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Stuttgart Army Airfield (Arkansas)

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Stuttgart Army Airfield (Arkansas)

Stuttgart Army Airfield
Stuttgart Army Airfield, Arkansas, 3 April 1943
IATA: noneICAO: none
Summary
Serves Stuttgart, Arkansas
Built 1942
In use 1942-1945
Coordinates 34°35′51″N 091°34′29″W / 34.59750°N 91.57472°W / 34.59750; -91.57472 (Stuttgart AAF)

Map
'
Stuttgart Army Airfield, Arkansas
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
01/19 5,000 1,524 Asphalt
05/23 5,000 1,524 Asphalt
09/27 5,000 1,524 Asphalt
13/32 5,000 1,524 Asphalt
for the civilian airport, see Stuttgart Municipal Airport

Stuttgart Army Airfield is a former World War II military airfield, located 7 miles north of Stuttgart, Arkansas. It operated as an advanced pilot training school for the United States Army Air Forces from 1942 until 1945.

History

Stuttgart Municipal Airport dates to 1942 when it was built by the United States Army Air Forces as a training airfield as part of the 70,000 Pilot Training Program. It was one of many air fields created in the country’s interior during the war. The airfield consisted of four main 5'000 ft concrete and asphalt runways, aligned 01/19; 05/23; 09/27 and 13/31.[1] In addition to the main airfield, seven axillary fields were constructed to support the training mission. Those were located as follows:[1]

  • Stuttgart AAF Auxiliary #1 (Carlisle) 34°48′29″N 091°42′43″W / 34.80806°N 91.71194°W / 34.80806; -91.71194

    • Stuttgart AAF Auxiliary #2 (Hazen) 34°45′59″N 091°38′18″W / 34.76639°N 91.63833°W / 34.76639; -91.63833

      • Stuttgart AAF Auxiliary #5 (Almyra) 34°24′39″N 091°27′41″W / 34.41083°N 91.46139°W / 34.41083; -91.46139 The locations of auxiliaries #3 (Roe), #4, #6 and #7 (Stuttgart) are undetermined.

        The school and airfield was activated on 15 August 1942 and used by the Army Air Forces Training Command. Initially it was used as a glider pilot training school using Waco CG-4A gliders.[2][3] In 1943 the airfield was transferred to Southeast Training Command as an advanced twin-engine flying school and glider training ceased on 19 May 1943.[4] Initially designated as Army Air Forces Advanced Flying School, it was re-designated as Stuttgart Army Airfield on 2 January 1943.[2] Stuttgart AAF primarily trained medium bomber and transport pilots using the Beechcraft AT-10 Wichita and Cessna AT-17 Bobcat,[5] the host unit being the 34th Two Engine Flying Training Group and the 891st through 896th Two Engine Flying Training Squadrons.[3] Aircraft assigned to Stuttgart AAF carried the fuselage code "ST".[5] With a reorganization of Training Command's training unit designation system in the spring of 1944, the 34th and its squadrons were disbanded on 1 April 1944; the school being operated by the 2141st Army Air Force Base Unit,[3] it's training squadrons being re-designated "A" through "F" in sequence.

        Twin engine training continued until 31 January 1945, when the airfield was transferred to Third Air Force.[4] It became a Replacement Training School under its 2d Tactical Air Division[6] and began training replacement reconnaissance pilots under the 74th Tactical Reconnaissance Group[7] and fighter pilots under the 369th Fighter Group[8]

        With the end of World War II, the airfield was placed on standby status in early 1946, and turned over to Air Technical Service Command (ATSC). ATSC's mission was to remove all usable military equipment from the property and dispose of items which no longer had a useful need. Like many other surplus airfields around the country, public sales were held to offer the material to the public. Stuttgart Army Airfield was declared excess and closed on 5 August 1946.[3] It was conveyed though the War Assets Administration (WAA) to the City of Stuttgart to establish a municipal airport.[3]

        Current status

        Today, the former training field is a general aviation airport, serving the local area. Most of the World War II runways are closed, two still remaining in use as a main and as a crosswind runway. The massive parking apron remains, mostly unused, and sections of unused taxiways and runways remain, some partially removed for hardcore. The large station area is completely obliterated, the wartime streets removed; the buildings long torn down or moved with a few concrete foundations remaining in the large grassy area. Ghostly outlines of streets can be seen in aireal imagery. The military hangars on the flightline are gone, their concrete floors visible and exposed to the elements.

        See also

        References

        External links

        • Stuttgart remembers WWII, Lengthy newspaper article about Stuttgart Army Airfield
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