McClellan Air Force Base

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For the civil use of this facility after 2001, see McClellan Airfield.
McClellan Air Force Base
Air Force Materiel Command.png
Part of Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC)
Sacramento County, California
McClellan Air Force Base - CA 9 May 2002.jpg
McClellan AFB, 9 May 2002
McClellan AFB is located in California
McClellan AFB
McClellan AFB
Coordinates 38°40′04″N 121°24′02″W / 38.66778°N 121.40056°W / 38.66778; -121.40056
Type Air Force Base
Site information
Controlled by United States Air Force
Site history
Built 1935-1938
In use Open 1938 - IN USE
1948-IN USE (as McClellan AFB)
Garrison information
Garrison Air Force Materiel Command
Bell P-39 Repair Line.
To step up its delivery of Speedy Bell P-39 "Airacobra" fighter airplanes to American pilots in the South Pacific, the Army Air Forces Air Service Command put American production line methods to work in its repair docks at McClellan Field, California. Two and one-half million dollars worth of airplanes were overhauled by civilian Air Service Command workers at Sacramento, California preparatory to being sent against the enemy.
Memorial Plaque of McClellan AFB

McClellan Air Force Base (1935–2001) is a former United States Air Force base located in the North Highlands area of Sacramento County, 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Sacramento, California. For the vast majority of its operational lifetime, McClellan was a logistics and maintenance facility for a wide variety of military aircraft, equipment and supplies, primarily under the cognizance of the Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) and later the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC). The United States Coast Guard previously operated Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento at McClellan AFB as a tenant activity, operating and maintaining several HC-130 Hercules aircraft. CGAS Sacramento continues to operate at McClellan following its closure as an Air Force Base and is the only remaining military aviation unit and installation on the airfield.

History[edit]

The base was established in 1935. It was named after Major Hezekiah McClellan (1894–1936) on 1 December 1939, a pioneer in arctic aeronautical tests. He died on 25 May 1936 when his Consolidated P-30 which he was flight testing, crashed near Centerville, Ohio.

Construction of the Pacific Air Depot began in 1935, and the main structures, including administrative buildings, barracks, warehouses and a hospital were completed on 18 April 1938. In 1938 the base was renamed Sacramento Air Depot and underwent a major expansion as a repair and overhaul facility for P-38 and P-39 fighter planes. In December 1941, soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, P-40s as well as B-26 and B-17 bombers began arriving at the field to be armed and prepared for immediate shipment overseas. In March 1942 Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle's B-25s arrived at McClellan for arming in preparation for their famous Tokyo raid.

History[edit]

The base was renamed McClellan Air Force Base in 1948 and its repair and overhaul mission continued throughout the Cold War as an installation of the Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) and later the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), with the overhaul facility being known as the Sacramento Air Logistics Center.

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, McClellan functioned as the main depot for overhauling the Air Force's F-111, FB-111 and EF-111 aircraft, as well as the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. A small contingent of F-111D and F-111F aircraft of the 431 Test & Evaluation Squadron, 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, Nellis AFB Nevada was also detached to McClellan.

Previous names[edit]

  • Pacific Air Depot, 1935 - 1 February 1937
  • Sacramento Air Depot 1 February 1937 - 1 December 1939
  • McClellan Field, 1 December 1939 - 13 January 1948

Major command assignments[edit]

  • Materiel Division, United States Army Air Corps, 24 August 1938 - 11 December 1941
  • Air Service Command, 11 December 1941 - 17 July 1944
  • Army Air Forces Materiel and Services Command, 17 July 1944 - 31 August 1944
  • Army Air Forces Technical Service Command, 31 August 1944 - 1 July 1945
  • Air Technical Service Command, 1 July 1945 - 9 March 1946
  • Air Materiel Command, 9 March 1946 - 1 April 1961
  • Air Force Logistics Command, 1 April 1961 - 1 July 1992
  • Air Force Materiel Command, 1 July 1992 - 13 July 2001

Aerospace Museum of California[edit]

The former McClellan Air Force Base is also the home of the Aerospace Museum of California. The museum itself was originally set up as the McClellan Aviation Museum in 1986 (before the McClellan AFB closed). It was chartered by the National Museum of the United States Air Force and in 2005 it changed its name to the California Aerospace Museum. Various military aircraft sit on display inside one of the hangars, and many more are outside on the tarmac. The museum has displays which highlight the mission of the base when it was active, as well as neighboring bases such as Beale AFB, Travis AFB and the since closed Mather AFB. The museum hosts educational programs to schools in the local area.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About the AMC". Aerospace Museum of California. Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.