Foster Air Force Base - History - Operational History - World War II

World War II

Foster Air Force Base was established as an advanced single-engine flying school for fighter pilots six miles (10 km) northeast of Victoria, in the spring of 1941. A local funding campaign led by E. J. Dysart the previous spring had raised some $17,000 to locate the base at Victoria, Texas on a 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) site as an economic asset. Subsequent government construction cost more than $4 million. Leases were formally approved by the War Department on 4 March 1941, with construction beginning on 14 April 1941 by American-Friedman-Bitulithic Associates.

The airfield was activated on 15 May 1941 by the Air Forces Training Command. The mission of the new airfield was the training of aviation cadets in the advanced phase of flying training. Foster was assigned to the AAF Gulf Coast Training Center, with the Army Air Force Pilot School (Advanced Single-Engine) activated (phase 3 pilot training). In this phase, the cadets flew fighters and fighter-bombers. Pilot wings were awarded upon graduation and were sent on to group combat training by First, Second, Third or Fourth Air Force. Graduates were usually graded as Flight Officers (Warrant Officers); cadets who graduated at the top of their class were graded as Second Lieutenants.

The initial class of cadets arrived in September 1941 and served under Lt. Col. Warren R. Carter, the first commander. WACs began to arrive the following May. Cadets used the North American AT-6 Texan and Curtis P-40 Warhawk trainers to drill in aerial gunnery, though actual practice took place on ranges located on Matagorda Island and Matagorda Peninsula. In addition to these bombing ranges on Matagorda, at least ten auxiliary landing fields and a sub-base (Aloe AAF, built in 1943 5 miles southwest of Victoria) was controlled by Foster for emergency landings and aircraft overflow.

The field was formally dedicated to 1st Lt. Arthur L. Foster on Sunday, 22 February 1942, who was killed along with Maj. Lee O. Wright in the 1030 hrs. crash of a Curtiss JN-6H, AS-44806, ~2 miles (3.2 km) E of Brooks Field, Texas on 10 February 1925. Foster's widow, Mrs. Ruth Young Foster, of San Antonio, Texas, unveiled a plaque that read "Dedicated to the memory of Lieut. Arthur Lee Foster, a pioneer in aviation who gave his life teaching others to fly."

On 8 January 1943, the War Department constituted and activated the 77th Flying Training Wing (Advanced Single-Engine) at Foster and assigned it to the AAF Central Flying Training Command.

Many pilots returning from overseas service were taught to become aerial gunnery instructors at Foster Field. In addition to the pilot training mission, Foster also served as a medical evacuation facility for injured veterans. There were several housing facilities located on the base.

On 1 January 1945 the 2540th Army Air Forces Base Unit took control of the ground station administrative functions. As World War II wound down Foster Field took control of several smaller facilities as they were being closed. On 1 September 1945 the mission at the airfield changed from pilot training to becoming a separation station. Foster Field itself was inactivated on 31 October 1945, being placed in standby status. On 15 November the facility was completely closed and eventually the Foster Field site returned to its prewar owners, the Buhler and Braman estates.

Read more about this topic:  Foster Air Force Base, History, Operational History

Other articles related to "world war ii, war, world war":

World War II - Impact - Advances in Technology and Warfare
... Although at the start of the war aeronautical warfare had relatively little success, actions at Taranto, Pearl Harbor, the South China Sea and the Coral Sea established the carrier as the dominant capital ... which had proved to be an effective weapon during the First World War were anticipated by all sides to be important in the second ... Land warfare changed from the static front lines of World War I to increased mobility and combined arms ...
Institute Of National Remembrance - Activities - Research
... of the conspiracy, resistance and repression 1944-1989 War, Occupation and the Polish Underground deepening of knowledge about the structures and activities of the Polish Underground State examination of the ... Poles after the German invasion of Poland German camps in occupied Poland during World War II, the system of extermination, concentration, labor and POW camps operated by the German Nazis in occupied Poland ... conducted by Ukrainians in Volhynia during World War II Nazi crimes against ethnic Poles, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against ...
Kansas City, Missouri - History - Post–World War II Development
... After World War II, many relatively affluent residents left for suburbs like Johnson County, Kansas and eastern Jackson County, Missouri ... The post–World War II idea of suburbs and the "American Dream" also contributed to the sprawl of the area ...
24 Squadron SAAF - World War II
... At the end of the war the squadron used its Marauders as transport aircraft, before moving to Egypt in October 1945 and disbanding on 6 November 1945 ... SAAF Buccaneers saw active service during the Border War in South-West Africa, notably at Cassinga in 1978 ...
4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment - History - World War II
... The reformed 4th Alpini Regiment participated in the liberation of Italy as part of the Partisan Piemonte Mountain Corps. ...

Famous quotes containing the words world and/or war:

    Please stop using the word “Negro.”... We are the only human beings in the world with fifty-seven variety of complexions who are classed together as a single racial unit. Therefore, we are really truly colored people, and that is the only name in the English language which accurately describes us.
    Mary Church Terrell (1863–1954)

    There is the guilt all soldiers feel for having broken the taboo against killing, a guilt as old as war itself. Add to this the soldier’s sense of shame for having fought in actions that resulted, indirectly or directly, in the deaths of civilians. Then pile on top of that an attitude of social opprobrium, an attitude that made the fighting man feel personally morally responsible for the war, and you get your proverbial walking time bomb.
    Philip Caputo (b. 1941)