James Connally AFB History

Posted on July 7, 2007Comments Off on James Connally AFB History

JCAFB Main GateJames Connally Air Force Base, located seven miles northeast of Waco, Texas, was initially a basic pilot-training school. It opened as Waco Army Air Field on May 5, 1942, and became headquarters for the Army Air Forces Central Instructors’ School in February 1945.

The base was inactive from late 1945 to 1948, until it was reactivated as a basic pilot-training school. On June 10, 1949, the name was changed to Connally Air Force Base in memory of Col. James T. Connally, a local pilot killed in Japan in 1945. By 1951 the name had been changed to James Connally Air Force Base.

Pilot training was discontinued in early 1952. Training for all-weather fighter radar observers, and upgrade training for navigators and bombardiers, began in 1951. The Instrument Pilot Instructors School was subsequently moved to the base and trained instructor pilots from many allied nations.

The base also trained already-rated pilots as bombardiers and navigators to provide triple-rated crews for the rapidly growing fleet of B-47s. That program was discontinued in 1962.Undergraduate Nav Training (UNT) was conducted at Connally from the 1950’s until May 1966. (Source: TSHA Online)

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