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    Fairfield-Suisun Airfield (Travis AFB) California United States

Location
Fairfield Airfield is located at Fairfield, California. During 1942-1947 known as "Fairfield Airfield", "Fairfield Field" or "Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base", "Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base" (Fairfield-Suisun AFB) from 1947-1951 and finally Travis Air Force Base (Travis AFB) in 1951 onward.

Construction
Built during June 1942. Its proximity to rail, highway, and water transportation plus proximity to San Francisco made the base important for logistical support for the Pacific War Zone.

Wartime History
Starting in the autumn of 1942, used by the 4th Air Force as a medium bomber base. Also, United States Navy (USN) aircraft practiced at Fairfield. For a few months, the outline of the deck of an aircraft carrier was painted on one runway to practice carrier landings.

On October 13, 1942, the U. S. War Department assigned the base to the Air Transport Command (ATC). On May 10, 1943 U. S. Army Air Force personel from the 914th Quartermaster Division based at Hamilton Field to prepaire the base. On May 17, 1943, ATC officially activated Fairfield-Suisun AAB and activated the 23rd Ferrying Group (Transport Group) on May 29, 1943. The airfield was to ferry aircraft and supplies to the Pacific Theater. The base's first commander was Lt Col. Arthur Stevenson. By the end of World War II, Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base had become the West Coast's largest airfield.

Postwar
Fairfield was used to transport troops and supplies for the occupation of Japan and later the Korean War. After the establishment of the USAF, the base was renamed Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base (Fairfield-Suisun AFB). On 1 June 1948, the Military Air Transport Service assumed jurisdiction of the base.

Naming Honors
On April 20, 1951 the base was renamed Travis Air Force Base (Travis AFB) in honor of Brigadier General Robert F. Travis, who was killed on August 5, 1950 when a B-29 Superfortress he was command pilot crashed 5 minutes after takeoff, killing General Travis and 18 others aboard. Although the aircraft was carrying a Mark 4 nuclear weapon, the bomb's plutonium pit was carried aboard another aircraft, rendering a nuclear explosion impossible. However, the 5000 lbs. of high explosives in the weapon exploded about twenty minutes after the crash.

Today
Used as a United States Air Force (USAF) air base under the operational control of the Air Mobility Command (AMC). Airport codes: IATA: SUU, ICAO: KSUU, FAA LID: SUU.

Travis Air Force Base Museum / Jimmy Doolittle Air & Space Museum
Located at Travis AFB

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

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