Rosecrans Memorial Airport (ANG)
Rosecrans Memorial Airport is located in northwestern Missouri, approximately 40 miles north of Kansas City and 4 miles west of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Owned and operated by the City of Saint Joseph, Rosecrans Memorial Airport is home to the 139th Airlift Wing whose mission is to train, equip, and maintain units and individuals to meet worldwide requirements for federal day-to-day and mobilization missions and state emergencies. The base is located on the east side of the airport and consists of a total of 42 buildings: 32 industrial and 10 administrative totaling 309,000 square feet with no transient housing or billeting. The Air National Guard occupies a 101 acre parcel of land; 54 acres owned by the US Government and 47 acres leased from the City of Saint Joseph. Day-to-day activities are managed by 352 full-time personnel. This increases to 997 personnel during the unit training drills conducted one weekend each month.
The airport was named in honor of Sgt. Guy W. Rosecrans "and comrades" of the 153rd Aero Squadron, U.S. Army, 1917-18. The new 1939 flying field was the third airport in St. Joseph to bear the name Rosecrans. In 1922 the first Rosecrans Field was opened at Lake Contrary. The second was Rosecrans Municipal Airport on the waterworks road, abandoned because of its small size and its dangerous proximity to the Missouri River bluffs to its east. The 1939 airport was developed by the city as a municipal airport. Two three-thousand-foot-long runways were constructed in 1939, as well as an aircraft hangar located east of the runway intersection.
During World War II the federal government established an Army Air Force Base there. During 1941-43 many improvements were made. The diagonal runways were doubled in length and a 5,500-foot north-south runway was constructed. The aircraft parking apron and many temporary buildings, including Hangar T-1020, were built.
In 1948 much of the airfield's facilities were conveyed to the city, with the exception of 142 acres set aside for use by the Air National Guard (organized in 1946). Airport construction during this period consisted of pump house buildings and T-hangars (1949-50) and a terminal and administration building (1951-52). Construction during the next twenty years included a main hangar building (1954), a flight office building (1960), an emergency generator building (1963), a center taxiway (1973), and a runway (1974-75). The airport was flooded in 1993, destroying the City Administration Building and the Cockpit Cafe. Both were rebuilt. The oldest, center hangar had to be demolished.
In 1994 the diagonal runway 13-31 was being rebuilt into a new assault landing strip for the Air National Guard and for general aviation aircraft. A new fixed base operator building and a hangar were also being constructed.
Over the years the airport has been used for/by business-related aviation, agricultural crop spraying, charter passenger and cargo services, area student pilot training, nightly mail delivery, the Missouri Air National Guard use, and TWA pilot training.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD would realign Will Rogers AGS by distributing the 137th Airlift Wing's C-130H aircraft to the 136th Airlift Wing (ANG), NAS JRB Fort Worth (4 aircraft), and 139th Airlift Wing (ANG), Rosecrans Memorial Airport AGS, MO (4 aircraft). In addition, the Aeromedical Squadron and fire fighters from Will Rogers would move to Rosecrans AGB. This realignment would create two larger C-130 squadrons at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth (53) and Rosecrans Air Guard Station (114) from three under sized squadrons.
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