Sheppard Air Force Base
Located near the parking lot at the main entrance of the base.
GPS 33-degrees 57' 50.3 N -98-degrees 30' 44.2" W.
In July 1940, the U.S. Army Air Corps evaluated Call Field, a former World War I flight training base, as a potential site for a technical training school. That site was not available. However, Kell Field was a viable alternative and the local chamber of commerce led an effort to purchase tracts of land adjoining Kell Field. On April 17, 1941, the new installation was named Sheppard Field, in honor of U.S. Senator Morris Sheppard, who had died eight days earlier.
On June 19, 1941, the War Department approved a dual training mission for Sheppard Field. Along with its Aviation Mechanics School, Sheppard also served as a basic training center. After the U. S. entered World War II on December 7, 1941, the frequency and length of training classes continued to grow dramatically to accommodate thousands of aviation mechanics.
In September 1942, Sheppard Field received a Glider Mechanic School and later started a glider classification school for pilots. This was followed by the airfield’s first flight training courses in 1944. In October 1945, Sheppard Field reached a peak strength of 46,000 personnel, while serving as an Army Air Forces separation center. On August 31, 1946, the War Department placed Sheppard on inactive status. Nearly two years later, on August 1, 1948, Sheppard Field opened again in response to the Cold War, becoming a permanent air force base two years later.
In 1955, the U.S. Air Force made Sheppard the primary training center for the Atlas Ballistic Missile System. The base also became the prime center for the Jupiter and Thor intermediate range ballistic missiles, as well as the Titan Intercontinental ballistic missile until the mid-1980s. Additional Cold War missions included a B-52 bomber wing of the Strategic Air Command, a helicopter flying training air training command, and the Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) program.
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