Offutt Army Air Field
Offutt Field is often overlooked as being one of Nebraska's Army Air Fields during WWII. The other eleven airfields were built specifically for WWII, but Offutt was already in existence when WWII started.
Offutt Field traces its history back to Fort Crook which was established in the 1890's. Initially infantry and cavalry units trained at the fort, however, units from the Army Signal Corps and Observation Balloon Corps also called Fort Crook their home. The early use of the hot air balloons for military reconnaissance purposes was unknowingly a forecast of greater things to occur at the base
In 1921 Offutt Field was built at the base as a refueling stop for mail and transcontinental flights. In 1924 the airfield was officially named in honor of 1st Lt. Jarvis Offutt, an American pilot who was killed while flying with the Royal Air Force in France during the First World War. The Martin Bomber Plant was constructed at the airfield in 1941 as a 1.7-million square-foot aircraft assembly building. Offutt Field was the Army Air Corps first Nebraska base specifically designed for the War effort and included a two-mile concrete runway and six large hangars. Both B-29 bombers that dropped the atomic bombs upon Japan were assembled at the Martin Bomber Plant.
Today Offutt Field is known as Offutt Air Force Base and is one of the most important and strategic military installations in the world.
OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE
Modern aerial view of Offutt Air Force Base. The large building at the top is the former Martin Bomber Plant.
Close-up view of the former Martin Bomber Plant.
The Martin Bomber Plant as it existed during WWII.