kittyhawk Center, and brothers is part of day-to-day lift at Wright-Patterson. It is a
a major addition to the U.S. Air Force Museum. legacy which the employees of the base consider a proud
Base ofticials also face many familiar challenges in the part of their heritage. It is also an enduring foundation for
19x0s. Their overall goal remains the same today as it has the role that Wright-Patterson will continue to play in the
been in the past: to provide the support necessary to man- future of the U.S. Air Force and in the life of the Miami
tain Air Force readiness. The challenges are also essentially Valley.
WADC/WADD Digital Collection at the Galvin Library, IIT

From Huffman Prairie To The Moon


The History of Wright-Patterson Air force Base

From Huffman Prairie To The Moon - was divided into twelve parts due to
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have included a page to facilitate access to the other parts. In addition we
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To continue on to the next part of this document, click here

This document, along with WADC/WADD technical reports, and further


Research materials are available from Wright Air Development Center
Digital Collection at the Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology at:

http://www.gl.iit.edu/wadc