The Historic Wendover Airfield

I’ve waited to post these photos because today is the 81st anniversary of the attack on America’s Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On December 7, 1941, “a day that will live in infamy,” the Japanese began a two-hour surprise attack with 350 planes that damaged or destroyed 330 U.S. aircraft, 19 ships, and killed 2,400 people. Each year on December 7th in the United States, we have a National Pearl Harbor Day of Remembrance to honor the men and women who perished in the attack that ultimately led to the United States of America entering World War II and declaring war on Japan.

The Historic Wendover Airfield located south of Wendover, Utah, had a major impact on the air war that was occurring over the skies in Europe, and more specifically the first atomic bomb used in warfare. The small Army Air Base consisting of a few buildings quickly became a major airbase with dozens of buildings, barracks, and aircraft hangers. Because of the remote location of the airbase, and the lack of any major population, the facility was used to train troops for bombing and gunnery skills.

The most historic part of the Wendover Airfield is that it had a key role in testing and training for the first atomic bomb used in war. The 509th Composite Group under the command of Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr. flew the famed B-29, “Enola Gay,” from Wendover to Tinian Island in the Marianas, and then to Japan, dropping the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945.

The air base was closed in 1963, but relics from the past remain. Parts of the facility have been restored, like the service club, bomb sight storage, some barracks, and the control tower. While several restoration projects are ongoing, most of the surrounding buildings and structures sit empty, like a ghost town. The runway currently serves private aircraft and the buildings have been used for filming movies. If you’re passing through Wendover on Interstate 80, I highly recommend stopping at the museum and taking advantage of a daily tour.   

Camera: Olympus OM-1N MD (1979)
Film: FPP Film Love ISO 200
Process: RepliColor – SLC, Utah
Scanner: Epson V700 Photo

Camera: Olympus OM-1N MD (1979)
Film: FPP Frankenstein ISO 200
Process: RepliColor – SLC, Utah
Scanner: Epson V700 Photo

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