Stuttgart Municipal Airport - History

History

The airport was opened in September 1942 as Stuttgart Army Air Field by the United States Army Air Forces and was used as an advanced twin engine aircraft training school during World War II. Stuttgart AAF was administered by the 426th Base Headquarters & Air Base Squadron and flying training was conducted by the 34th Two Engine Flying Training Group and the 891st through 896th Two Engine Flying Training Squadrons until April 1944, then by the 2141st Army Air Force Base Unit, assigned to the AAF Southeast Training Center (later the AAF Eastern Flying Training Command). In 1945, the base transferred to the II Tactical Air Division of Third Air Force and was home to the 69th and 74th Reconnaissance Groups and the 369th Fighter Group. The last tactical unit of the AAF, the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron left the field in February 1946.

Improvements to the site included an airport with four 5,000 ft (1,500 m). runways and facilities for 6,000 personnel. The USAAF trained pilots in the use of gliders from October 1942 to May 1943 and twin-engine airplanes from May 1943 to December 1944.

At the end of the war the airfield was determined to be excess by the War Department on 5 August 1946, 2,635.7 acres (10.666 km2) were assumed by the War Assets Administration (WAA). Custody of the remaining 46.2 acres (187,000 m2), which contained the housing units and the water and sewage facilities, was transferred to the Housing and Home Finance Agency, Public Housing Administration, on 31 January 1947.

In 1949, the WAA land and improvements were deeded to the City of Stuttgart, Arkansas, to establish the municipal airport. The city subsequently obtained the remaining 46.2 acres (187,000 m2) from the Public Housing Administration and now owns the entire 2,681.9 acres (10.853 km2) used in connection with the former Stuttgart AAF. The transfer included a recapture clause by which the Government reserved specific rights of use and possession during a national emergency.

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