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George Air Force Base Memorial

George Air Force Base Memorial

The early years


George Air Force Base was established on
12 July 1941. Initially, called Victorville Army
Airfield, the base was renamed in honor of the
late Brigadier General Harold H. George
in September, 1950. The base activated on
1 October 1941 and training began in February
1942 on AT-9's, AT-6's, and AT-17's for pilots,
and AT-11's and BT-13's for bombardiers. The
first class of flying cadets graduated on
24 April 1942. During 1943, the following
aircraft were assigned: C-60A, C-47, C-53,
L-4A, L-4E, L-3C, PT-15, L-3B, and CG-4A
gliders. In March, 1944, a new transition school
for P-39 single-engine pursuit pilots arrived.
The war years also included training crew
members in the B-24 and B-25. On 12 October
1945, all flying operations ceased and the Army
placed the installation on a stand-by status.

The supersonic era


George Air Force Base was reactivated on
1 July 1950 when the 1st Fighter Interceptor
Wing, complete with F-86 "Sabre" jets, arrived
and the Tactical Air Command assumed
ownership of the base. In 1953, the
479 Fighter Bomber Wing became the first
supersonic wing in TAC when it received the
F-100 "Super Sabre" aircraft. The arrival of
the F-104 "Starfighter" in 1958 gave the 479th
two weapon systems with supersonic capability.
During this time, the 831st Air Division activated
at the base and assumed the role of the host unit.
In 1959, the F-100D-equipped 31st Tactical
Fighter Wing was activated and in 1962 the
355 TFW was activated flying the F-105
"Thunderchief". George AFB received its first
F-4C "Phantom II's" in November, 1964 with the
activation of the 8 TFW. In 1971, the 479 TFW
inactivated and was replaced by the 35 TFW.
Two years later, the base gained the F-105G
"Wild Weasel" mission. By 1978, the first F-4G
Advanced "Wild Weasel" arrived. The 37 TFW
activated on 30 March 1981.

The final years


On 29 December 1988, the Secretary of Defense
announced that George Air Force Base was
selected for closure in December 1992. At that
time, the 831 Air Division managed the base
providing command supervision of the assigned
tactical aircraft of the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing
and the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing. Force
reduction began when the 35 TTW and the
37 TFW merged to form the 35 TFW on
5 October 1989. On 6 January 1990, Air
Warrior operation moved to Nellis Air Force
Base, Nevada. On 12 August 1990, twenty-four
of the 561st's F-4G "Wild Weasels" departed
George for Shaikh Isa Air Base, Bahrain, to take
part in Operation Desert Storm, which lasted
from 17 January 1991 to 28 February 1991.
The Weasels lived up to their motto, "First In-
Last Out", as they completely annihilated the
enemy surface to air missle threat. All
personnel returned safely. There were no
casualties. All units were eventually inactivated
from June, 1991 through December, 1992.
Upon its inactivation, the final unit, the 35th
Fighter Wing, ended a nearly 21-year
association with George Air Force Base.

George AFB Memorial Fund

Throughout the years, base personnel actively
participated in community events and, in return,
the surrounding communities honored the "Best
of the Best", through many programs such as the
Airman of the Month, Noncommissioned Officer
and Junior Officer of the Quarter. The High Desert
Chapter of the Air Force Association thanks the
following contributors, who donated $500 or more
toward this memorial:
Victorville Rotary Club
Carl and Mary Goude
Southern California
Edison Company
High Desert Federal
Credit Union
Civilian-Military Ball
Boeing Corporation
Victor Valley College
B.P.O. Elks
Lodge # 1877
The Daily Press
Pearl Harbor Survivors
George Air Force Base
Officers' Wives Club
Noncommissioned Officers
Academy Graduate Association
Southwest Gas Corporation
Cal/Nev Pipeline
Desert Community Bank
Victor Valley Mortuary
Doris and Cliff Davies
USMIL/USCSC Retiree Social Club
Dedicated December 15, 1992
by the High Desert Chapter
of the Air Force Association
President: Gerhard Feller
Vice-Pres: Eugene Gregory
Secretary: William O'Keeffe
Treasurer: Col (Ret)
Dean White

Board Members:
Lt Col (Ret) Albert Blenert
Major (Ret) Harry Childress
Major Beverly Coe
Col (Ret) Richard Coe
Jon Edson
Louis Jones
Lt Col (Ret)
George Mesorve, Jr.
Lt Col (Ret)
Richard Pearson
Lt Col (Ret) Joseph Puzo

Southern California Logistics Airport entrance

The George Air Force Base Memorial is located on Worley Blvd, just west of Phantom Street, on the gounds of the Southern California Logistics Airport, in Victorville. See map.

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