Selfridge Air National Guard Base

Selfridge Air National Guard Base

Selfridge Air National Guard Base or Selfridge ANGB (IATA: MTC, ICAO: KMTC, FAA LID: MTC) is an Air National Guard installation located in Harrison Township, Michigan, near Mount Clemens. Selfridge Field was one of thirty-two Air Service training camps established after the United States entry into World War I in April 1917.
Units and organizations[edit]The host organization is the 127th Wing (127 WG) of the Michigan Air National Guard, but a variety of Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps, Army Reserve, Army National Guards and active duty Coast Guard units use the facility as well.[2] In 1971, Selfridge ANGB became the largest and most complex joint Reserves Forces base in the United States, a position it held until surpassed by NAS JRB Fort Worth (former Carswell AFB) in the late 1990s.

"U.S. Army Garrison-Selfridge serves the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) supporting tank construction in the Detroit area."[3] Civil Air Patrol civilian organizations at Selfridge are the 176th Selfridge Composite Squadron and the headquarters of the Michigan Wing.

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Selfridge Military Air Museum

The on-base Selfridge Military Air Museum is operated by the Michigan Air Guard Historical Association, exhibits photos and artifacts of military aerospace history, and has an outdoor Air Park of over 30 aircraft.

History[edit]Selfridge Air National Guard Base is named after 1st Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge. Selfridge was detailed for aeronautical duty in April 1908 after being an assistant to Professor Alexander Graham Bell who was conducting aeronautical experiments in Nova Scotia. He was killed on 17 September 1908 while flying as a passenger with Orville Wright at Fort Myer, Virginia.[4] Selfridge was the first person to be killed in a crash of a powered aircraft.

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World War I

The origins of Selfridge Air National Guard Base date to 1916 when a large tract of land on Lake St. Clair, Michigan, was acquired by the Packard Motor Car Company at the urging of Packard president Henry B. Joy, who took a great interest in aviation and led the company to begin developing aircraft engines for use in aircraft engaged in World War I combat in Europe. In the spring of 1917, lobbying began in Washington to locate a military airfield at the site of the Joy Aviation Field on Lake St. Clair. The United States had just officially entered World War I on 7 April. Proponents of the site pointed out the advantages of the field's proximity to the auto capital of the nation and the availability of the lake for practice bombing.[5]

In May 1917, it was announced that Joy Aviation Field would be included as a training Camp as part of the expansion of the Air Service, becoming one of only nine military airfields in the country at the time. The United States Army leased the 640 acres (260 ha) of land, and construction commenced immediately to provide the necessary road and rail access to the site. Within a month, the newspaper was reporting that 1,000 men were at work at the field constructing hangars, barracks, supply depots, machine shops and a school building.

On 9 July, the first training aircraft, a Curtiss JN-4D arrived at the new airfield, and the base was gearing up to train men in flying, bombing, radio and photography for the war effort. The first pilots were members of the 8th and 9th Aero Squadrons, and Captain Byron Q. Jones was the first commander at Selfridge. Actual training of pilots began on 16 July 1917, three months after war was declared. Some of these students, a few of them from Mount Clemens area, were given a few flights and then, within two weeks, were whisked overseas for advanced training and to meet the enemy. During the summer of 1917, 72 men won aviator ratings and logged over 3,700 flying hours. From that time on, hundreds of young men passed through Selfridge Air Pilot School for the four weeks of training which qualified them for a commission. Then they were on their way as instructors to the front or to the other flying schools. being established throughout the country.[5]





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Updated: 11th December, 2018 11:19 AM.