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Dow Air Force Base

Shield Strategic Air Command.png

Part of Strategic Air Command
Located near: Bangor, Maine
USGS 1996 Aerial Photo
Type Air Force Base
Coordinates 44°48′26″N 068°49′41″W / 44.80722°N 68.82806°W / 44.80722; -68.82806
Built 1927
In use 1953-1968
Dow AFB is located in Maine
Location of Dow Air Force Base, Maine
For the civil use of this facility and airport information, see Bangor International Airport

Dow Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force base that was under the operational control of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) for most of its existence.



Bangor International Airport began as "Godfrey Field" in 1927, on land owned by local attorney Edward Rawson Godfrey (1877–1958). Commercial flights began at the field in 1931 under Northeast Airlines. Just prior to the Second World War Godfrey Field was taken over by the US Army Air Corps and became the Bangor Army Air Field. Its mission was to serve as an embarkation point for military aircraft flying to Europe on the Great Circle Route. The name was changed to Dow Army Field in 1942.

F-84G Thunderjets from the 14th Fighter Group

In 1947, when the newly formed US Air Force took control, it became Dow Air Force Base and part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC). In 1958, the longest runway east of the Mississippi was constructed at Dow AFB in order to accommodate B-52 Stratofortress bombers — the same runway that accommodates jet passenger aircraft today. In addition to strategic bombers, Dow was home to the 14th Fighter Group and 101st Fighter Interceptor Wing of the Maine Air National Guard. The 101st later converted to an air refueling mission, was renamed the 101st Air Refueling Wing (101 ARW) and still shares space with the airport today. Flying the Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker as an Air National Guard unit, the 101 ARW is operationally gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC).



Dow AFB was closed as an active duty Air Force installation in 1968 but most of the base was purchased by the city and reopened the following year as Bangor International Airport. That portion of Dow AFB not turned over to the city became the basis for the current Air National Guard Base and the Maine Army National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility.

Units Based at Dow Air Force Base

World War II

Cold War

Planes based here

Missiles based here


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office 1961 (republished 1983, Office of Air Force History, ISBN 0-912799-02-1).
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.

External links


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