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FREDERICK ARMY AIRFIELD

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The World War II Airborne Demonstration Team moved to Frederick, Oklahoma in 2005 when a deal was struck with the city. At the time the city was planning to burn the sole remaining World War II wood hangar at Frederick Army Air Field as part of a county wide fire training exercise. Upon hearing of the upcoming demolition the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team rushed to formulate a plan and save the historic building from destruction. The City of Frederick agreed to lease the hangar to the team and the move was made.

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Planning for Frederick Army Air Field began in 1942 and upon its completion in early 1943 it became the newest advanced flying school in the Central Flying Training Center. Officially activated on September 23, 1942 under the command of Colonel Robert B. Davenport, Frederick Army Air Field saw its first plane arrive on January 15th the following year piloted by Colonel Davenport himself. Then in February the Allied Engineering Company completed its work and withdrew from the field. In less than five months 1400 acres of cotton and gently waving wheat fields just twenty minutes north of the Red River had been transformed into a modern training facility complete with three runways and 342 wood and tarpaper buildings.

On April 23, 1943 the first consignment of aviation cadets arrived at Frederick Army Air Field. After nine weeks of training these cadets graduated and received their wings on June 26th. These men that had just completed multi-engine flight training would go on to fly the Fortresses, Liberators, Mitchells, Marauders, and Havocs that filled the Axis skies.

 

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Today only two of the original buildings still stand. The larger of these buildings, the former Base Engineering Maintenance & Inspection Building, is now home to the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team. Since moving into the hangar the team has had it under constant construction and repair with restoration efforts that will continue well into the future in order to preserve and protect the building. The hangar bay measuring 120 feet wide and 213 feet long is capable of housing three C-47 aircraft in it which it did for the first time in January 2016. It has become a home away from home for many members and not only is it able to comfortably house three aircraft, the hangar also has ten lanes of parachute packing tables, a parachute rigger shop, parachute storage, classroom, mess hall and kitchen, cadre barracks, WAC barracks, student barracks, and latrines for each.

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