is located just a
few miles southeast of Washington, D.C.. It is to visitors ranging
from the president of the United States to congressional delegations,
foreign heads of state and other visiting dignitaries. It
briefly as the first home of Strategic Air Command Headquarters.
It has long been the home of Force One>
What became Andrews AFB
began during the
Civil War when Union troops occupied a small country church near Camp
Springs, Md., as sleeping quarters. At present, the same church is used
on the base and is known as Chapel Two.
Established as Camp Springs Army Air Field on 25,
1941, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote a letter to the
secretary of war directing the use of the land on which the base now
stands. The base was under construction during the remainder of
1942 and became operational May 2, 1943, with the arrival of the first
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.
The name of the base was formally changed to
Andrews Field March 31, 1945, in honor of Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews.
Gen. Andrews was commanding general of the United States Forces in the
European Theater of Operations at the time of his death in an aircraft
accident near Iceland in 1943.
With the establishment of the Air Force as a separate military service
on Sept. 18, 1947, the name was modified to its present form, Andrews
1947 marked the arrival of the first permanently assigned
jet-powered aircraft, the F-80 Shooting Star, at Andrews. The long-lived
and versatile training version of the F-80, the T-33, still played an
important role in proficiency flying programs at Andrews more than 30
years later. With the onset of the Korean War in June 1950,
Andrews rapidly became involved in combat readiness training for B-25
medium bomber crews. Combat readiness training and proficiency flying
for military pilots assigned non-flying duties in the Washington area
have remained two key elements in the local mission since the
establishment of the base. Andrews' air defense role was
strengthened in the 1950s with the latest in fighter-interceptor
hardware appearing on the flightline. F-94 Starfires, F-102 Delta
Daggers and finally, F-106 Delta Darts formed the backbone of the three
fighter interceptor squadrons which operated from the base until 1963.