Historic Markers Across Florida



The Orlando Army Air Base



Marker ID: FLHM F-644
Location: SE Corner McGuire Blvd.& Livingston Streets
County: Orange
Coordinates: N 28° 32.876    W 081° 20.722
  28.54793333    -81.34536666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM84M9
 



Text:

Orlando Municipal Airport opened in 1928 on 65 acres of land north of Lake Underhill. In 1940, with Europe at war, the United States Army took over the airport for defense purposes, activating it as the Orlando Army Air Base on September 1, 1940. The first Army Air Corps planes arrived on September 5, 1940. The Base provided a training center for pilots and fighter and bomber groups. The United States entered World War II on December 7, 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1942, B-17 bombers and their crews moved to the newly-completed Pine Castle Air Force Base, now the Orlando International Airport, and the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics moved to the Orlando Army Air Base, by then grown to 1000 acres with 6 runways. The size and importance of the Orlando base, where pilots tested new aircraft, including P-26 and P-40 fighter planes, brought notable visitors such as Chief of the Army Air Force General Hap Arnold and entertainer Bob Hope. At the end of World War II the base became a separation center for thousands of servicemen and women resuming civilian life. It was returned to the city of Orlando in 1946. Renamed Herndon Airport in 1961, it became the Orlando Executive Airport in 1982.

Sponsors: The City of Orlando, The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and the Florida Department of State


Notes:

City: Orlando, FL