Ellsworth Air Force Base

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Rapid City Army Air Base was constructed in 1942 and used as a training location for B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber aircrews throughout the duration of World War II. After the war, the newly renamed Rapid City Air Force Base (AFB) led the nation’s strategic bombardment force, deploying B-29 Superfortresses to Britain during the Berlin Blockade and later flying the B-36 Peacemaker heavy bomber. In 1953, Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower renamed the base for Brig. Gen. Richard E. Ellsworth, who was killed during a mission over Burgoyne’s Cove, Newfoundland. From 1960 to 1994, Ellsworth AFB was a Strategic Air Command superbase containing two legs of the American Strategic Nuclear Triad—heavy bomber aircraft (B-52 Stratofortresses and B-1B Lancers) and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (Titan and Minuteman). Today, the personnel at Ellsworth AFB continue to build upon the storied legacy of the South Dakota base, projecting American airpower around the world.
ISBN: 9781467106948
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: South Dakota
Series: Images of America
Images: 208
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Joseph T. Page II is a freelance writer and military aviation historian. The photographs detailing the operations and personnel of Ellsworth AFB throughout the decades were graciously provided by the US Air Force, National Archives, and private collections.
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