Scott AFB celebrates 95th birthday
Friday, June 22, 2012, 3:54:36 PM
Airmen and civilians alike came together to celebrate the history and legacy of Scott AFB
recently, as the base threw a celebration in honor of its 95th birthday.
Scott AFB's roots reach back to 1917, before the United States Air Force was even a designated branch of the military. It was established during World War when then-Secretary of War Newton D. Baker was working to expand the role of aviation in the military. The Midwest seemed like the perfect place for one of the new "flying fields," where airmen would practice ballooning missions.
On June 14, 1917, the U.S. War Department agreed to lease the land in Illinois, creating what is now Scott Air Force Base, named after Corporal Frank S. Scott, the first enlisted individual who was killed in an aviation crash while flying as a passenger with another airman.
It cost about $10 million and 2,000 laborers to build the airfield from scratch. It took about 60 days for the Unit Construction Company to build 59 buildings and a 1,600-foot landing circle. They also connected the base to the Southern Railroad.
During the recent celebration, food, drink, entertainment and family games kept party-goers occupied as they learned the history of the base and enjoyed a "cool car" display and arts and crafts demonstrations.
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