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Reese Air Force Base

Airtrainingcommand-patch.jpg

Part of Air Training Command (ATC)
Located near Lubbock, Texas
Reese-11jan1996.jpg
Reese AFB- 11 January 1996
Type Air Force Base
Coordinates 33°35′25″N 102°02′12″W / 33.5902778°N 102.0366667°W / 33.5902778; -102.0366667Coordinates: 33°35′25″N 102°02′12″W / 33.5902778°N 102.0366667°W / 33.5902778; -102.0366667
Built 1941
In use 1941-1997
Controlled by United States Air Force
Garrison Air Training Command
Occupants 64th Flying Training Wing (1 Oct 1972 - 30 Sep 1997)
Reese AFB is located in Texas
Reese AFB
Location of Reese Air Force Base, Texas
Oblique Photo of Lubbock AFB, looking east to west, November, 1949

Reese Air Force Base (IATA: 8XS8) was a base of the United States Air Force located 6 mi west of Lubbock, Texas, about 225 mi WNW of Fort Worth. The base's primary mission throughout its existence was pilot training.

The base was closed 30 September 1997 after being selected for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 1995.

Contents

History

The base was named in honor of 1st Lt Augustus Frank Reese Jr. (1917-1943) , of Shallowater, Texas on 5 November 1949.

Lieutenant Reese, assigned to the 1st Fighter Group, was killed on 14 May 1943 near Cagliari , Sardinia, when his Lockheed P-38 Lightning struck the ground after a strafing run on a train.

Previous Names

  • Air Corps Advanced Flying School, Lubbock, 11 Aug 1941
  • Lubbock Army Flying School, 6 Feb 1942
  • Lubbock Army Airfield, 26 Apr 1943
  • Lubbock Air Force Base, 13 Jan 1948.

Major Units Assigned

  • 83d Air Base Gp, 1 Aug 1941 - 6 Nov 1941
  • 84th Air Base Sq, 6 Nov 1941 - 10 Jun 1942
  • 84th Base HQ and Air Base Sq, 10 Jun 1942 - 1 May 1944
  • 2526th AAF Base Unit, 1 May 1944 - 31 Dec 1945
  • 3500th Pilot Training Wing, 1 Aug 1949 - 15 Jul 1963
  • 3500th Air Base Gp, 15 Jul 1963 - 1 Oct 1972
  • 64th Flying Training Wing, 1 Oct 1972 - 30 Sep 1997

Major Commands Assigned

  • Gulf Cont Air Corps Training Center, Jun 1941 - 23 Jan 1942
  • Air Corps Flying Training Command , 23 Jan 1942 - 15 Mar 1942
  • AAF Flying Trraining Command, 15 Mar 1942 - 31 Jul 1943
  • AAF Training Comd, 31 Jul 1943 - 31 Dec 1945

Operational History

Construction of the Air Corps Advanced Flying School began in 1941 on land located about 10 miles (15 km) west of the city of Lubbock. The school name changed to the Lubbock Army Flying School before the first class of aviation cadets reported. The official dedication of the base took place on 21 June 1942.

The Army Air Corps Advanced Flying School opened in early 1942, with flying commencing from the new airfield on 8 February 1942. Construction continued for over two years of base facilities, being finally completed in mid-1944. During World War II, the school trained 7,008 pilots. At the end of the War, many active military bases were no longer needed, so the War Department closed the base on 31 December 1945.

During the post-war years, the base was used as a meeting place for National Guard, Air Reserve, and Naval Reserve units.

World events preceding the Korean War caused the reactivation of the base on 1 August 1949. The T-33, a single-engine jet, was the only training aircraft at Reese from January 1959 until the T-37 arrived in March 1961. The supersonic T-38 became the basic trainer in 1963 to permit qualification of pilots for quicker transition to larger and faster aircraft. From March 1965 to June 1973, a military version of the Cessna 172, the T-41 , was used. Reese began using the first operational instrument flight simulator in August 1977.

The base became a focal point for national media in the late 1970s, when the Crown Prince Of Iran began his military flight training at the base, in 1979. His residence in the South Plains was cut short several months later, however, with the deposition of his father, The Shah Of Iran. The Crown Prince, as a security measure, was returned to his homeland under cover of night.

Reese AFB was also home to the very first female USAF pilot trainees, during the same era. The T-1A Jayhawk, the first new training aircraft to be added to the U.S. Air Force inventory in 30 years, arrived at Reese on 18 January 1992.

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission indicated the base for closure in 1995, and the base was finally closed in 1997.

Air Traffic Control Tower at Reese Air Force Base following the closure of the base, February, 2002

Current Status

Currently, the city of Lubbock has designated it as a business park. There is an office of the police academy there, and South Plains College uses some of the facilities for classes. The Reese Technology Center is also located on the site of the former base. In addition, the runways are used by model airplane pilots. It recently hosted "Jetfest", an event centered around model jet airplanes. The base is also unique in that it has a football field and track on its premises.

See also

References

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

External links


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