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    Howard Field  Panama

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MSgt Karr c44-45

Location
Located 6 miles southwest of Balboa, at the southern end of the Panama Canal near the Pacific Ocean. Most of the area around it an uninhabited area, part of the Panama Canal Zone watershed. Located adjacent to Fort Kobbe.

Construction
Built during 1942 and dedication on March 1, 1942. On December 1, 1939, named "Howard Field" in honor of Major Charles H. Howard, who flew in Panama in the late 1920s and died in a crash on October 25, 1936.

Wartime History
US Army troops arrived on May 15, 1941. This airfield was used for fighters and bombers. During the war, APO 832.

American units based at Howard Field
31st FS ? - March 25, 1944 to USA
3rd BS (B-24) David Field April 6, 1944 - ?
29th BS (B-24) Galapagos April 10, 1944 -
16th Air Base Group, 15 May 1941—c. June 1943
44 Reconnaissance Squadron, 8 July-27 October 1941
15th Air Base Squadron, 15 May 1941-1 October 1945
6th AF, 7 Reconnaissance Squadron (B-17, B-18) Nov 26 - Dec 11, 1941 David Field
59th Bombardment Squadron, 28 October-11 December 1941
397th Bombardment Squadron, 26 November-10 December 1941
51th Pursuit Squadron, 10–23 December 1941
53d Fighter Group, 1 January-26 November 1942
72nd Observation Group, 18 January 1942-1 November 1943
40th Bombardment Group, June 16, 1942 - September 16, 1942 Albrook Field
20th Troop Carrier Squadron, February 19, 1942 - June 9, 1943
37th Fighter Group, 20 September 1942-1 November 1943
6th Bombardment Group, 14 January-1 November 1943
40th Bombardment Group, 2–16 June 1943
43nd Fighter Squadron, 9 February-6 April 1944; 29 August 1944-10 January 1945
51st Fighter Squadron, 10 June 1944-15 October 1946
32nd Fighter Squadron (P-38) January 10, 1945 - October 15, 1946
28th Fighter Squadron, 25 September 1945-15 October 1946
30th Fighter Squadron, 25 September 1945-15 October 1946

Postwar
Deactivated on January 1, 1950, the base was turned over to the US Army. The Air Force continued to use the area for joint training exercises during the 1950s and by December 1961 all US Air Force flight operations in Panama relocated to Howard.

On October 1, 1963 the Air Force officially reclaimed Howard from the Army and the base played a central role in US military operations in Latin America ever since, largely due to its 8500' runway and its status as the only jet capable American air field south of the Rio Grande.

Today
Closed November 1, 1999 and turned over to the Panamanian government. Developed into commercial real estate, known as "Panama Pacifico". Much of the base is today used to house call centers for technology companies, including Dell Computer.

References
Panama Pacifico - official website
Alae Supra Canalem page 186

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

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