A Small Beginning

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The main entrance of the Dover Army Air Field on April 15, 1943.  This air field later became the Dover Air Force Base.

A Small Beginning

The Dover Air Force base had a humble beginning as a municipal airport. Dover purchased three farms to build the airport which was finished December 7, 1941. Ten days later it was leased to the United States Army as an airbase for World War II at which time the name was changed from Dover Municipal Airport to Dover Air Drome. The name changed again in 1943 to the Dover Sub Base and one of its main functions was to send planes along the coast to spot for submarines and train pilots. Air to air missiles were also tested from the airport. Early in 1944, the name changed once more to the Dover Army Airfield. After the war, it was considered non-essential and placed as inactive. In January of 1948, the base was turned over to the Air Force and its name changed for the last time to the Dover Air Force Base.
This photograph is part of Delaware in World War II collection. The collection presents a wide range of activities in Delaware during the war. Over twenty-five percent deals with Dover Air Force Base, New Castle Army Air Base, Fort du Pont, fort Miles and Edgemore Coast Guard Base. Civilian war activities include war loan drives, Victory Gardens civilian defense, industry salvage drives, Red Cross, U.S.O. and celebrations of the war’s end. There is also a section that deals with everyday life in Delaware; especially in Wilmington and includes the Swedish Tercentenary and the crash of St. George’s Bridge.