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673d Air Base Wing Mission, Vision, and Priorities

Stood up in 2010, the 673d Air Base Wing today comprises over 5,500 joint military and civilian personnel, supports and enables America’s Arctic Warriors and their families. In addition, the wing provides medical care to over 35,000 joint service members, dependents, Veterans Affairs patients, and retirees throughout Alaska. The 673d ABW maintains $15 billion in infrastructure encompassing 85,000 acres, ensuring Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson remains America’s premier strategic power projection platform. JBER's higher headquarters is Pacific Air Forces, or PACAF, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.


Protect our Homeland, Project Joint Forces, and Power the Joint Base


Agile Arctic Combat Support – Unrivaled Arctic Warfighters, delivering apex power projection through agile combat support


People, Readiness and Partnerships

History of the area

For general history of the area, including Native presence, homesteading, and more, visit our interactive Cultural Resource Storymap.

Construction on Elmendorf Field began on June 8, 1940, as a major and permanent military air field near Anchorage. The first Air Corps personnel arrived on August 12 of that year.

On Nov. 12, 1940, the War Department formally designated what had been popularly referred to as Elmendorf Field as Fort Richardson. The air facilities on the post were named Elmendorf Field in honor of Captain Hugh M. Elmendorf, killed in 1933 while flight testing an experimental fighter near Wright Field, Ohio. In 1951, the Army moved its operations to the new Fort Richardson and the Air Force assumed control of the original Fort Richardson and renamed it Elmendorf Air Force Base.

For an extensive history of the installation, including homesteads that were in the area prior to 1940, visit


Army history

Fort Richardson was named for the military pioneer explorer, Brig. Gen. Wilds P. Richardson, who served three tours of duty in the rugged Alaska territory between 1897 and 1917. Richardson, a native Texan and an 1884 West Point graduate, commanded troops along the Yukon River and supervised construction of Fort Egbert near Eagle, and Fort William H. Seward (Chilkoot Barracks) near Haines.

As head of the War Department’s Alaska Road Commission during 1905-1917, he was responsible for much of the surveying and building of early railroads, roads, and bridges that helped the state’s settlement and growth. The Valdez-Fairbanks Trail, surveyed under his direction in 1904, was named the Richardson Highway in his honor.

Fort Richardson was built during 1940-1941 on the site of what is now Elmendorf Air Force Base. Established as the headquarters of the United States Army, Alaska (USARAL) in 1947, the post moved to its present location five miles north of Anchorage in 1950. The post then had barracks for 500 Soldiers, a rifle range, a few warehouses, a hospital and bachelor officer quarters.

A more extensive history of the Army's activities here is coming soon.

Air Force history

The first Air Force unit to be assigned to Alaska, the 18th Pursuit Squadron, arrived in February 1941. The 23rd Air Base Group was assigned shortly afterwards to provide base support. Other Air Force units poured into Alaska as the Japanese threat developed into World War II. The Eleventh Air Force was formed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in early 1942. The field played a vital role as the main air logistics center and staging area during the Aleutian Campaign and later air operations against the Kuril Islands.

Following World War II, Elmendorf assumed an increasing role in the defense of North America as the uncertain wartime relations between the United States and the Soviet Union deteriorated into the Cold War. The Eleventh Air Force was redesignated as the Alaskan Air Command on Dec. 18, 1945. The Alaskan Command, established Jan. 1, 1947, also headquartered at Elmendorf, was a unified command under the Joint Chiefs of Staff based on lessons learned during World War II when a lack of unity of command hampered operations to drive the Japanese from the western Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska.

The uncertain world situation in late 1940s and early l1950s caused a major buildup of air defense forces in Alaska. The propeller-driven F-51s were replaced with F-80 jets, which in turn were replaced in succession by F-94s, F-89s, and F-102s interceptor aircraft for defense of North America. 

The Air Force built an extensive aircraft control and warning radar system with sites located throughout Alaska's interior and coastal regions. Additionally, the Air Force of necessity built the White Alice Communications System (with numerous support facilities around the state) to provide reliable communications to these far-flung, isolated, and often rugged locales. The Alaskan NORAD Regional Operations Control Center at Elmendorf served as the nerve center for all air defense operations in Alaska.

Air defense forces reached their zenith in 1957 with almost 200 fighter aircraft assigned to six fighter interceptor squadrons located at Elmendorf and Ladd Air Force Bases. Eighteen aircraft control and warning radar sites controlled their operations. Elmendorf earned the motto "Top Cover for North America." AAC adopted the motto as its own in 1969.

The late 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s brought about a gradual, but significant decline in air defense forces in Alaska due to mission changes and the demands of the Vietnam War. The Air Force inactivated five fighter squadrons and closed five radar sites. In 1961, the Department of Defense consigned Ladd AFB to the Army, which renamed it Fort Wainwright. The Alaskan Command was disestablished in 1975. Elmendorf began providing more support to other Air Force commands, particularly Military Airlift Command C-5 and C-141 flights to and from the Far East.

Despite a diminished number of personnel and aircraft, a turning point in Elmendorf's history occurred in 1970 with the arrival of the 43d Tactical Fighter Squadron in June 1970 from MacDill AFB, Florida. The squadron gave AAC an air-to-ground capability which was further enhanced with the activation of the 18th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf (also with F-4Es) on Oct. 1,1977.

The strategic importance of Elmendorf AFB was graphically realized during the spring of 1980 when the 18th Tactical Fighter Squadron deployed eight of its F-4Es to Korea to participate in exercise Team Spirit. It was a historical first and underlined an increasing emphasis AAC placed on its tactical role. The strategic location of Alaska made it an excellent deployment center, a fact that validated the contention of Billy Mitchell who, in l935, stated that "Alaska is the most strategic place in the world." Deployments from Elmendorf AFB and Eielson AFB to the Far East are now conducted on a routine basis.

The 1980s witnessed a period of growth and modernization of Elmendorf AFB. During 1982, the 2lst Tactical Fighter Wing converted from F-4s to F-l5s. The l8th Tactical Fighter Squadron was assigned to Eielson AFB where it was equipped with A-10s. The 54th Tactical Fighter Squadron, of Aleutian Campaign fame, activated once again in 1987. Rounding out the modernization program was the construction of an enhanced Regional Operations Control Center (completed in 1983), and the replacement of the 1950s generation aircraft control and warning radars with the state of the art AN/FPS-ll7 Minimally Attended Radars. The integrated air warning and defense system became fully operational in mid 1985. Alaska's air defense force was further enhanced with the assignment of two E-3As to Elmendorf AFB in 1986. The Alaskan Command was reestablished at Elmendorf in 1989 as subunified joint service command under the Pacific Command in recognition of Alaska's military importance in the Pacific region.

That importance was further recognized when the F-15E Strike Eagle equipped 90th Tactical Fighter was reassigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base from Clark Air Base in the Philippines in May 1991. The Pacific Regional Medical Center moved from Clark to Elmendorf and construction of a new, greatly expanded hospital began in 1993. The early 1990s also saw major organizational changes and an expansion of Elmendorf's importance. In 1991, the 21st Tactical Fighter Wing was reorganized as an objective wing and all the major tenant units on Elmendorf were placed under it. The 21st Wing inactivated and the 3rd Wing was reassigned from Clark Air Base to Elmendorf Air Force Base on Dec. 19, 1991. This was in keeping Air Force's polices of retaining the oldest and most illustrious units during a period of major force reductions.

The Air Force, because of the increased size and complexity of the 3rd Wing, assigned a general officer as its commander in July 1993. Today, Elmendorf AFB continues to grow in size and importance because of its strategic location and training facilities. The expansive Cope Thunder exercises, formerly conducted in the Philippines, moved to ranges near Eielson AFB, and Elmendorf regularly hosts visiting wings as well as participates in the exercises. The wing now has responsibilities far beyond the vast borders of Alaska.

Street names

In 1999, at the direction of Brig. Gen. Scott Gration, commander of the 3rd Wing, the 3rd Civil Engineer Squadron began replacing the 500 street signs and 960 building numbers around Elmendorf AFB. The previous street and numbering scheme was developed during World War II and expanded on later, causing confusion. The streets that run south to north in ascending numerical order and west to east after deceased Air Force heroes and battles in alphabetical order. It provided an easily understood grid system for newly arriving personnel and emergency vehicle response. 

This web page is a compilation of brief biographies of people who have streets named after them at Elmendorf AFB. Some of these people were heroes in the 3rd Wing's major conflicts like WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Others are people who made major contributions in the field of military aviation, or were strong advocates of airpower. Other streets are named after battles in which the 3rd Wing's predicating organization, the 3rd Bombardment Group was engaged in as well as aircraft and weapons systems. We hope you learn more about the people, places, aircraft, and systems that have made our Air Force and the 3rd Wing the strong organization that it is today. 

Following are the new street names, their former names, and a brief biography on each person or bombing campaign. For further information on these people, access reference books such as Webster's American Military Biographies, The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography, or search the Internet. 

ANDREWS AVENUE (formerly Citrus Avenue & Peach Street
Chief Arthur "Bud" L. Andrews, the seventh Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, enlisted in the Air Force in January 1953. He served in the Security Police Force most of his career, before being selected for his final Air Force assignment 1 August 1981. Chief Andrews retired from the Air Force on 31 July 1983, and died on 26 October 1996. 

ARNOLD AVENUE (formerly Cherry Street
General of the Air Force Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold commanded the Army Air Forces during World War II. A West Point graduate, he received his initial flight training from the Wright brothers. He is known as one of the US pioneer military aviators -- a man of ability, vision, determination, and a talented administrator and strategist who helped bring about the creation of an independent Air Force. He was the only Air Force general to hold five star rank. 

BEACH COURT (formerly Dahlia Court
Major General Maurice Milton Beach joined the Air Corps as a private and received a commission in December 1925. He spent most of his Air Force career in air transport and pioneered support of airborne operations during War II, and played a key role in the Berlin Airlift. He retired from active duty on 31 January 1949. 

BISMARCK SEA DRIVE (formerly 24th Street
The 3rd Bombardment Group proved that air power alone could destroy a Japanese fleet during the Battle of Bismarck Sea, fought 1-4 March 1943. The battle also verified the awesome capability of the delayed fuse skip bomb, especially on the B-25 Mitchell with its ten forward guns. The 3rd Bombardment's relentless assaults at low-level resulted in an incredible 13 ships sunk or damaged in one of the most strategic battles of World War II. 

BLAKE AVENUE (formerly Orange Avenue
Staff Sgt. Ester McGowin Blake had the distinction of being the first woman to enlist in the Air Force when women were allowed join the service on regular active duty on July 8, 1948. Her active-duty military career began in 1944, when she, as a widow, joined her sons in uniform of the Army Air Force. She separated from the Air Force in 1954 due to a disability and went to work for the Veterans Administration. 

BONG AVENUE (formerly Beech Avenue
Major Richard I. Bong was the ranking American Ace of World War II with 40 aerial victories. He also received the Medal of Honor. Major Bong flew over 200 missions in the Southwest Pacific before being ordered home. Major Bong then became a test pilot at Wright Field, Ohio. He died while testing the P-80 Shooting Star on 6 August 1945. 

BORAM AVENUE (formerly unnamed)
On 16 August 1943, the 3rd Bombardment Group participated in the operation to destroy Japanese facilities on Wewak and Boram on the north side of New Guinea. The attacks were made in preparation for the 5 September 1943, amphibious and airborne assaults to seize the nearby Japanese airfields at Lae and Salamua. The occupation of the two strategic locations cleared the Japanese from eastern New Guinea. 

BULLARD AVENUE (formerly Lemon Avenue
Eugene Jacques Bullard became the first African American military pilot. He enlisted in the French Foreign Legion at the outbreak of World War I. Bullard participated in some of the most heavily contested battles of 1915-1916, was severely wounded, and received the French Croix de Guerre for his heroism. He completed pilot training on May 17, 1917 and in doing so, secured a place in history as the world's first black fighter pilot. Eugene Bullard died on Oct. 12, 1961. 

BURGE AVENUE (formerly Apple Street
Corporal Vernon Burge became the first enlisted pilot on June 14, 1912, while stationed in the Philippines. He was a member of one of the first military-powered dirigible crews and a member of the "Dusseldorf" balloon crew that participated in the 1908 International Balloon Race in St. Louis. 

CARSWELL AVENUE (formerly Paxton Drive
Major Horace S. Carswell, Jr., earned his Medal of Honor as a B-24 pilot on a one-plane strike against a Japanese convoy in the South China Sea on Oct. 26, 1944. He made two direct hits, but the anti-aircraft fire from the convoy damaged his bomber. His deeds and efforts to save his crew earned him the posthumous Medal of Honor. 

Military Working Dog Z-164, "Casey," was assigned to the 3rd Security Police Squadron (SPS) stationed at Clark Air Base, Philippines. His handler, Senior Airman Gray, was killed in the line of duty on Jan. 6, 1978. Casey, although not fatally wounded, did sustain injuries from a single gunshot. Casey was found moments later by other Security Police personnel still standing guard over his mortally wounded handler. 

CHAPMAN COURT (formerly Petunia Street
Master Sgt. Henry A. Chapman was the first recipient of the Cheney Award, presented annually for an act of valor. Sergeant Chapman rescued the crew from the dirigible Roma at Langley Field, Virginia, on Feb. 22, 1922. President Coolidge presented the award to him on April 26, 1928. 

CHENNAULT AVENUE (formerly unnamed
Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault, a pioneer Army Air Corps pilot, achieved fame as one of the organizers of the Flying Tigers, one of the famous units of World War II. He later commanded the Fourteenth Air Force during the war. He died in 1958. 

CRAW AVENUE (formerly Myrtle Street) 
Colonel Demas T. Craw earned the Medal of Honor posthumously while on a secret mission to French headquarters in Morocco behind enemy lines prior to the November 1942 Allied landings in North Africa. His group intended to meet with French leaders loyal to the German cause and negotiate a truce. He died in an ambush en route to the meeting. 

DETHLESFSEN AVENUE (formerly Larch Street
Captain Merlyn H. Dethlesfsen received the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War while flying an F-105 mission over North Vietnam. Despite intense enemy fighter opposition and severe damage to his aircraft, Dethlesfsen continued to press his attacks against ground installations. President Johnson awarded him the Medal of Honor at the White House in February 1968. He died on Dec. 14, 1987. 

DOOLITTLE AVENUE (formerly Tulip Avenue & Paxton Drive
General James "Jimmy" H. Doolittle, one of the giants in aviation history, achieved many first during a remarkable career. He was the recipient of a Medal of Honor for leading the famed April 1942 bombing attack against the Japanese home islands. He also received the Mackay Trophy along with many other major awards and decorations. He served as the first President of the Air Force Association. General Doolittle retired from Air Force in 1959 and passed away in 1993. 

EAKER AVENUE (formerly Pear Street
General Ira C. Eaker was one of the founding pioneers of strategic air power, including the encouragement of an independent Air Force. As the first Eighth Air Force Commander, he carried on a sustained campaign of precision daylight bombing attacks against German industrial and military sites across Europe. The Allied around-the-clock strategic bombing campaign was adopted largely because of his persistent advocacy of daylight bombing. General Eaker died on Aug. 6, 1987. 

FAIRCHILD AVENUE (formerly Plum Avenue & Loop Road
General Muir S. Fairchild began his Air Force career as a private during World War II. Although he never completed a college degree, General Fairchild's belief in the importance of education for Air Force officers was the driving force behind a central institution in the Air Force today -- the Air University. He was instrumental in developing the future of Air University as a place that taught "sound and true doctrine and basic concepts to guide the development of the air forces of the future." General Fairchild died on March 17, 1950. 

Airman First Class Steven M. Faust, assigned to the 3rd Security Police Squadron (SPS), stationed at Clark Air Base, Philippines, he was a dog handler with "C" Flight Law Enforcement. He was murdered on Oct. 28, 1987 while traveling from his home to the base by a terrorist assassination unit called a "sparrow unit." 

FEMOYER AVENUE (formerly Fig Street
Second Lieutenant Robert E. Femoyer earned a Medal of Honor as a B-24 navigator during a mission over Germany on Nov. 2, 1944. Despite being severely wounded, he remained at his station for two and a half hours so he could guide his bomber back to England. Only on reaching the English Channel did he permit a sedative injection. Femoyer died shortly after being removed his B-24. 

FINLETTER AVENUE (formerly Grape Street
Thomas Knight Finletter was the second Secretary of the Air Force, from April 24, 1950 to Jan. 20, 1953. During World War I, he served a captain in the 312th Field Artillery Regiment. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1920 and the New York Bar in 1921. Secretary Finletter served as chairman of the President's Air Policy Commission which, on Jan. 1, 1948, sent to the president the report entitled "Survival in the Air Age." He died on April 24, 1980. 

Technical Sergeant James W. Gainey was a loadmaster assigned to the 17th Tactical Airlift Squadron, now the 517th Airlift Squadron. He died when the C-130 he was aboard crashed a mile off the approach end of the runway at Sparrevohn, Alaska on April 28, 1978. 

GIBSON AVENUE (formerly Elm Street
Brigadier General Kenneth H. Gibson served as Commander, Alaskan Air Command from August 1957 to August 1958. He saw service in the European and Pacific Theaters during World War II. He retired July 1, 1966 and died Dec. 27, 1997. 

GOTT AVENUE (formerly unnamed
Lieutenant Donald J. Gott received the Medal of Honor for a B-17 mission flown over Germany on Nov. 9, 1944. Gott and his copilot, Lieutenant William E. Metzeger, Jr., chose to remain with their badly damaged bomber until their crew could bail out. Both died in the crash. 

GRAVELINE COURT (formerly Calla Street
Sergeant 1st Class Fred Graveline was the first enlisted recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross. Although virtually unknown, he occupies a unique place in history as one of only two Air Service enlisted men in WWI to win the Distinguished Service Cross and one of a very small group of enlisted men that flew combat missions during WWI. Sergeant Graveline died on Feb. 6, 1956. 

GRAY LOOP (New Street
Senior Airman Robert S. Gray was assigned to the 3rd Security Police Squadron (SPS) stationed Clark Air Base, Philippines. During a patrol on Jan. 6, 1978, with his canine Casey, he encountered intruders near the base perimeter. During the conflict between himself and the intruders he was fatally wounded when he was stabbed with a 12-inch knife in his chest. When other units arrived on the scene they found Gray lying on the ground dead, with his dog Casey at his side. 

HARLOW COURT (formerly Pansy Court
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Donald L. Harlow served as the second Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. He entered military service in August 1942. Chief Harlow retired Sept. 30, 1971. He died June 18, 1997. 

HODGES AVENUE (formerly Dogwood Street
Major Gen. James P. Hodges received his commission in the Aviation Section, US Army Signal Corps on April 29, 1918. General Hodges was in command of the 2nd Air Division, assigned to Eighth Air Force during World War II, overseeing one of the largest air organizations ever formed which was a major contributor to the Allied bombing campaign against Germany. He died on June 19, 1992. He spent the majority of his career in various training commands. 

HOLLANDIA DRIVE (formerly 22nd Street
Hollandia, on New Guinea Island, served as a major Japanese airbase and supply center during World War II. The 3rd Bomb Group frequently attacked the strategic installations there and participated in its retaking in April 1944. The seizure of Hollandia eliminated the last major Japanese stronghold on New Guinea Island. 

JERSTAD AVENUE (formerly Cedar Street
Major John L. Jerstad earned the Medal of Honor during the Aug. 1, 1943 bombing mission against the oil refinery at Ploesti, Romania. He continued to lead his bomber group despite the fact that his B-24 was on fire and badly damaged. He and his crew crashed and died in the target area after the bombs were released. 

JOHNSON AVENUE (formerly unnamed
Lieutenant Col. Leon W. Johnson earned the Medal of Honor during the Aug. 1, 1943 bombing mission against the oil refinery at Ploesti, Romania. When his group became separated due to weather, he elected to carry out his planned low-level attack despite the thoroughly alerted defenses. 

KENNEY AVENUE (formerly Maple Street
General George C. Kenney began his military career in the Aviation Section, U.S. Army Signal Corps. He served in combat during World War I and received credit for two aerial victories. He commanded the Fifth Air Force during World War II and became the first Strategic Air Command commander after the war. He retired in 1951, and died Aug. 9, 1977. 

KISLING COURT (formerly Orchid Court
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Richard D. Kisling was the third senior enlisted man to hold the position of adviser to Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff. He joined the Army Air Forces during World War, and retired from the Air Force Sept. 30, 1973, and from Air Force civil service on May 20, 1985. He died on Nov. 3, 1985. 

KUTER AVENUE/COURT (formerly Chinook Circle & L Street
General Laurence S. Kuter's 35 years of active service left its mark on the development of airlift. As a senior planner during World War II, he advocated military airlift and commanded the Atlantic Division of the Air Transport Command. In 1948, Kuter headed up the effort to consolidate the Air Force and Navy airlift assets into a single operating command, which resulted in the activation of the Military Air Transport Service in June 1948, which later evolved into the Military Airlift Command and later Air Mobility Command. General Kuter died Nov. 30, 1979. 

LAMBERT AVENUE (formerly unnamed
First Sergeant Lawrence Lambert became the first person to eject from an aircraft using an ejection seat. He achieved the feat while assigned to Parachute Branch, Personnel Equipment Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB in the late 1940s. The test proved the feasibility of using ejection seats in high-speed aircraft. 

LINDBERGH AVENUE (formerly K Street
Charles A. Lindbergh achieved fame in May 1927, when he flew the "Spirit of St Louis," on a 3,600 mile flight from New York to Paris, becoming the first airman to cross the Atlantic solo. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the first-ever Distinguished Flying Cross by the U.S. government and other high honors from many countries. During WWII, he served as a civilian advisor in the South Pacific and flew combat missions in the P-38. In 1954, Lindbergh was recommissioned in the Air Force Reserve and appointed a brigadier general by President Eisenhower. Lindbergh died Aug. 26, 1974. 

LORING AVENUE (formerly unnamed
Major Charles J. Loring, Jr., was one of four airmen to earn the Medal of Honor for combat in Korea. He was killed during a combat mission on 22 November 1952, while leading a flight of four F-80 jets on a close support mission near Sniper Range in North Korea. 

LUKE AVENUE (formerly J Street
Second Lieutenant Frank Luke, Jr., was America's number two ace and the most spectacular air fighter of World War I. He earned the reputation of being a "lone fighter," preferring to seek out and destroy the enemy on his own initiative. He also earned two Distinguished Service Crosses for extraordinary heroism in air action in the face of heavy enemy fire and the Medal of Honor. He was 21 years old when he was killed in action in 1918. 

MATHIES COURT (formerly Daisy Court
Staff Sergeant Archibald Mathies, Medal of Honor recipient, was killed in action in England after a mission over Leipzig, Germany on 20 February 1944. While on his second mission, the aircraft was attacked and severely damaged with the pilot wounded and unconscious, the copilot killed, and the radio operator wounded. Sergeant Mathies, an engineer-gunner and another crewmember flew the plane back to the home station, where the crew bailed out. Sergeant Mathies, with the wounded pilot aboard, tried unsuccessfully to land the bomber. They died in the crash. 

McCLOUD AVENUE (formerly unnamed
Lieutenant General David J. McCloud assumed command of the Alaskan Command, Eleventh Air Force and Alaskan NORAD Region in December 1997. General McCloud had a vision of Alaska as one of the premiere training grounds for joint forces, and he worked tirelessly to promote that image. He died on 26 July 1998, when his privately owned aircraft crashed at Fort Richardson. 

MCGUIRE AVENUE (formerly I Street
Major Thomas "Mickey" McGuire, a Medal of Honor recipient, was America's second highest scoring ace of World War II. He shot down 38 Japanese planes while assigned as a P-38 pilot in the Southwest Pacific. Major McGuire was killed in action 7 January 1945. 

METZGER AVENUE (formerly Eagle Drive
Lieutenant William E. Metzger, Jr., received the Medal of Honor for a B-17 mission flown over Germany on 9 November 1944. Lieutenant Metzger and his pilot, Lieutenant Donald J. Gott, chose to remain with their badly damaged bomber until their crew could bail out. Both died in the crash. 

MITCHELL AVENUE (formerly 5th Street
Brigadier General William "Billy" Mitchell was known as the "visionary" of the Air Force. He was one of the founding fathers of the Air Force, defined roles and missions for an independent air force. He was a crusader having the vision to understand the potential of strategic air power that would dominate future wars long before his contemporaries would realize the potential of air power. He was awarded posthumously the Special Congressional Medal of Honor in 1946, the only one of its kind. He died on 17 February 1936. 

MUNDY AVENUE (formerly H Street
Lieutenant General George W. Mundy graduated from West Point in 1928, and served with great distinction. As a B-29 group commander during World War II, he flew 22 combat missions before his bomber was shot down off the coast of Japan. He and his crew were rescued. General Mundy served as Commander-in-Chief, Alaskan Command before his retirement in 1961. 

NECRASON AVENUE (formerly S Street
Major General Conrad F. "Nick" Necrason graduated from West Point in 1936. He served with and later commanded a bomber group and saw extensive action in the Pacific and China Burma India Theaters during World War II. Later he commanded the Alaskan Air Command before his retirement in 1965. General Necrason then served as the Adjutant General, Alaska National Guard from 1967 to 1971 and from 1974 to 1982. He died in January 1997. 

The American Volunteer Group, "The Flying Tigers," established an impressive record during the early days of World War II. Between 18 December and 4 July 1942, when they were disbanded, the volunteer P-40 pilots destroyed 286 Japanese aircraft. In contrast, they lost only eight pilots killed in combat. To enhance esprit de corps, the P-40 noses were painted to symbolize the mouth, flashing teeth, and eye of the tiger. Subsequently, newsmen used the tagline "Flying Tigers" which rapidly caught on worldwide. 

PEASE AVENUE (formerly Post Road/f Street/G Street
Captain Harl Pease Jr., earned the Medal of Honor when he was killed in action near Rabaul, New Britain. He was flying a B-17 mission on 8 August 1942, his formation was intercepted by about thirty enemy fighters. Pease, who bore the brunt of the attack, continued to press the attack, dropping his bombs on the target before being shot down. 

PITSENBARGER COURT (formerly Lilac Court
On 11 April 1966, A1C William H. Pitsenbarger, a pararescuman, was killed while defending some of his wounded comrades. This action earned him the Air Force Cross. "Pits," as he was known to his friends, refused to leave a group of Army wounded when offered the opportunity. He remained with them, assisting in defending them against Viet Cong attacks. He was killed by a sniper 

RABAUL DRIVE (formerly unnamed
Rabaul was the stronghold of Japanese defense in the Solomon Islands. The 3rd Bomb Group along with other Army Air Forces and Navy Aviation units fought an intense air campaign that lasted from mid October to late November 1943 that succeeded in neutralizing the Japanese bastion. 

Master Sergeant Tom Rafferty was one of two enlisted pilots who, in 1947 elected to transfer from the Army to the newly created Air Force. This transfer made him and the other sergeant the first and last flying sergeants in the Air Force. MSgt Rafferty was a 1933 graduate of the Army Air Corps flight school. He unfortunately perished in an aircraft crash over the high Sierras in 1950. 

Edward V. "Eddie" Rickenbacker, was America's leading ace of World War I with 26 aerial victories. During his career in aviation, he earned nearly every decoration possible including the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

Operation Rolling Thunder was a frequently interrupted bombing campaign against the North Vietnam military important infrastructure that began on 24 February 1965 and ended three years later. Aimed at persuading the North Vietnam to abandon the conquest of the south, it also faced political restrictions because of the fear of drawing China and Russia into the conflict. The aircrews faced increasingly deadly defenses system. The combination of the two hampered the goals of Rolling Thunder and led to its abandonment. 

Lieutenant Joseph R. Sarnoski earned the Medal of Honor while assigned as a B-17 bombardier on a 16 June 1943 mission over Buka in the Solomon Islands. Despite intense, coordinated fighter attacks against the nose of the bomber, Lieutenant Sarnoski remained at his post. Mortally wounded, he continued fire his machine gun until he collapsed and died. 

SAVILLE AVENUE (formerly B Street
General Gordon P. Saville entered the Army Air Corps in 1926 as a flying cadet. He held important high level command and staff positions during World War II. Following the war, he continued to rise in rank and commanded the Air Defense Command. 

SHARP AVENUE (formerly A Street
Dudley Crawford Sharp was the sixth Secretary of the Air Force, from December 1959 to 20 January 1961. Secretary Sharp served in the US Navy from 1942 to 1945 as an officer aboard an anti-submarine warfare vessels and later in the Navy Department in Washington. He died on 17 May 1987. 

SIJAN AVENUE (formerly N Street & P Street
Lieutenant Lace P. Sijan earned the Medal of Honor for his fierce opposition to his North Vietnamese captors. Shot down on 9 November 1967, Lieutenant Sijan first resisted capture for 45 days. When captured, he refused to disclose information and tried escape. His health broken, but not his spirit, he died from a lack of proper food and medical attention. 

SIMPSON HARBOR DRIVE (formerly 35th Street
Simpson Harbor was one of two principal harbors at the Japanese strong hold of Rabaul on New Britain Islands in the southwest Pacific. Beginning in October 1943, the 3rd Bomber Group conducted repeated low-level bombing attacks against Japanese shipping in the harbor that contributed to the ultimate neutralization of Rebault. 

SLAMMER AVENUE (formerly O Street
The Hughes AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile is nicknamed "Slammer" was designed as an all-weather "fire-and-forget," Mach 4 weapon with a 30-mile range. In December 1992, an F-16 pilot fired the first AMRAAM in actual combat, shooting down a MiG-25 Foxbat during a confrontation over southern Iraq. 

Technical Sergeant Peter J. Staffan was a flight engineer assigned to the 17th Tactical Airlift Squadron (TAS), now the 517th Airlift Squadron (AS). He died when the C-130 he was aboard crashed a mile off the approach end of the runway at Sparrevohn, Alaska on 28 April 1978. 

TALLEY AVENUE (formerly Farrel Road/Hubble Road/Spur Road
Brigadier General Benjamin B. Talley came to Alaska in 1940, as a captain to supervise construction of Yakutat Airfield. In January 1941, he assumed responsibility for the construction of Elmendorf Field and Fort Richardson, begun the previous June. During 1941-1943, he supervised construction of Army facilities in Alaska including the Aleutian Islands. He received the Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts. He left in June 1943 to help plan the Normandy Invasion. He earned the Distinguished, the Nation's second highest award for valor, on Omaha Beach. Following retirement, General Talley returned to Alaska. General Talley died on 27 November 1998, at the age of 95 in Homer, Alaska. 

TRUEMPER LOOP (formerly unnamed
Lieutenant Walter E. Truemper earned the Medal of Honor as a B-17 navigator during a bombing raid over occupied Europe on 20 February 1944. After his pilot was severely wounded and the copilot killed, Lieutenant Truemper flew the damaged bomber back to England. Following the bailout of other crewmembers, Lieutenant Truemper and the engineer attempted to land the bomber in order to save the pilot's life. All died in the crash. 

The conflict lasted from 25 October 1983 through December 1983 to rescue nearly 1,000 American medical students after a Communist government supported by Cuba seized control of the island of Granada. United States forces initially met stiff resistance from Grenadian army and Cuban military units. Heavy fighting continued for several days, but as the invasion force grew to more than 7,000, the defenders either surrendered or fled into the mountains. By mid-December, U.S. combat forces went home and a pro-American government took power. 

VANDENBERG AVENUE (formerly Davis Highway
General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, who served in the 3rd Attack Group prior to World War II, rose rapidly in rank during the war, becoming one of the architects of the modern Air Force. He became the second Air Force Chief of Staff in April 1948. He oversaw its rapid expansion during the early days of the Cold War. General Vandenberg's untimely death from cancer on 2 April 1954 cut short a remarkable career. 

While flying over Bremen, Germany, on 20 December 1943 the radio operator, Technical Sergeant Forrest L. Vosler was severely wounded when the aircraft was struck by anti-aircraft fire. He originally offered to be thrown out of the crippled aircraft to reduce the weight of the aircraft. The remaining crew refused, and after the aircraft made a crashed landing, he was instrumental in saving the tail gunner from certain death. 

WALMSLEY AVENUE (formerly unnamed
Captain John S. Walmsley earned the Medal of Honor while assigned to the 3rd Bomber Group. He was killed in action over North Korea on 14 September 1951, while leading a B-26 nigh attack against a convoy. Running out of ammunition, he guided another B-26 to the target area with his searchlight, constantly exposing himself to enemy fire. Badly wounded and his plane damaged, Captain Walmsley ordered his crew to bail out. He died in the crash. 
WARD LOOP (New Street
Corporal Eddie Ward was assigned as the first enlisted airmen to the Aeronautical Division of the Army Signal Corp on 1 August 1907. He retired from the service some 29 years later on 2 June 1930 at the rank of Master Sergeant. During his career he attained the status of Master Signal Electrician, Master Photographer, and a Balloon Pilot and mechanic. 

WESTOVER AVENUE (formerly unnamed
General Oscar Westover enlisted as a private in the Army in 1901, and the following year he won an appointment to West Point. He became one of the pioneers of military airpower and was responsible for procuring modern aircraft. He is credited with the development of aviation schools at Langley Field, Virginia and Rockwell Field, California. In 1935, Westover was appointed Chief of the Army Air Corps. General Westover died 21 September 1938, while piloting an attack plane. 

WEWAK AVENUE (formerly 36th Street
On 16 August 1943, the 3rd Bombardment Group participated in the operation to destroy Japanese facilities on Wewak and Boram on the north side of New Guinea. The attacks were made in preparation for the 5 September 1943, amphibious and airborne assaults to seize the nearby Japanese airfields at Lae and Salamua. The occupation of the two strategic locations cleared the Japanese from eastern New Guinea. 

Sergeant K.T. Widekamp was one of four crewmembers aboard the Martin NBS Bomber that completed the first cross-country flight in a bomber aircraft. On 13 September 1923, the crew departed Langley Field, Virginia for San Diego, California and then returned to Langley Field. The multi-legged flight covered 8,257 miles and took until 14 December 1923 to complete. Although the flight was accomplished with little publicity or fanfare, it was seen as an example of the future capabilities of what commercial and military aviation could accomplish. 

WILKINS AVENUE (formerly Hospital Drive
Major Raymond H. Wilkins earned the Medal of Honor on 2 November 1943, while leading a 3rd Bomb Group formation of B-25s against enemy shipping in Simpson Harbor, Rabaul, New Britain Island. On his 87th combat mission, Wilkins' airplane was hit almost immediately, damaging the right wing. Despite the damage, he continued to lead the attack, drawing fire away from the other bombers. In this fierce engagement, Major Wilkins destroyed two enemy vessels, and made possible the safe withdrawal of the remaining planes of his squadron, before his plane crashed, killing all aboard. 

YOUNT AVENUE (formerly Moose Drive
Lieutenant General Barton K. Yount graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1907. He transferred to the Army Air Service during World War I. He served in various senior level command and staff positions following the war. He commanded the Army Air Forces Training Command, which was responsible for training a force of over two million. General Yount retired from active duty on 30 June 1946, and died 11 July 1949. 

ZEAMER AVENUE (formerly Walton Road
Captain Jay Zeamer, Jr. earned the Medal of Honor as a B-17 pilot on 16 June 1943, mapping mission over the Buka area, Solomon Islands. Japanese aircraft attacked his aircraft, damaging it and severely wounding Captain Zeamer. Despite his injuries, Captain Zeamer maneuvered the damaged plane so skillfully that his gunners were able to fight off the enemy during a running fight lasting 40 minutes, and destroyed at least five hostile planes, which he shot down himself. 

ZUCKERT AVENUE (formerly unnamed
Eugene M. Zuckert as the Secretary of the Air Force on 24 January 1961 to 30 September 1965. In July 1948, he served on a committee set up by Secretary of Defense James Forrestal to establish a unified court-martials code for the military services. Later Secretary Zuckert assisted the Air Force in the formulation of the fiscal year 1950 budget, the first joint Army-Navy-Air Force budget in history.


Contact information

The 673d Air Base Wing History Office supports the 11th Air Force and 3d Wing, and is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 10471 20th Ave., Suite 133.

Contact the History Office at DSN or commercial 552-4765 or 4767.