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WWII Patch, AAF, AAF Bombardier School, Carlsbad, NM Bugs Bunny

WWII Patch,  AAF, AAF Bombardier School, Carlsbad, NM  Bugs Bunny

Product Information
WWII US Army Air Force Squadron Patch
USAAF  Bombardier School, Carlsbad, NM
Looney Tunes Design - Bugs Bunny
5.75 inches

Training future pilots for Bomb Bombing Bomber Bombardment squadrons.
During World War II Carlsbad Army Air Field sprang into existence southwest of town as a training facility for navigators and bombardiers. When the war ended, the base disappeared almost as quickly as it had appeared. This aerial photograph was taken shortly after the base closed in 1945. (see page 8 Link).  During World War II, the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) established numerous airfields in New Mexico for training pilots and aircrews of USAAF fighters and bombers.  Most of these airfields were under the command of Fourth Air Force or the Army Air Forces Training Command (AAFTC) (A predecessor of the current-day United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command). However the other USAAF support commands (Air Technical Service Command (ATSC); Air Transport Command (ATC) or Troop Carrier Command) commanded a significant number of airfields in a support roles. It is still possible to find remnants of these wartime airfields. Many were converted into municipal airports, some were returned to agriculture and several were retained as United States Air Force installations and were front-line bases during the Cold War. Hundreds of the temporary buildings that were used survive today, and are being used for other purposes. Located on the beautiful Pecos River, Carlsbad offers hiking, golfing, river recreation and lots of sunshine! Carlsbad Caverns National Park and the Guadalupe Mountains National Park are nearby. Carlsbad, New Mexico, is the seat of Eddy County. Situated in a semiarid climate at the northern tip of the Chihuahuan Desert, Carlsbad (elevation: 3100 feet) enjoys mild winters and endures hot summers. The city, with its tree-lined streets, public parks and recreation areas -- including the municipal beach and greenway along Lake Carlsbad - originated as an oasis, the "Pearl on the Pecos."

Army Air Forces Training Command
    Carlsbad AAF, Carlsbad
        386th Army Air Force Base Unit
        Now: Cavern City Air Terminal

5-1-1945  to   6-7-1945

3009th AAFBU Squadron N
2619th AAFBU Squadron B    

Cavern City Air Terminal
Cavern City Air Terminal is a city-owned public-use airport located five miles (8 km) southwest of the central business district of Carlsbad, a city in Eddy County, New Mexico, United States. It is served by one commercial airline, with service subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.

Established by the United States Army Air Corps in 1942 as Carlsbad Army Airfield, the facility was activated on 12 October 1942. Assigned to United States Army Air Forces West Coast Training Center (later Western Training Command) as a advanced (level 3) twin-engine training airfield. Began training flying cadets under the 940th Two-Engine Flying Training Detachment. Had a local axillary airfield for emergency and overflow landings.

The twin-engine school was replaced by Bombardier's School in mid-1942. Bombardier school lasted from 12 to 18 weeks during which a student dropped approximately 160 bombs, both in daytime and at night. Precise records were maintained of his hits and misses; the elimination rate was 12%. Upon graduation, a bombardier was transferred to an operational Second or Third Air Force training unit to join a crew being trained for overseas duty. The bombardier trainer used was the Beech AT-11 Kansan.

Inactivated on 30 September 1945 at the end of World War II and turned over to the Army Corps of Engineers. Eventually discharged to the War Assets Administration (WAA) and became a civil airport.

Carlsbad Auxiliary Army Airfield, Harkey Crossing, NM
32.26 North / 104.23 West (Northeast of El Paso, TX)
Carlsbad Aux AAF was built during WW2 as the sole satellite airfield of Carlsbad AAF (located 5 miles northwest), which conducted specialized bombardier training.
Tom Bemis (of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park) reported in 2003, "During WW2 it was used in the development of Project X-Ray, a top secret project to use bats to carry incendiary bombs into the attics of structures. The bats were chilled to put them into a state of semi-hibernation. When the bomb was dropped, it would open & the bats would warm up & take flight, starting a time delay fuse on the incendiary. The bats would seek the nearest shelter, normally attics, and set them on fire. The bats were killed in the fire. One of these bombs was left out too long, however and the bats escaped, burning down every structure on the Auxiliary Airfield." - See the book 'Bat Bombs', by Jack Couffer for the full story about the project and a photo of the field on fire."

Reunion planned for veterans of Carlsbad air base - Documentary profiles Army Field Base open during WWII - LINKCARLSBAD - July 18, 2008 — When Ken Power and his team began research in February for a documentary film on the former Army Air Field in Carlsbad, he had no idea how much the project would grow. The project snowballed in recent months to include a reunion this September of men and women from around the country who served during World War II at the Army Field Base, which was open from 1942 until 1946 to train bombardiers using Beechcraft AT-11s. Aside from the planned reunion, some modest restoration efforts are under way. At the flagpole area on the former parade ground, a memorial is being chiseled out of stone to lay at the foot of the pole. Perhaps most important, dog tags found recently at the former base are being returned to the owners or their surviving relatives. The Carlsbad Army Air Field Preservation Group has been formed to preserve some of the airfield's structures and other items found at the site such as pilots' wings, grenade canisters and cadet insignias. Power, a Carlsbad native and owner of Blank Page Productions, a video production company, said the idea for the documentary came from a friend, Tom Beemis, who works for the National Park Service. "Tom was the instigator of the project," Power said. "What we had planned to do was video the men and women that had served at the base giving their oral histories about what life was like living at the base during wartime, and what they did for recreation in Carlsbad back then." The scope of the project expanded when Power and Beemis began interviewing former airmen who still live in Carlsbad. "We interviewed Bruce Pardue, and during the interview, he asked if we would be interested in going out to the site," Power recalled. Of course, they were interested, so they toured the base with Pardue and his son, Larry. "When we got to what was once the parade ground, we saw a pipe sticking up out of the ground with a bunch of broken rock around it. It turned out that the broken rock was actually some of the original foundation of the parade ground flagpole, which was the pipe sticking up out of the ground." Power said a group of volunteers soon returned to clear the site and make way for a new flagpole beside the remains of the original one. But after a lot of hard work, there was a setback. "We spent four weekends finding and stacking the flagstone. It was hard work," Power said. But when volunteers returned to the site to actually lay the stone, it had all disappeared.  We don't have the money to buy (flagstone), so we will have to go out there again and find more," Power said. "We wanted to use every thing natural that came from the original Army Air Field." Although the flagpole project was back to square one, he said, finding people interested in attending the reunion was a little easier. "We placed ads in all the national veteran organizations magazines to see if there would be an interest from those who served here in World War II," Power said. The group's original plan was for a reunion next year so they would have more time for planning. But then the calls started coming in from former airmen and women who wanted to attend such a gathering. "Most of the pilots and bombardiers that were here during the war are now between 85 and 95 years old," Power said. "They told us they may not be here next year, but they really would like to come to the reunion. So we decided to hold it in September." He said about 70 people have indicated they will come.

Forum Posts:

I was stationed at Carlsbad Army Air Corps Base from 1944-1946. I was an AIR WAC who worked on the flight line in a maintenance group. I kept track of the AT-11 aircraft and scheduled them for bombardier training missions. I also came in contact with the Wings Over America book in the Carlsbad Public Library. I wanted them to release it to the Women's Museum in DC, but they declined. They sent me Xeroxed copies of the pictures of the WAC Detachment(of which I was a member)but I would like a copy of the whole book if it can be purchased reasonably. My name in the book is Private Marilyn F. Haynes. I am also shown at the first person, second row on the WAC page: "left dress" Again, the date would be 1944 0r 1945. Please let me know what is possible.   link

I lived in Carlsbad, New Mexico as a child and as a young man...I owned some land near the old Carlsbad Army Air Field....I oft times took my young sons for walks to the old barracks area and we would find marbles, buttons, toy soldiers, a few coins and lots of other cool items from the WW2 era. My best find however was at the local library.I found original copies of the Carlsbad Army Air Field Bombigator magazine. I was given permission to make Xerox copies of about 25 of them. I still have these copies in my possession. These are from around 1943 through 1945. If anyone is interested in these copies, I am willing to sell them. Contact me for further information regarding this.......or information on the 21 bombing targets that were scattered throughout Eddy county....I found and visited every one except one. I actually found enough parts to reassemble a complete concrete 100 pound practice bomb. ( The earlier practice bombs were made of metal and were filled with sand ,but as the need for steel towards the end of the war increased.....concrete forms were used for the practice bomb's main body.)...... I have great memories of my times looking for and finding pieces of history and artifacts from the old Carlsbad Army Air Field.   link

Price: $150.00

Product Code: PatchAAF.0000.AAFBombardierSchool.CarlsbadNM
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