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South Dakota World War II Army Airfields

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg

Part of World War II
South Dakota World War II Army Airfields is located in South Dakota
Mitchell AAF
Pierre AAF
Rapid City AAF
Sioux Falls AAB
Watertown AAF
Aberdeen AAF
Map Of South Dakota World War II Army Airfields
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 South Dakota for training pilots and aircrews of USAAF fighters and bombers.

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

It is still possible to find remnants of these wartime airfields. Many were converted into municipal airports, some were returned to agriculture and several were retained as United States Air Force installations and were front-line bases during the Cold War. Hundreds of the temporary buildings that were used survive today, and are being used for other purposes.

Major Airfields[edit | edit source]

Air Technical Service Command

  • Mitchell AAF/MAP, Mitchel
353d Army Air Force Base Unit (Det)
Now: Mitchell Municipal Airport (IATA: MHE, ICAO: KMHE)
353d Army Air Force Base Unit (Det)
Now: Pierre Regional Airport (IATA: PIR, ICAO: KPIR)

Second Air Force

  • Rapid City AAB, Rapid City
353d Army Air Force Base Unit
Was: Rapid City Air Field (1947)
Was: Weaver Air Force Base (1948)
Was: Rapid City Air Force Base (1948-1953)
Now: Roundel of the USAF.svg Ellsworth Air Force Base (1953-Pres)
  • Sioux Falls AAF, Sioux Falls
335th Army Air Force Base Unit
Now: Joe Foss Field Air National Guard Station (Joe Foss Field) (IATA: FSD, ICAO: KFSD)

Personnel Distribution Command

353d Army Air Force Base Unit (Det)
Now: Watertown Regional Airport (IATA: ATY, ICAO: KATY)

Army Air Force Training Command

  • Aberdeen AAF, Aberdeen
Contract Flying School
Now: Aberdeen Regional Airport (IATA: ABR, ICAO: KABR)

References[edit | edit source]

  • 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 - South Dakota

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