England Air Force Base, which officially closed on December 15, 1992, began as the Alexandria Army Air Base on October 16, 1942 and was formally activated on February 12, 1943, was comprised of 2,604 acres and had two runways — one north-south 7,000 feet long, and one northwest-southeast 9,350 feet long. Its capital assets were valued at more than $600 million.
Until 1945, the facility was used as a B-17 bomber combat crew training school. After cessation of hostilities in Europe in 1945, the base was used to train B-29 bomber flight crews for duty in the Pacific Theater.
As the war with Japan came to an end, so did the training mission. Early in 1946, the base was placed on standby status, eventually being turned over to the City of Alexandria for use as a municipal airport. In 1950, when hostilities in Korea broke out, the base was reactivated as Alexandria Air Force Base. Later that year it was assigned to the Tactical Air Command.
In June 1955, the base was officially named England Air Force Base in honor of Lt. Col. John England, who had been commander of the tenant 389th Fighter Squadron. The last flying unit was the famous 23rd "Flying Tigers" which performed "from Burma to Baghdad," a combat legacy from WWII to Operation Desert Storm.
After reopening in 1950, England Air Force Base was home to many units. The divisions and wings assigned here, and their principal aircraft are listed below.
Unit · Principal Aircraft · Dates
169th Combat Training School · B17, B29 · Feb 43-Sep 46
137th Fighter Bomber Wing · F-84 · Nov 50-Jun 52
132nd Fighter Bomber Wing · F-51, T-33 · Jun 52-Jan 53
366th Fighter Bomber Wing · F-86, F-100 · Jan 53-Sep 57
101st Tactical Fighter Wing · F-84, F-66, F-100 · Feb 54-Jan 64
420th Air Refueling Squadron · KB-29 · Mar 54-Sep 55
622nd Air Refueling Squadron · KB-29, KB-50 · Jul 55-Aug 57
834th Air Division · · Sep 57-Apr 59
3rd Tactical Fighter Wing · F100 · Jan 64-Nov 65
334th Air Division · · Jul 64-Jan 66
1st Air Commando Wing (Later 1st Special Operations Wing · C/AC/EC/HC-47, O-1, U-3, U-6, A/RA-26, T/AT-28, L-28 (Later U-10), A-37, C/AC-119, C-123, C-130 · Jan 66-Jul 69
4410th Combat Crew Training Wing
(Later, 4410th Special Operations Training Group) · AC-47, AC-119, C-123, A-37B · Jul 69-Jul 73
4403rd Tactical Fighter Wing · F-100 · Sep 70 - Jul 72
23rd Tactical Fighter Wing (Flying Tigers) · A-7D, T-33, A-37B, A-10A · Jul 72 - Jun 92
623 Wing · · Jun 92-Dec 92