HOME
        TheInfoList






Peterson Air Force Base is a U.S. Air Force Base that shares an airfield with the adjacent Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, home to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Space Force's 21st Space Wing, elements of the Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) headquarters. Developed as a World War II air support base for Camp Carson, the facility conducted Army Air Forces training and supported Cold War air defense centers at the nearby Ent Air Force Base, Chidlaw Building, and Cheyenne Mountain Complex. The base was the location of the Air Force Space Command headquarters from 1987 to December 20th, 2019 and has had NORAD/NORTHCOM command center operations since the 2006 Cheyenne Mountain Realignment placed the nearby Cheyenne Mountain Complex centers on standby.

With the recent creation of the U.S Space Force, Peterson AFB and other Air Force installations that do primarily space work, are planned to be renamed to Space Force bases; effectively becoming Peterson Space Force Base.[2]

History

Colorado military construction during the buildup of US training installations prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor included the 1940 Lowry bombardier school at Denver and Camp Carson south of Colorado Springs (HQ completed January 31, 1942). Sites "in the vicinity of Colorado Springs" were assessed in the summer of 1941 for a USAAF airfield,[3] and during April 1942 the Photographic Reconnaissance Operational Training Unit (PROTU) was activated in a leased facility[where?] at Colorado Springs.[4] On May 6, 1942, the site adjacent to the airfield of the 1926 Colorado Springs Municipal Airport was selected,[5] and the airport's airfield was subsequently leased as an "air support field"* for Camp Carson under the "air support base development program". In May 1942, units such as the 5th Mapping Squadron (from Bradley Field) arrived and used city facilities. The "Second Photographic Group Reconnaissance" (activated 7 May 1942 at Will Rogers Field)[6] transferred to Colorado Springs, and the "2nd Group ... headquarters was situated in a former garage across the street from the Post Office, barracks were in the city auditorium...and the mess hall was located at the busy horseshoe counter of the Sante Fe railway station."[7] Land at the Broadmoor was used for maneuvers, and the 2nd Group initially operated without aircraft.[7] Personnel[specify] were also "housed temporarily at Colorado College" and a youth camp near the Woodmen sanitorium.[8] (the 14th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron was located at the Kaufman Building on Tejon St.)[9]

Army Air Base, Colorado Springs

"Army Air Base, Colorado Springs",* construction began after May 10, 1942, on "nothing more than a large patch of Colorado plain",[10] and the installation was placed under the Headquarters, United States "AAF [on] 11 Jun 1942".[5] The 373d Base HQ and Air Base Sq was activated[where?] as the base operating unit on 20 Jun 1942 (replaced by the 214th AAF Base Unit in 1944), and the base was assigned to the 2nd Air Force on 22 June. On July 7, 1942, "HQ PROTU" was on the "Army Air Base, Colorado Springs" and was ordered to provide "four to five months of training to each individual."[10] During air base construction, the 20th Combat Mapping Squadron was activated on July 23, 1942, and used the Alamo Garage[11] on Tejon Street.[12] Runways were completed in August 1942,[8] and eponym 1st Lt Edward J. Peterson crashed 8 August 1942 on take off (1st Coloradoan killed at the airfield.)

Peterson Field

Peterson Field was the airfield named on December 13, 1942,[16] and included the runway used by both the municipal airport and the military installation:[17] "Army Air Base, Peterson Field", which had begun publishing the Wingspread base newspaper by July 11, 1942.[18] The "18 Dep Rpr Sq" was assigned to the military installation from 19 January – 29 April 1943, and the installation was assigned to the Third Air Force (5 March – 1 October 1943) and by the end of the 1943 summer had tar paper barracks, an officer's club, and a theater in a Quonset.[19] After the base transferred to Second Air Force on 1 October 1943,[5] in June 1944 Peterson Field began fighter pilot training[specify] with P-40N Warhawks.[16] "In March 1943 the Third Air Force took over the photographic reconnaissance Operational Training Unit which had been operating at Peterson Field...under the direct control of the Director of Photography since April 1942."[20]

Bomber Commands

The 4th Heavy Bombardment Processing Headquarters ("4 H Bomb Processing HQ") was activated on 10 June 1943 (the 1st B-29 landed at Peterson Field in the summer of 1943),[19] and bomber training by the 214th AAF Base Unit (Combat Crew Training School, Heavy) B-24 Liberator)[failed verification] began after the 383rd Bombardment Group relocated from Geiger Field, Washington[16] on 26 October 1943. In 1944 (11 June – 20 October), the XXI Bomber Command was assigned to Peterson; and the "HQ and HQ Sq" of XXII Bomber Command was assigned 14 October 1944 – 13 February 1945, and by 17 August 1944, 4 bomb wings (313th through 316th) were assigned to the base—the last left on 7 June 1945.[5] The 263rd AAF Base Unit became the Peterson "base operating unit" on 8 March 1945 (transferred to Andrews Field on 17 March 1946).[5]:8,471 The Army Air Forces Instructor School[specify] opened at Peterson Field in April 1945,[16] and the base was one of several that transferred to Continental Air Forces on 16 April (VIII Bomber Command arrived 17 August 1945).

The base was inactivated 31 December 1945 after the 13th Bombardment Wing (17 October) and VIII Bomber Command (c. 15 December) departed, and site management by the base operating unit ended on 17 December.[21] In 1946, Peterson's last AAF Base Units were discontinued: 260th AAF Base Unit (Fighter Wing) in January, the 202nd AAF Base Unit (Special) in February, and the 268th AAF Base Unit (Instrument Instructor Unit) in March and the 201st (Headquarters Base Unit) in April (the 72nd Fighter Wing was at the base from "4 Jan 46-9 Apr 46"). The 703rd AAF Base Unit (Hq, 53d AACS Group) moved to Kelly Field in February. Designated surplus on 29 July 1946,[5] "the U.S. Government returned control[specify] of the [air]field to the City of Colorado Springs".[22] Many of the base buildings were torn down.[22] In 1946, Tonopah AAF (Nevada, on 1 October), Clovis AAF (New Mexico, 16 October), and Casper AAF (Wyoming, on 15 December) became detached installations of the inactive base for a short period.
     During planning for the new United States Air Force, Colorado's [2]

Colorado military construction during the buildup of US training installations prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor included the 1940 Lowry bombardier school at Denver and Camp Carson south of Colorado Springs (HQ completed January 31, 1942). Sites "in the vicinity of Colorado Springs" were assessed in the summer of 1941 for a USAAF airfield,[3] and during April 1942 the Photographic Reconnaissance Operational Training Unit (PROTU) was activated in a leased facility[where?] at Colorado Springs.[4] On May 6, 1942, the site adjacent to the airfield of the 1926 Colorado Springs Municipal Airport was selected,[5] and the airport's airfield was subsequently leased as an "air support field"* for Camp Carson under the "air support base development program". In May 1942, units such as the 5th Mapping Squadron (from Bradley Field) arrived and used city facilities. The "Second Photographic Group Reconnaissance" (activated 7 May 1942 at Will Rogers Field)[6] transferred to Colorado Springs, and the "2nd Group ... headquarters was situated in a former garage across the street from the Post Office, barracks were in the city auditorium...and the mess hall was located at the busy horseshoe counter of the Sante Fe railway station."[7] Land at the Broadmoor was used for maneuvers, and the 2nd Group initially operated without aircraft.[7] Personnel[specify] were also "housed temporarily at Colorado College" and a youth camp near the Woodmen sanitorium.[8] (the 14th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron was located at the Kaufman Building on Tejon St.)[9]

Army Air Base, Colorado Springs

"Army Air Base, Colorado Springs",* construction began after May 10, 1942, on "nothing more than a large patch of Colorado plain",[10] and the installation was placed under the Headquarters, United States "AAF [on] 11 Jun 1942".[5] The 373d Base HQ and Air Base Sq was activated[where?] as the base operating unit on 20 Jun 1942 (replaced by the 214th AAF Base Unit in 1944), and the base was assigned to the 2nd Air Force on 22 June. On July 7, 1942, "HQ PROTU" was on the "Army Air Base, Colorado Springs" and was ordered to provide "four to five months of training to each individual."[10] During air base construction, the 20th Combat Mapping Squadron was activated on July 23, 1942, and used the Alamo Garage[11] on Tejon Street.[12] Runways were completed

"Army Air Base, Colorado Springs",* construction began after May 10, 1942, on "nothing more than a large patch of Colorado plain",[10] and the installation was placed under the Headquarters, United States "AAF [on] 11 Jun 1942".[5] The 373d Base HQ and Air Base Sq was activated[where?] as the base operating unit on 20 Jun 1942 (replaced by the 214th AAF Base Unit in 1944), and the base was assigned to the 2nd Air Force on 22 June. On July 7, 1942, "HQ PROTU" was on the "Army Air Base, Colorado Springs" and was ordered to provide "four to five months of training to each individual."[10] During air base construction, the 20th Combat Mapping Squadron was activated on July 23, 1942, and used the Alamo Garage[11] on Tejon Street.[12] Runways were completed in August 1942,[8] and eponym 1st Lt Edward J. Peterson crashed 8 August 1942 on take off (1st Coloradoan killed at the airfield.)

Peterson Field