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    Amarillo Army Air Field (Amarillo AFB)  Texas United States
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USAAF February 1944

Location
Amarillo Army Air Field was located eleven miles east of Amarillo in the panhandle of Texas in the United States. Also known as Amarillo Air Force Base or Amarillo AFB.

Construction
During 1942, a 1,523 acre parcel of land adjacent to English Airfield a commercial airport was selected as the site for a military airfield.

Wartime History
Amarillo Airfield was activated in April 1942 for use by the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) with Col. Edward C. Black as the first Commanding Officer (C. O.) with a contingent of troops. During May 1942 formally named "Amarillo Army Air Field" as one of the largest bases in Western Technical Training Command.

During September 1942 with the airfield only half completed, the first instructional classes were initiated for air crews and ground crew and mechanics for the B-17 Flying Fortress. During 1945 training was begun for B-29 Superfortress bombers until the end of World War II. On September 15, 1946 the airfield was closed.

Postwar
During March 1951, reactivated by the U. S. Air Force (USAF) as Amarillo Air Force Base (Amarillo AFB) as the first jet mechanic training base. In December 1951, the first students arrived with a peak of training of 3,500 by 1953 and 1954. A special training class was held for B-47 Stratojet. The peak student capacity was 5,000 by the late 1950s.

In 1956, Amarillo was used for technical second phase training. In 1957 for missile-training began with a Strategic Air Command (SAC) wing at the base and the next year supply and administration school. In 1959 redesignated Amarillo Technical Training Center for the 4128th Strategic Air Wing.

By May 1960 the jet-mechanic school had graduated 100,000 students. In February 1966 with the formation of the 3330th Basic Military School. In 1964 the base was to be closed. By 1967 facilities covered 5,273 acres and had about 16,300 personnel with the last class graduating at the end of 1968.

Today
On September 2, 1970, Texas State Technical Institute opened a branch at this location. On May 17, 1971 the Amarillo Air Terminal opened at this location.

References
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal “Air Vets Get Lumpy Throats” February 20, 1944 page 18
AP "Veterans Attend Reunion" Sgt Theo Davies Sgt John R. Garbutt February 20, 1944
Texas State Historical Association (TSHS) Amarillo Air Force Base
Texas Air & Space Museum - Amarillo Field
Amarillo "40 years gone: Air base once thrived" by Kevin Welch November 22, 2009

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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