- 9,99 €
Since November 1941, Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma has trained America's military aviators to fly for the United States. Today, Vance is home to the U.S. Air Force's only Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training program as well as instructing the Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals course. In all, the wing trains more than 410 Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and allied student pilots each year.
Once home to bellowing herds of cattle making their way along the old Chisholm Trail, Vance Air Force Base has a history of training military pilots that dates back to 1941. The official history of the base began one hot August day in 1941 when a group of Army engineers stood looking at a wheat field five miles south of Enid. The site had been winnowed from many other perspective locations after exhaustive surveys. One of the engineers turned to the group and said, "All right men. Let's get busy. We've an airfield to build."
The airplane saw its first use as a major weapon system during World War I and the potential of airpower was a popular topic in magazines and journals in the 1920s and 1930s. Both Germany and Japan began using airpower in combat as early as 1936. By the time France fell to Hitler's Luftwaffe in mid-1940, US national defense was a growing priority and President Franklin D. Roosevelt had an unprecedented $2.5 Billion request for funding the Army Air Corps in front of Congress.
The 84-Group Expansion Plan cleared Congress in March 1941 and provided funding for 20 new flying fields including one near Enid, Oklahoma, to train more than 50,000 pilots a year. The original Enid Army Flying School developed from an idea, to a plan put into motion by Enid leaders, to actual construction, and the completion of construction and the official opening of the school. A few far-sighted members of the Enid Chamber of Commerce recognized the benefits of having a military installation in the community. Enid's Mayor and the head of the Chamber of Commerce formed a committee to find and secure the necessary land for a new military installation.
Did you know: Cadet Ralph Baker reported to Enid Army Air School in 1942 for training with Class 43-B. The surprised 1936 Enid High School graduate had farmed the acreage where his pilot training was to take place. While he was in basic infantry training, his parents Ralph and Violette Baker sold their 320-acre farm for $60,000 to the Army to increase the size of the airfield. After earning his wings, Baker flew in the China-Burma-India Theater including 70 missions "over the hump."