Air Force Bases

England Air Force Base, Louisiana

Location: Located 5 miles northwest of Alexandria, LA, about 170 miles northwest of New Orleans, LA.

Origin of current name: Named in honor of Lt Col John Brooke England (1923-1954). A leading and much-decorated P-51 ace, Colonel England flew 108 World War II missions and scored 19 aerial victories-including 4 on one mission. England also served as a combat pilot in the Korean war. He was killed in a crash near Toul, France, on November 17th 1954 when he banked away from a barracks area while landing his F-86 in a dense fog.

Date current name was assigned to base: May 1, 1955

Previous Names: Alexandria Army Air Base, October 21st 1942; Alexandria Army Airfield, June 15th 1943; Alexandria Municipal Airport, May 31st 1946; Alexandria Air Force Base, October 10th 1950.

Date Established: February 12, 1943

Date Occupied: October 28, 1942

Construction Began: May 23, 1942

Changes in Capability: Runways modified to accommodate B-17s June 1943; B-17 crew training 1943-1945; new control tower completed January 17th 1950; fighter base beginning with Korean conflict 195-1954; major rehabilitation project of concrete areas completed late 1956; major operational facilities, including a 300-unit Capehart housing project, 6 hangars, jet build-up area, and a GAR-8 missile assembly and maintenance building completed December 1958; base designated an Air Warfare Center August 1st 1966; additional 300-unit housing project completed late 1969; 75-bed UASF hospital completed January 1971; Claiborne Range rebuilt mid-1972; officers billets and base civil engineer complex completed mid-1975; above-ground storage magazines completed January 1981; transportation complex completed July 31st 1981.

Changes in Status: Assigned as a subbase of Esler Field, LA, September 12th 1942; reclassified a primary installation, January 30th 1943; assigned as subbase of Esler Field, October 1st 1944; placed on temporary inactive status, November 30th 1945; surplus, August 5th 1946; custody assumed by Army Division Engineers, September 20th 1946; activated October 9th 1950.

Base was Decommissioned on June 1, 1992

History:

Originally known as Alexandria Army Air Base, the base was opened on 21 October 1942 and during World War II performed Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress aircrew training. It was placed on inactive status on 23 September 1946, although a small cadre of Army and Air Force personnel (331 Comps Squadron) remained assigned to Alexandria Municipal Airport throughout the late 1940s.

On 10 October 1950, the United States Air Force reopened Alexandria Air Force Base during the Korean War. The station's primary mission was tactical fighter operations for Tactical Air Command.

On 1 May 1955 the facility was renamed England Air Force Base in honor of Lt Col John Brooke England (1923-1954). A leading and much-decorated North American P-51 Mustang ace during World War II, Colonel England flew 108 missions and scored 19 aerial victories-including 4 on one mission. England also served as a combat pilot in the Korean War. He was killed in a crash near Toul-Rosieres Air Base, France on 17 November 1954 when he banked away from a barracks area while landing his North American F-86 Sabre in a dense fog.

In October 1990, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission decided that England Air Force Base would be closed by September 1992. A drawdown of equipment and personnel began almost immediately. The 23d Fighter Wing's A-10 aircraft were sent to Air National Guard units, and EAFB was closed 1 June 1992.

During the period of its military use, Air Force units from England Air Force Base served in combat in World War II, the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.

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