About a month or so ago, I was looking through some of my old pictures and I found some that I had of what was Wurtsmith Air Force Base. I think they are at least 19 years old as the last B-52 flew off the base on December 15, 1992. I don't really remember when I took them but I'm pretty sure that I was either still in college or had just graduated from college. Anyways, here the pictures (these were scanned in).
This is a picture from highway F-41 which is a farm to market road or county highway. I think this was the alert area where planes would be ready to go on a moment's notice. I wish my picture was a little clearer, but this was the best I could get given that it was an active base at the time.
This is another shot from a slightly better spot.
I think we might have stopped the car so that I could get out and take a picture from closer to the outer fence. At the time, the base had B-52G Stratofortresses and KC-135 Stratotankers. These planes were used during Desert Storm. It was pretty cool to come up here to look at the planes, sometimes I could see them flying.
Wurtsmith Air Force Base started in 1923 as Loud-Reames Aviation Field as a soft landing spot for aircraft from Selfridge Field. In 1924, it was renamed Camp Skeel for a pilot from World War I and was used as an aerial gunnery range until the onset of World War II. In 1942, a 5000 foot hard surface runway was built and the Camp was renamed Oscoda Army Air Field (it is just outside of Oscoda). It was used to train Free French pilots and as a transient stopover point.
It became a permanent installation in 1951 when the US Air Force decided to use it as a Fighter-Interceptor training base. It served in this capacity until 1973. In 1958, it first housed B-52 bombers and in 1960, it housed the B-52H model bombers until 1977 when those were changed for the B-52G. They started to retire the G models in the 1980's but there was a brief reprieve when they were used in Desert Storm. The Base was also designated to base the MX missiles on rail cars but that plane was scrapped in 1992 with the demise of the Soviet Union. It was closed as a base in 1993.
Now the base is used as a repair falicity for Kalitta Air which is based out of Ypsilanti. I'm not sure what these planes are being used for as they have Northwest livery. I wonder if they are being converted.
747's are cool but not as cool as B-52's.
Some of the Kalitta Air 747's.
Another shot of one of the 747's.
This would have been the alert area but looking from the inside of the base this time. I would have loved to have this shot with B-52's in it. But oh well, I guess it's better this way because I got to thinking this area would have been incinerated if we had come to blows with the Soviets.
One of the base's watertowers, this is the logo of one of the air wings that was here.