|SAC Bases: Glasgow
Air Force Base
| Glasgow Air Force
Base was located in the northeast corner of Montana, 26 miles north of the
city of Glasgow, Montana, not far from the Canadian border. Prior to DOD
ownership, 605 acres of this land were used as a municipal airport and the
rest for agricultural purposes.
The 91st Bombardment Wing was stationed at Glasgow Air
Force Base at of Glasgow, Montana, in new facilities which were completed in
1960. In February 1961 the 326th Bombardment Squadron, equipped with B-52
aircraft, moved to the base as the nucleus for the organization of the
4141st Strategic Wing. In its first year, this became the top wing in
Fifteenth Air Force. The 4141st Strategic Wing at Glasgow inactivated on 01
February 1963, and its aircraft were transferred to the to 322nd Bombardment
Squadron assigned to the 91st Bombardment Wing at Glasgow, which inactivated
Glasgow Army Air Field, also known as the Glasgow Satellite
Airfield, was activated on 10 November 1942. It was one of three satellite
fields of Great Falls Army Air Base which accommodated a bombardment group.
There were four Bomber Squadrons within this group, one located at the Great
Falls Army Air Base and one at each of the three satellite air fields at
Lewistown, Glasgow and Cut Bank. The 96th Bombardment Squadron of the Second
Bombardment Group arrived at Glasgow Army Air Field on 29 November 1942.
Heavy bomber squadrons of the time usually consisted of 8 B-17s with 37
officers and 229 enlisted men. The satellite field was used by B-17 bomber
crews from the Second Air Force during the second phase of their training.
Actual bombing and gunnery training was conducted at the airfield’s
associated sites, Glasgow Pattern Bombing Range and the Glasgow Pattern
Gunnery Range, though other training sites within the bombardment group were
probably also used. The target-towing aircraft assigned to the Fort Peck
Aerial Gunnery Range were also stationed at Glasgow. The last unit to
complete training at Glasgow Satellite Field was the 614th Bombardment
Squadron of the 401st Bombardment Group, which left for England in October
1943. On 01 December 1944 a German prisoner-of-war camp was established at
the site. On 15 July 1946 the Glasgow Army Air Field was classified surplus
and it was subsequently transferred to the War Assets Administration on 18
Glasgow AFB began shutting down in the late
1960s, and is an example of failed local policies. Currently, the former
Glasgow Army Air Field is used as a municipal airport, a light industrial
park and for agricultural purposes. When the base closed, 16,000 people left
the Glasgow area, a trend that continued among the civilian population. As
of 1990 the base and all its infrastructure remained almost completely idle.
In 1970, Glasgow had an emigration rate of 33 percent; in 1980 the
population fell to 4,500, and it was expected to fall below 4,000 in 1990.
Glasgow AFB, which closed in the 1970s, was so isolated
and without business advantages that it sat idle for years until Boeing
Company recently began testing planes there. The Boeing Company, of Seattle,
Wash., owns most of the former air force base, including the old officer's
club facility. In February 1997 Montana Senator Conrad Burns announced that
he had helped set up negotiations between the Saint Marie Condominium
Association (SMCA) and Boeing regarding the possible lease of the officers
club on the old Glasgow Air Force Base. With the exception of the Glasgow
Industrial Airport located in Glasgow, Montana, which is company-owned,
runways and taxiways used by Boeing are located on airport properties owned
by others and are used by the company jointly with others.