Kingman, AZ 86401
Kingman Army Airfield Museum Closed May 2016
Thirty six thousand gunners trained at the Kingman Army Airfield during World War Two.
In 1943, the facility was officially named the Kingman Army Air Field.
On January 2,1944, a B17 disintegrated in bad weather. Of the thirteen men killed in the resulting crash, eleven were from Kingman.
Four days later, a bus loaded with gunnery students bound for the base, crossed the railroad tracks just north of the entrance. The driver did not see the oncoming train. Train and bus collided, and twenty-eight students died.
The war ended in 1945. With peace in the world, there was no further need for a gunnery school. Or for the airplanes that carried the guns.
In 1946 the training base became Storage Depot 41. The intent was to render thousands of airplanes down to aluminum ingots. Kingman was one of five sites chosen for the task. The job was finished by 1948. Seventy million pounds of aluminum from seven thousand airplanes were shipped out of Kingman.
A relatively few of the airplanes escaped destruction, and some are still flying today. Others rest in the museum to be viewed by people who do not remember, or who do not understand the meaning of what they are seeing.
In July 1948, the Military released the base for civilian use, and it became a property of Mohave County.