Presentation on theme: "Pueblo Army Airbase 1942 - 1946 Training Defenders of Freedom And Democracy During WWII."— Presentation transcript:
Pueblo Army Airbase 1942 - 1946 Training Defenders of Freedom And Democracy During WWII
Table of contents I.World context II.National Context III.PAAB 1942 IV.PAAB 1943 V.PAAB 1944 VI.PAAB 1945 VII.PAAB After WWII VIII.Lasting Effects of PAAB IX.PAAB Remembered Practice formation over PAAB
World Stage Pueblo Army Air Base would not exist until after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; however, the nature of its purpose was defined long before WWIi even began The root causes of what was to become known as World War II were complex and imbedded in both economic and sociologic problems around the world. nationalistic dreams, religious fears, overcrowded regions, and economic needs began planting the seeds of conflict long before the realities of war would sprout and put cities upon cities on the map of military conquest.
Rise of Dictators Joseph Stalin Used Five-year plans to turn the Soviet Union into The worlds second-largest industrial world power surpassed only by the United States between 1928-1937. Purged those who threatened his power and by 1939 had established a totalitarian state that exerted complete control over its citizens. Rose to power in 1924 after Communist leader V.I. Lenin died.
Benito Mussolini 1921 Established the Fascist Party. October 1922 Marched on Rome with thousands of Black Shirts (his followers). Government officials, the Army and the Police force sided with him….so the Italian King stepped down and appointed Mussolini the head of the Government. Established a Fascist state and began allying Italy with Germany….then began territorial conquests.
Adolf Hitler 1919 Joined the NAZI Party in Germany…quickly rose to the top of the party. Applied principles laid out in his book Mein Kampf to form Nazism. Components of Nazism: Extreme Nationalism…Wanted to Unite all German-speaking people in a Great German Empire. Racial Purification….necessary to allow the Aryan race (AKA The master Race) the opportunity to rule the world. National Expansion…to establish Lebensraum (Living Space) for the German people.
Hideki Tojo Became Prime Minister of Japan in October of 1941. His rise to power marked the success of the Militaristic faction in Japan. He soon developed a totalitarian government in Japan. One goal during WWII was to expand territory that belonged to the Empire of Japan to create living space for the Japanese people. He was the most powerful government leader in Japan during WWII and approved the attack on Pearl Harbor as well as attacks in China, South East Asia and the Pacific.
National Context The United States moved cautiously away from neutrality September 1939: Cash-and-carry provision passed which allowed the U.S. to sell arms to Warring nations (Britain and France) as long as they paid cash and transported the goods on their own ships. 1940: President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to increase spending for national defense. 1940: President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked congress to pass the countries first peacetime military draft called the Selective Training and Service Act. Drafted 16 million men between the ages of 21 and 35 to serve in the western hemisphere March 1941: Lend-Lease Act was Passed which allowed the United States to lend or lease arms and supplies to any country whose defense was vital to the United States
Pearl Harbor Is Attacked December 7, 1941: A Day That Will Live in Infamy. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Japan declared war on the United States and Britain on December 8, 1941. The U.S. Senate and House Voted 470 to 1[i] to declare war on Japan, and Britain declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941. Germany and Italy declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941 and Congress replied with declarations of war.[ii] (Sisson pg. 4) [i][i] World War II Extra, (Maui News, No. 5592), Castle Books, 1999, p 81. [ii][ii] The World Almanac Book of World War II, A Bison Book, London, 1981, p 136.
Pueblo Colorado Designated a Defense Area December of 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt designated Pueblo as a defense area on December 10, 1941 creating expectations of operations, which would affect the business life of the city. It was learned on December 21 that Pueblo had definitely been selected for the location of an ammunition storage facility at North Avondale.[i] [i] The Chieftain, 125 th Commemorative Edition, May 30, 1993, p 7DD. (Sisson pg. 4)[i] On December 27, 1941 The War Department obtained 3700 acres of land through condemnation and purchases from private owners to construct the Pueblo Army Air Base (PAAB) approximately four miles east of the city limits of Pueblo.[iI] Concurrently, land was being obtained for construction of the Pueblo Ordnance Depot (POD) just north of North Avondale. [iI] Colorado Aviation Historical Society Journal, 1995 Third Edition, by Ruby Lee Ballantyne, WASP. (Sisson pg. 4)[iI]
Pueblo Army Airbase 1942 Construction began March 25, 1942 The original construction contract called for the following facilities: Housing facilities for enlisted men … 3,919 Housing facilities for Officers…… 400 Mess facilities for enlisted men ……. 4,165 Mess facilities for officers ………. 475 Hospital beds ……………………… 176 3 Runways ……………7,500 ft. Parking apron, length approx………4,000 ft. 5 Hangars, total area …68,200 SQ. Ft. Engineering Shop, area …………19,890 sq. ft. 2 A. F. Warehouses, area..48,000 sq. ft. 4 Quartermaster Warehouses, total area … 46,800 sq. ft. The total cost was in the neighborhood of $9,000,000.[i][i] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2475, Frame 1154. (Sisson pg. 4)
Function of Pueblo Army Air Base Trained Air Groups which consisted of three or four Squadrons. Each squadron consisted optimally ten airplanes with their 8-10 man air crews and ground crews. Two Types of Training took place: Tactical Groups (OUTs): Trained together at Pueblo Army Air Base and then rotated to WWII theaters of operation mostly in Europe. Training Groups: Trained together and remained in the United States for the purpose of training replacement crews that could be utilized wherever needed.
Units Who Trained at Pueblo Army Air Base TRAINING: 302 nd BG(H) (30 Sept. 1942 to 30 Nov. 1942[i]), with B-24s; including 355, 356, 357, 420 Bomb Squadrons[ii]. This Group was a training Group only, and did not rotate to an overseas assignment. A new 506 Bomb Squadron was formed at PAAB by transferring personnel from the 302 BG. The 506 BS would train with the 308 BG, and upon the completion of training would be transferred to the 44 th Bomb Group, of the 8 th Air Force based in Shipdham, England. (Sisson pg. 2)[i][ii] [i] Air Force Combat Units of World War II, USAF Historical Division, p 174. [ii] Special Order No. 167, HQ Army Air Base, Wendover field, Utah, Sept. 26, 1942. PHAS # [ii] TACTICAL: 308 th BG(H) (28 Nov.1942-2/8 Feb. 43); with B-24s; including 373, 374, 375, and 425 Bomb Squadrons[i]. (Sisson pg. 2)[i] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2475, Frame 1167. [i] TACTICAL: 94 th BG(H) (Jan.-April 1943) with B-17s; including 331, 332, 333, and 410 Bomb Squadrons. [i] (Sisson pg. 2) [i] [i] Air Force Combat Units of World War II, USAF Historical Division, p 163. TACTICAL: 351 st BG(H) (1 Mar. 1943 to 12 April 1943) with B-17s; including 508, 509, 510, and 511 Bomb Squadrons. [i] (Sisson pg. 2)[i] [i] Air Force Combat Units of World War II, USAF Historical Division, p 231 [i] TACTICAL: 381 st BG(H) (5 April 1943 to 9 May 1943) with B-17s; including 532, 533, 534, and 535 Bomb Squadrons. [i] (Sisson pg. 3)[i] [i] Air Force Combat Units of World War II, USAF Historical Division, p 269. [i] TRAINING: 400 th BG(H) (2 May 1943 to 30 Jul 1943) with B-24s; including 608, 609, 610, 611 Bomb Squadrons. [i] (Sisson pg. 3)[i] [i] Air Force Combat Units of World War II, USAF Historical Division, p 285.[i]
Groups Who Trained at Pueblo Army Air Base Continued TRAINING: 471 st BG(H) ( 7 May, 1943 to 27 January, 1944[i]) (3 June 1943[ii]- )[i][ii] with B-24s; Converted to TACTICAL including 804, 805, 806, 807 Bomb Squadrons. [iii] (Sisson pg 3)[iii] [i] Air Force Combat Units of World War II, USAF Historical Division, p 345. [i] [ii] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2475, Frame 1490. [ii] [iii] Air Force Combat Units of World War II, USAF Historical Division, p 345. [iii] TACTICAL: 491 st BG(H)(1/12/44[i] to 4/18/44[ii] ), Air Echelon, with B-24s; including 852, 853, 854, 855 Bomb Squadrons. (Sisson pg. 3)[i][ii] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2476, Frame 0944. [i] [ii] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2476, Frame 1769. [ii] TACTICAL: 8 th Chinese BG(H), (3 August 1944 to May 5, 1945) with B-24s. Sisson pg. 3) TACTICAL: 466 th BG(VH)[i], (25 July 1945-15 August 1945[ii]) with B-29s. (Sisson pg. 3)[i][ii] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2479, Frame 0012.[i] [ii] The World Almanac Book of World War II, A Bison Book, London, 1981, p 342.
Planes Used For Training Purposes At Pueblo Army Air Base
Pueblo army Air Base 1942 Kenton Russell Darr, after having graduated from Centennial High School, was hired to build the air base. He was one of many civilians who was hired to do this. Darr went on to fly B- 24s completing 30 missions over Germany during WWII. He is now a volunteer at the Weisbrow Airplane Museum which stands on the site of the Pueblo Army Air Base. (sission pg. 6) August 16, 1942: Pueblo Army Airbase Band was activated (Sisson pg. 7) Imelda Kiff, a teacher from Fountain grade school wrote The Pueblo Army Air Base March: All Hail Pueblo Air Base, you men have courage true. Your country stands behind you, in everything you do. Were fighting for our nation, the greatest one of all, She needs cooperation, so answer to her call.[I] (sisson pg. 7) [i] Pueblo Chieftain, by Ron Martinez. PHAS # 5011.[i] Imelda and husband Dewitt often performed the song at nightclubs in downtown Pueblo
Pueblo Army Air Base 1942 Continued August 28, 1942: The first train load of soldiers arrived at PAAB. This is said to be the date that the base became operational. (Sisson pg. 9) On Sept. 8, the 369 th Sub-Depot, with civilian employees, was established[i]. Its purpose was to supply and maintain the Liberator bombers so that crews would receive the maximum training required. By February 1943, a number of shops were completed, including the parachute building, gas refueling system, engine- cleaning, and reclamation departments.The Signal Section was responsible for repair and maintenance of all radio equipment in the Liberators. The Armament Department, established in November, 1942, was responsible for servicing machine guns, power turrets, bombing equipment, automatic pilots and bombsights.[iii] (Sisson pg 9)[i][iii] [i][i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2475, Frame 1197. [ii][ii] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2476, Frame 0944. [iii][iii] Pueblo Star-Journal & Chieftain, Victory Edition, Tuesday, May 8, 1945.
Pueblo Army Airbase 1942 Continued The Post Exchange opened for business on September 29. 1942.[i][i] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2475, Frame 1157.
Pueblo Army Airbase 1942 continued September 30, 1942: The first planes to be stationed at PAAB arrived, flying in formation.[i] They were under the command of Tactical Group Commander Lt. Col. Joseph J. Nazarro. This was the 302 nd Bomb Group of B-24s. The colonels staff immediately moved into base operations offices. (Sisson pg. 10)[i] October 1, 1942: Opening date for the base hospital. By 1945, it was staffed with 17 medical officers, 12 dentists, and 14 nurses. It had 8 ambulances, operating roms and dental, eye, ear, and throat clinics. (Sisson pg. 11) October 1, 1942: Control Tower opened
Pueblo Army airbase 1942 Continued October 22, 1942: The Air-Scoop, the base newspaper began publication with Volume 1, Issue No. 1. The newspapers name was selected through a contest, won by Cpl. Thomas Walsh, who received a five dollar check for his submission.[i] The paper would be published weekly by the Star-Journal Publishing Corp. A review of the articles published during the life of the paper indicates that standard features included: entertainment related activities, sports related activities, presentation of awards and medals, information items related to military and dependent benefits, editorials related to duty, honor, and country; WAC-activities, band notes, theater listings, the Red Cross, orderly room blues, pill rollins, chaplains column, U.S.O., […] disease control, bomb group and service group activities. (Sisson pg. 12)[i] [i][i] The Air-Scoop, Pueblo Army Air Base, Nov. 12, 1942, p 7.
Pueblo Army airbase 1942 Continued Nov. 1942-- The armament department began operations to repair machine guns, power turrets, bombing equipment, automatic pilots and bombsights.[i] (Sisson pg. 13)[i] [i] Pueblo Star-Journal & Chieftain, Victory Edition, Tuesday, May 8, 1945. [i] In November 1942 the bombing range was constructed 10 miles south of Timpas, Colorado. Six sections of level prairie were set aside for this function; an observation tower and barracks were constructed 15 miles south of Manzanola.[i] Two thousand acres of land were purchased by the War Department for use as a gunnery range. (Sisson pg. 14)[i] [i] Pueblo Star-Journal & Chieftain, Victory Edition, Tuesday, May 8, 1945.
Pueblo Army Airbase 1942 Continued December 22, 1942: The first fatal crash occurred at the base. A three ship formation of B-24Ds from the 375 th Bomb Squadron, 308 BG, departed PAAB at about 0830 on 22 December, 1942 on a mission which included practice at formation flying, use of the bombing range and then use of the air-to- ground gunnery range. (Sisson pg. 15)
Total Officer & Enlisted 1942 DateNo.DateNo. September 1220 September 15 365November 15 3,490 September 29 753November 30 1,413 October 153,420December 15 3,416 October 313,152December 31 3,195 (Sisson pg. 17)
Pueblo Army Airbase 1943 January 23, 1943: Crash landing was made by a b-17 from PAAB at Oklahoma City after a tire had blown out on takeoff. (Sisson pg. 19) January 1943: The 52 nd AF Band was rated the best in the 2 nd Air Force. March 1, 1943: The 351st BG(H) with B-17s arrived. [i] with Lt. Col. William A. Hatcher, Jr., Commanding.[ii] The Group HQ symbol was an eagle dropping a bomb from each claw.[iii] 1st Lt. Clark Gable, already one of the most famous of film stars, (promoted to Captain before leaving the base and later to earn the rank of Major) was a member of this Group. He was assigned to the 508th Bomb Squadron. At PAAB, telephone lines were swamped with calls and it was necessary for officials to request the public to allow Gable to pursue his training unmolested. He ate at the officers mess and lived in officers quarters.[iv] (Sisson pg. 20)[i][ii][iii][iv] [i] Air Force Combat Units of World War II, USAF Historical Division, p 231 [ii][ii] The Air-Scoop, Pueblo Army Air Base, March 11, 1943, p 1 [iii][iii] The Air-Scoop, Pueblo Army Air Base, April 15, 1943, p 3 [iv][iv] Pueblo Star-Journal & Chieftain, Victory Edition, Tuesday, May 8, 1945
Pueblo Army Airbase 1943 Continued: Segregation at PAAB Colored soldiers at Pueblo Army Air Base served in a period of time when the armed forces practiced segregation. Prior to the war, Pueblo, Colorado was not known for practicing segregation. Kay Keating[i] points out that while there were neighborhoods which attracted specific ethnic groups, partly by design of the founders of CF&I (who envisioned a multi-ethnic work force), Pueblo businesses did not as a rule practice segregation, and governmental units certainly did not do so. PAAB brought together not only the heretofore unknown military peculiarities, but also colored soldiers from across the nation. Many from southern states where segregation was the norm, but many also came from states where officially condoned segregation did not exist. For the former group, the nature of segregation they encountered in Pueblo was not a big deal, but for the latter group it was troublesome.[i] The Quartermaster Corps on base had white units and colored units. Their colored units had colored officers as well. The 94th Aviation Squadron was a colored unit without colored officers- the commissioned officer in charge was white. [ i][ i] Keating taped interview with R.J. Schults, January 25, 2001
Pueblo Army Airbase 1943 Continued June 3, 1943: Lt. Col. John A. Way II, 400th BG presented the Top Hatters insignia, The Duke, whose motto is Death at the Hands of Gentlemen. The ruby stud indicates our wealth and loyalty and contented minds. The Top Hat represents the elite of high flyers, and the tilt of our hat shows our attitude and self assurance. The monocle represents our keen insight and the white tie proves our esprit de corps. Last of all, the two dice which The Duke always has handy, indicates our willingness to pit our skill against the enemys even though the odds may be against us. (Sisson pg. 25)
Pueblo Army Airbase 1943 Continued: Top Hatter Group July 29, 1943-- This issue of the Air-Scoop was dedicated to the Top Hatter Group. The Top Hatters song, which was composed and recordings made through the good offices of Mr. Bing Crosby was featured. The lyrics are: Duke the Spook The night is calm – the sky is clear, A perfect set-up for a bombardier. Motors roar with an angry spark The big B-24s on their marks; From the ground with shrieks and wails, A ghostly figure hits the ether trails, A mascot, in a high hat and tails. Meet the gallant swell – Duke the Spook, Charming as all hell – Duke the Spook. With flowery phrase on his lips Hell annihilate those Nips when his killing smile greets the foe. Death is done in style, dont you know? Class will win and theyll give in; Youll shake the hand that shook Berlin Oh, Duke the Spook! (Sisson pg. 26)
Pueblo Army Airbase 1943 Continued: WAACs August 6, 1943: The WAACs were officially taken into the US Army and were honored at retreat ceremonies at Headquarters building of PAAB. After a brief address by Base Commander Lt. Col. Hillix, the now designated WACs marched back to their barracks as the Army band played Youre in the Army Now. 1st Lt. Alice E. Lampson became their first Commanding Officer. (Sisson pg. 28)
Pueblo Army Airbase 1943 Continued Oct. 27, 1943-- WACs on the base were presented with service ribbons denoting service in the original WAC.[i] The name of the organization had been changed from 769th WAC Post Headquarters Company to WAC Detachment on October 8, 1943.[ii] (Sisson pg. 31)[i][ii] [i][i] Pueblo Star-Journal & Chieftain, Victory Edition, Tuesday, May 8, 1945 [ii][ii] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2476, Frame ???.
Pueblo Army Airbase 1943 Continued The prominent attention accorded Gables military service did not go unnoticed by the Nazis, who placed him on their list of most wanted war criminals. Hermann Goering, the head of the luftwaffe, posted the equivalent of a $5000 reward for the Nazi flyer who would bring Gable down. If Gable was captured alive, the German pilot was also to receive a promotion and furlough with all expenses paid. [i] (Sisson pg. 35 )[i] [i] Air Classics, Vol. 23, NO 12, December 1987, Challenge Publications, Canoga Park, CA.
Pueblo Army Airbase 1944 January 6, 1944-- Nineteen ships from PAAB joined to make up a group of 100 Liberators, Flying Fortresses and pursuit planes to stage a mock battle over Colorado Springs. All flew at 20,000 feet in battle formation.[i] (Sisson pg. 36)[i] [i] Pueblo Star-Journal & Chieftain, Victory Edition, Tuesday, May 8, 1945
Pueblo Army Airbase 1944 Continued March 9, 1944: Noted war correspondent Cecil Brown is quoted in the Air-Scoop[i] reminding airmen that we are at war against Fascism. He goes on to provide a description of Fascists,...the people who caused this war. A few examples are:[i] A Fascist hates freedom for others; has contempt for the people, calls them rabble and scorns their individual rights. A Fascist thrives on hate, blind hate. He adores bigotry and prejudice. He schemes to whiplash minds into ugly snarls. A Fascist will not live in peace beside those who are unlike him, whether next door or a thousand miles away. The Fascist must sway his neighbor, -enslave him or exterminate him. The Fascist expects to do the thinking for you. (Sisson pg. 39) [i][i] The Air-Scoop, Pueblo Army Air Base, March 9, 1944
Pueblo Army Airbase 1944 Continued May 1, 1944: On the first day of May, 1944, activation of WASP fliers at the PAAB was initiated. Nine WASPs arrived at this field on that date. In the beginning of their utilization they were used as pilots of TB-26s towing targets for air to air gunnery practice. The flying of administrative personnel was then added to their duties as it relieved Army pilots of doing this when key personnel were obliged to travel by air in the performance of their responsibilities. The WASP also ferried aircraft and crews from point to point as part of their program. They were used as pilots in the Test-Hop section as well. In the opinion of the officer in charge of this group, the WASP at the base were superior as regards their ability and conduct. Officers with whom they flew had the highest regard for their personal conduct and their flying ability. (Sisson pg. 41)
Pueblo Army Airbase 1944 Continued June 29, 1944: Air Scoop[i] reported that the GI Bill recently passed by Congress provides:[i] A maximum of 52 weeks unemployment compensation at the rate of $20 per month. A guarantee of 50% (but not more than $2,000) on loans for purchase of farms, small businesses and homes, at 4% interest. A maximum of 4 years educational aid if you joined the service before age 25. $500 will be provided for tuition, plus, an assistance allowance of $50/month if single, or $75/month if married. Veterans placement service. Hospitalization, obtainable through the Veterans Administration. (Sisson pg. 45) [i][i] The Air-Scoop, Pueblo Army Air Base, June 29, 1944, p 2
Pueblo Army Airbase 1944 Continued August 3, 1944-- The first all Chinese heavy bombardment group ever to train in this country arrived at PAAB. Ten crews arrived on this date and an additional twenty three crews processed in at later dates through October. They began their training as replacement units, but were ultimately reformed to function as an Operational Training Unit Group[i]. The Commanding Officer for this group was Col. Hsu Kang Liang.[i] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2478, Frame 1114
Chinese Nationals Who Trained at PAAB in 1944
Pueblo Army Airbase 1944 Continued November 30, 1944: Base strength at the end of November was 1,120 Officers and 3,827 Enlisted Men. On 27 November, Provisional Group PB 11-25, consisting of 56 crews,[i] departed the base.[ii] The average number of airplanes assigned to this base for training purposes was 52.3. Total flying time for all sections was 7,626 hours. In Provisional Group PB 12-25, 33 American Crews had flown 3,397 hours, an average of 103 hours per crew. Two of the Chinese crews were dropped during the month, leaving 21 crews. Fifty-five crews of PB 1-26 began training November 3, 1944.[iii] (Sisson pg. 52)[i][ii][iii] [i][i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2477, Frame 1778 [ii][ii] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2477, Frame 1659 [iii][iii] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2477, Frame 1779
Pueblo Army Airbase 1944 Continued December 20, 1944-- The WASP program was deactivated.[i] (Sisson Pg. 53)[i] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2477, Frame 1816
Pueblo Army Airbase 1944 Continued Thirty three American crews of PB 12-25 completed their training on December 25, 1944. The 21 Chinese crews of this Group completed their first three months training at this station and were combined with the 10 Chinese crews from class PB 11-2 to form a new Class PB 3-31, to begin training on Jan. 2, 1945.[i][i] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2477, Frame 1831
Pueblo Army Airbase 1945 Base Strength on January 1, 1945 stood at 1,006 officers and 3,546 enlisted men. Provisional Group PB 1-26 left the base, then 230 officers and 336 enlisted men arrived to form Provisional Group PB 4-16 on 30 January, bringing the total to 1,013 officers and 3,507 enlisted men.[i] (Sisson pg. 55)[i] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2478, Frame 0072
Pueblo Army Airbase 1945 Continued April 15, 1945-- A memorial Service was held for our late President and Commander-in-Chief, Franklin D. Roosevelt.[i] (Sisson pg. 61)[i] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2478, Frame 1191
Pueblo Army Airbase 1945 Continued May 6,1945: Marked the last training flights of B-24s at the base. No further flights were made as all crews had completed their training and the preparation of the aircraft for transfer was begun.[i] (Sisson pg. 65)[i] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2478, Frame 1501
Pueblo Army Airbase 1945 Continued May 7, 1945: Germany surrendered at Eisenhowers headquarters in Reims, France. (Sisson pg. 65)
Pueblo Army Airbase 1945 Continued May 13, 1945: The WAC observed their 3rd anniversary with an Anniversary Dinner in the WAC Mess Hall. (Sisson pg. 66)
Pueblo Army Airbase 1945 Continued May of 1945: Schooling of B-29 instructor personnel in all phases of ground and flight instruction methods began to take place at PAAB. (Sisson pg. 66) B-29 Superfotress (used to drop atomic bombs in Japan)
Pueblo Army Airbase 1945 Continued August 6, 1945: the B-29 Enola Gay dropped a uranium atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Honshu. (Sisson pg. 70)
Pueblo Army Airbase 1945 Continued Pueblo Army Airbase Headquarters September 2, 1945: Japan signed surrender terms on battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. September 6, 1945: In co- operation with Pueblo Jr. College an off duty education program was initiated. The program was curtailed, when on 24 Sept. the base was informed that personnel numbers would be reduced to 500 officers and men within 20 days. By the end of the month only 25 remained enrolled.[i][i] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2479, Frame 0014. (Sisson pg. 71)
Pueblo Army Airbase 1945 Continued September 20, 1945: In its effort to induce the government to make PAAB a permanent base, the Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Army and civilian weather bureaus revealed that flying weather here ranks third in the nation as most favorable. Ninety three percent of the year offers excellent flying conditions.[i] (Sisson pg. 71)[i] [i] The Air-Scoop, Pueblo Army Air Base, September 20, 1945.
Pueblo Army Airbase 1945 Continued September 24, 1945: All flying activities and crew training was discontinued[i][i] September 27, 1945: The 2nd Air Force sliced the base manpower to 500 GIs and officers within 15 to 20 days. Civilian personnel now employed would remain. It was stated that this action had no connection with any possible post war mission for this station. The base hospital was closed- almost three years to the day it first opened shop.[ii][ii] Base Strength:31 July[iii]31 August30 Sept.[iii] Officers 444 446492 Enlisted 2,333 3,2262,409 Attached Officers 214 182 85 Enlisted 464 219180 [i][i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2479, Frame 0044. [ii][ii] The Air-Scoop, Pueblo Army Air Base, September 27, 1945. [iii] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2479, Frame 0096. (Sisson pg. 72)
Pueblo Army Airbase 1945 Continued Base Strength: December 1, 1945: 157 officers 2,240 enlisted men December 31, 1945: 78 Officers 732 enlisted men (Sisson pg. 74) Photo courtesy of Steve Parri, Ball turret Gunner.
Pueblo Army Airbase 1946 January 2, 1946:The Post Engineer report indicated that a total of 185 buildings have been put on stand- by and 24 more are now in the process of being put on stand-by. The total number of buildings on base is 329 plus a total of 36 structures, making a grand total of 365 buildings and structures. The inactivation program now in force is approximately 65 per cent complete.[i] (Sisson pg. 75)[i] [i] Historical Data PAAB, Microfilm B2479, Frame 0562.
Pueblo Army Airbase 1946 Continued Many of the buildings on the base were declared surplus and made available for purchase. This took place over a period of years. An advertisement in the Pueblo Chieftain in February, 1950 was titled: Last Call, Surplus Barracks Sale at Pueblo Air Base. It included One- 1 Story Building- 25 ft. wide by 110 ft. long. Has good 8 inch drop siding, wired for lights, has a fine heating plant, Has space for 5 nice big apartments, can be moved most anywhere. Only One, Priced to SellCost to build $12,500, only $2,250. The second part of the add was for 8-Only- 2 Story Buildings. These buildings are 30 ft. wide by 90 ft. long. There is material enough in these buildings to build 5 nice 5-room houses.------- Yours for less than $3,100. If one so chose, arrangements could be made to have the buildings left on site for Rental Purposes.[i] (Sisson pg. 75)[i] [i] Pueblo Star Journal and Sunday Chieftain, Feb. 12, 1950. PHAS 4844. Building that was purchased and removed from PAAB (Sisson pg. 75)
Pueblo Army Airbase Remembered The Pueblo Army Air Base had done its job and played an important role in preparing thousands of airmen for the task of meeting and defeating the enemies of our country. Many died in the training process. They would all have preferred to live, and if death was to come, let it be in combat with the enemy. But their contribution to victory is no less important and no less valued than had they died in Europe, North Africa, Alaska, China, or the Pacific. Most left this base with the best preparation this country could provide. They were posted all over the world, in every theater of war. To the people of Pueblo, they were OUR boys, they were our friends, brothers, uncles, cousins, fathers, and sons. We have vowed not to forget them and their contributions which effect our lives every day that we live. The women who served in that era did so in the firm belief that their efforts would help assure victory. They were right, and they too, are an important part of the history of this air base. ( Sisson pg. 75)
Pueblo Army Airbase Remembered While this ends a chapter in history, it was certainly not the end of the effect that Pueblo Army Air Base had on the city of Pueblo and its citizens. The facility left behind and the men and women who participated in its history continued to play a vital role in future development. (Sisson pg. 75)
Bibliography Sisson, Dr. R. L. (2001). Pueblo army Air Base: A Chronological History. Pueblo, Colorado: Pueblo Historical Aircraft society.