Glasgow AFB, Montana
Glasgow Air Force Base was located in the northeast corner of Montana, 26 miles north of the city of Glasgow, Montana. 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 Glasgow Air Force Base, Mont., 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 in 1968.
The former Glasgow Army Air Field (AAF) is situated on 2,798 acres adjacent to the city of Glasgow (population: 8,239) in northeastern 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.
Glasgow AAF, 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 November 1946.
Glasgow AFB began shutting down in the late 1960s, and is an example of failed local policies. Currently, the former Glasgow AAF 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.
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