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Florida World War II Army Airfields

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg

Part of World War II
Type Army Airfields
Coordinates Latitude:
Longitude:
Built 1940-1944
In use 1940-present

During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) established numerous airfields in Florida for antisubmarine defense in the western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico and for training pilots and aircrews of USAAF fighters and bombers.

Most of these airfields were under the command of Third Air Force or the Army Air Forces Training Command (AAFTC), the latter being the predecessor of the current-day United States Air Force's Air Education and Training Command (AETC). However the other USAAF support commands, Air Technical Service Command (ATSC) and Air Transport Command (ATC) or Troop Carrier Command, also commanded a significant number of airfields in a support roles.

It is still possible to find remnants of these wartime airfields as most were converted into municipal airports. Two remained as active USAF installations until 1960, while a third was a joint civil-military airport hosting a Florida Air National Guard fighter-interceptor group until 1968. A fourth remained an active Strategic Air Command bomber and tanker base prior to its closure and conversion to a commercial international airport in 1975-76, while a fifth remained as an active Tactical Air Command then Air Combat Command fighter base until 1995, when it was converted to air reserve base status as a fighter base for the Air Force Reserve Command and the Florida Air National Guard. The others remain as modern day active U.S. Air Force installations. Hundreds of the temporary buildings that were used also survive today, with many being used for other purposes.

Major Airfields[]

Multiple Commands[]

I Bomber Command (1941)
Transferred to: Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command (1942-1943)
26th Antisubmarine Wing (Squadrons)
Transferred to: III Bomber Command
Became sub-base of: MacDill Field (1943)
Became sub-base of: Chatam Army Airfield, Georgia (1943-1944)
Transferred to: Air Service Command (1944-1945)
Later: Imeson Field Airport (1947-1968)
Used by: Roundel of the USAF.svg 125th Fighter-Interceptor Group, Florida Air National Guard, (1947-1968)
Now: Imeson Industrial Park (airfield closed)

Third Air Force[]

  • Drew Field, 5.0 miles (8.0 km) west-northwest of Tampa
HQ Third Air Force; III Fighter Command
Also used by: Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command (1942-1943)
26th Antisubmarine Wing (Squadrons)
337th Fighter Group (Single Engine)
22d Bombardment Training Wing (Heavy)
Drew Field Replacement Training Unit (Heavy Bombardment)
Army Air Force Aircraft Warning Unit Training Center (315th AAFBU)
89th Combat Crew Training Wing
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Bartow Army Airfield
Brooksville Army Airfield
Hillsborough Army Airfield
Now: Tampa International Airport (IATA: TPA, ICAO: KTPA, FAA Location identifier: TPA)
HO III Bomber Command
27th Air Base Group
55th Bombardment Training Wing (Heavy)
326th Army Air Force Base Unit
Also used by: Air Transport Command
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Bonita Springs Auxiliary Field
Brooksville Army Airfield
Hillsborough Army Airfield
Fort Myers Army Airfield
Lakeland Army Airfield
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg MacDill Air Force Base (IATA: MCF, ICAO: KMCF, FAA Location identifier: MCF)
Initially Sub-Base of MacDill Field
III Bomber Command
88th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
Avon Park Replacement Training Unit (Heavy Bombardment)
Later: Avon Park Air Force Base (1949-1956)
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Avon Park Air Force Range (ICAO: KAGR, FAA Location identifier: AGR)
Initially Sub-Base of MacDill Field (Drane Field)
III Bomber Command
60th Flying Training Detachment (Medium Bombardment)
Transferred to: III Fighter Command (1943)
Commando Squadron Fighter Training School
Now: Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (1960-Present) (IATA: LAL, ICAO: KLAL, FAA Location identifier: LAL)
III Fighter Command
Initially Sub Base of Sarasota Army Airfield
Pinellas Replacement Training Unit (Fighter, Single Engine)
Now: St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (IATA: PIE, ICAO: KPIE, FAA Location identifier: PIE)
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and Army Reserve Army Aviation Support Facility

III Fighter Command
338th Fighter Group (Single Engine)
Dale Mabury Replacement Depot
335th Army Air Force Base Unit (Replacement, Fighter)
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Thomasville Army Airfield (Georgia)
Harris Neck Army Airfield (Georgia)
Perry Army Airfield
Carrabelle Flight Strip#2
Later: Dale Mabry Field (commercial airport) (1946-1961)
Now: Campus of Tallahassee Community College (airfield closed)
III Fighter Command
54th Fighter Group (Single Engine)
Bartow Replacement Unit (Fighter, Single-Engine)
Later: Bartow Air Base (1950-1961)
Now: Bartow Municipal Airport (IATA: BOW, ICAO: KBOW, FAA Location identifier: BOW)
III Bomber Command
Later: III Fighter Command
337th Fighter Group (Single Engine)
Sarasota Replacement Training Unit (Fighter, Single Engine)
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Fort Myers Army Airfield
Lake Wales Army Airfield
Pinellas Army Airfield
Punta Gorda Army Airfield
Immokalee Army Airfield
Now: Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (IATA: SRQ, ICAO: KSRQ, FAA Location identifier: SRQ)
III Fighter Command
Also used by 27th Service Group (Air Service Command)
53d Fighter Group (Single Engine)
Venice Replacement Training Unit (Fighter, Single Engine)
422d Army Air Force Base Unit
Now: Venice Municipal Airport (IATA: VNC, ICAO: KVNC, FAA Location identifier: VNC)

AAF Training Command[]

Eastern Flying Training Command

17th Single Engine Flying Training Group (Advanced-Single Engine)
325th Army Air Force Base Unit
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Ellis Auxiliary Field
Malone Auxiliary Field
Bascom Auxiliary Field
Alliance Auxiliary Field
Later: Marianna Air Base (1951-1960)
Now: Marianna Municipal Airport (ICAO: KMAI, FAA Location identifier: MAI)
  • Hendricks Field, 6.6 miles (10.6 km) east-southeast of Sebring
Specialized Pilot Training School (Four Engine)
76th Army Air Force Base Unit
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Conners Auxiliary Field
Immokalee Army Airfield
Now: Sebring Regional Airport (IATA: SEF, ICAO: KSEF, FAA Location identifier: SEF)

Army Air Forces Flexible Gunnery School
38th Flexible Gunnery Training Group
328th Army Air Force Base Unit
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Naples Army Airfield
Now: Buckingham Field Airport (FAA Location identifier: FL59)
  • Tyndall Field, 7.5 miles (12.1 km) southeast of Panama City
Army Air Forces Flexible Gunnery School
38th Flexible Gunnery Training Group
69th Army Air Force Base Unit
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Apalachicola Army Airfield
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Tyndall Air Force Base (IATA: PAM, ICAO: KPAM, FAA Location identifier: PAM)

Eastern Technical Training Command'

3501st Army Air Force Base Unit (Technical School, Radar)
Airfield became: Boca Raton Airport (IATA: BCT, ICAO: KBCT, FAA Location identifier: BCT)
Station became: Florida Atlantic University

AAF Contract Flying Schools[]

  • Avon Park Municipal Airport, 1.4 miles (2.3 km) west-southwest of Avon Park
Lodwick Aviation Military Academy
61st Army Air Force Fight Training Detachment (Contract Flying)
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Avon Park Auxiliary Field#1
Avon Park Auxiliary Field#2
Avon Park Auxiliary Field#3
Avon Park Auxiliary Field#4
Now: Avon Park Executive Airport (IATA: AVO, ICAO: KAVO, FAA Location identifier: AVO)
  • Lodwick Field, 2.1 miles (3.4 km) north-northeast of Lakeland
Lodwick Aviation Military Academy
60th Flying Training Detachment (Contract Pilot School)
Also: Royal Air Force training
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Coronet Auxiliary Field
Haldeman-Elder Auxiliary Field
Hampton Auxiliary Field
Lodwick Auxiliary Field
Northeast Auxiliary Field#1
Northwest Auxiliary Field#3
Gilbert Auxiliary Field
Now: Closed 1957, currently recreation area
  • Riddle Field, 7.4 miles (11.9 km) west-southwest of Clewiston
Riddle-McKay Aero College
75th Flying Training Detachment (Contract Pilot School)
Also: Royal Air Force training
Now: Airglades Airport (FAA Location identifier: 2IS)
Greenville Aviation School
Also operated: AAFSAT Ocala Bombing Range
Now: Closed 1962, currently industrial park

Riddle Aeronautical Institute
53d Flying Training Detachment (Contract Pilot School)
2148th Army Air Force Base Unit (Contract Pilot School)
Also: Royal Air Force training
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Arcadia Airport
Myrtle Auxiliary Field
Southwest Auxiliary Field
Sparkman Auxiliary Field
Wells Auxiliary Field
Now: Closed 1945, currently Desoto County Juvenile Correctional Complex
Riddle Aeronautical Institute
54th Flying Training Detachment]] (Contract Pilot School)
2148th Army Air Force Base Unit]] (Contract Pilot School)
Also: Royal Air Force training
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Dorr Auxiliary Field#1
Dorr Auxiliary Field#2
Dorr Auxiliary Field#3
Dorr Auxiliary Field#4
Now: Closed 1945, currently Desoto County Correctional Institution
  • Chapman Field, 11.1 miles (17.9 km) south-southwest of Miami
Civil, AAF, Navy training usage
Riddle Aeronautical Institute
Now: Closed 1947, partly Chapman Field Subtropical Horticulture Research Station

Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics[]

Initially used by: I Bomber Command (1941-1942)
Initially used by: Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command
13th Bombardment Group (1942-1943)
HQ Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics (1942)
9th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
50th Fighter Group (Special)
HQ Army Air Force Interceptor Command School (1943)
481st Night Fighter Operational Training Group
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Brooksville Army Airfield
Bushnell Army Airfield
Kissimmee Army Airfield
Cross City Army Airfield (1942-1946); Roundel of the USAF.svg Cross City Air Force Station (1958-1970)
Zephyrhills Army Airfield
Airfield became: Orlando Municipal Airport (1946)
Now: Orlando Executive Airport (IATA: ORL, ICAO: KORL, FAA Location identifier: ORL)
Ground Station became: Roundel of the USAF.svg Orlando Air Force Base (1951-1967)
Ground Station transferred to: United States Navy as Naval Training Center Orlando (1968-1999)
Now: Baldwin Park neighborhood of Orlando
sub-base of Orlando Army Airbase (1942-1945)
AAFSAT Technical Center
Transferred to: Air Proving Ground Command (1945)
Later: Roundel of the USAF.svg Pinecastle Air Force Base (1951-1958); Roundel of the USAF.svg McCoy Air Force Base (1958-1975)
Now: Orlando International Airport (IATA: MCO, ICAO: KMCO, FAA Location identifier: MCO)

sub-base of Orlando Army Airbase (1942-1943)
AAFSAT Medium Bombardment training unit
415th Bombardment Group (Medium)
Transferred to: III Fighter Command (1943)
Commando Squadron Fighter Training School
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Cross City Army Airfield
Keystone Army Airfield
Leesburg Army Airfield
Montbrook Army Airfield
Now: Gainesville Regional Airport (IATA: GNV, ICAO: KGNV, FAA Location identifier: GNV)
  • Dunnellon Army Airfield, 5.2 miles (8.4 km) east of Dunnellon
sub-base of Orlando Army Airbase (1942-1944)
AAFSAT Night Fighter Department (Dark)
420th Night Fighter Squadron
Transferred to: III Fighter Command (1944)
Commando Troop Carrier Training School
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries
Canal Auxiliary Field
Now: Dunnellon/Marion County Airport (FAA Location identifier: X35)

Air Transport Command[]

Station 8, Caribbean Wing, ATC
563d Army Air Force Base Unit
Was: Dade County Airport (1945-1955)
Was: Roundel of the USAF.svg Homestead Air Force Base (1955-1994)
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Homestead Air Reserve Base (1994-Present) (IATA: HST, ICAO: KHST, FAA Location identifier: HST)
Joint Civil/Army Airfield use
Also used by: Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command
HQ 45th Bombardment Group (I Bomber Command) (1942)
HQ 26th Antisubmarine Wing (1942-1943)
Army Air Forces Pilot School (Miscellaneous Fields)
Operated by Pan American Airways
Later: : 408th Army Air Force Base Unit (Contract pilot training)
1595th Army Air Force Base Unit (First Foreign Transport Group)
1105th Army Air Force Base Unit (ATC Caribbean Wing)
Now: Miami International Airport (IATA: MIA, ICAO: KMIA, FAA Location identifier: MIA)

  • Morrison Field, 3.4 miles (5.5 km) southwest of West Palm Beach
Initially used by: 8th Pursuit Wing, III Interceptor Command
Also used by: Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command
26th Antisubmarine Wing (Squadrons)
HQ Caribbean Wing, ATC
427th Army Air Force Base Unit
Also used by: United States Navy
Later: Roundel of the USAF.svg Palm Beach Air Force Base (1951-1962)
Now: Palm Beach International Airport (IATA: PBI, ICAO: KPBI, FAA Location identifier: PBI)

Proving Ground Command[]

  • Eglin Field, 3.1 miles (5.0 km) southwest of Valparaiso
HQ Army Air Forces Proving Ground Command
Known sub-bases and auxiliaries

Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field #1
Now Roundel of the USAF.svg Eglin AFB Aux Fld #1, Wagner Field
Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field #2
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Eglin AFB Aux Fld #2 Pierce Field
Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field #3
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Eglin AFB Aux Fld #3, Duke Field
Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field #4
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Eglin AFB Aux Fld #4, Peel Field
Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field #5
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Eglin AFB Aux Fld #5, Piccolo Field
Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field #6
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Eglin AFB Aux Fld #6 Biancur Field and Camp Rudder (1 October 1958-Present)

Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field #7
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Eglin AFB Aux Fld #7, Epler Field
Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field #8
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Eglin AFB Auf Fld #9, Baldsiefen Field
Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field #9
Previously Eglin AFB Aux Fld #9, Hurlburt Field (1947-1955)
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Hurlburt Field
Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field #10 (Dillon Field) (1943)
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Naval Outlying Field Choctaw (United States Navy)
Santa Rosa Island Range Complex
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Santa Rosa Island Range Complex

Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Eglin Air Force Base (IATA: VPS, ICAO: KVPS, FAA Location identifier: VPS)

Minor Airfields[]

  • Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) Boca Chica, 6.1 miles (9.8 km) east-northeast of Key West
Used by: Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command (1942-1943)
26th Antisubmarine Wing (Squadrons)
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Naval Air Station Key West (IATA: NQX, ICAO: KNQX, FAA Location identifier: NQX)
  • Naval Outlying Field (OLF) Marathon, 2.6 miles (4.2 km) east-northeast of Marathon
Used by: Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command (1942-1943)
26th Antisubmarine Wing (Squadrons)
Now: Florida Keys Marathon Airport (IATA: MTH, ICAO: KMTH, FAA Location identifier: MTH)
  • Naval Outlying Field Meacham, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Key West
Used by: Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command (1942-1943)
26th Antisubmarine Wing (Squadrons)
Now: Key West International Airport (IATA: EYW, ICAO: KEYW, FAA Location identifier: EYW)
  • Lantana Airport, 8.7 miles (14.0 km) south-southwest of West Palm Beach
Used by: Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command (1942-1943)
26th Antisubmarine Wing (Squadrons)
Now: Palm Beach County Park Airport (IATA: LNA, ICAO: KLNA, FAA Location identifier: LNA)

  • Flagler Beach Airport, Flagler Beach
Civil Air Patrol Use
Used by: Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command (1942-1943)
26th Antisubmarine Wing (Squadrons)
Closed appx. 1945, now abandoned
  • Jasper CAA Site#43, 2.8 miles (4.5 km) south-southeast of Jasper
Likely Emergency landing airfield
Closed appx. 1950, now farmland
  • Ponoma Field, 0.9 miles (1.4 km) east of Pomona Park
Likely Emergency landing airfield
Now: Pomona Landing Airport (FAA Location identifier: 78FL)
  • Quincy Municipal Airport, 1.7 miles (2.7 km) east-northeast of Quincy
Likely Emergency landing airfield
Now: Quincy Municipal Airport (FAA Location identifier: 2J9)
Used by the Dugway Proving Ground Mobile Chemical Warfare Testing Unit
Now: Closed appx. 1945, now abandoned

References[]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Thole, Lou (1999), Forgotten Fields of America : World War II Bases and Training, Then and Now - Vol. 2. Pictorial Histories Pub . ISBN 1-57510-051-7
  • Military Airfields in World War II - Florida

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