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Gunter Air Force Base

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Title: Gunter Air Force Base  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Semi-Automatic Ground Environment, Robert L. Stewart, Gabby Gabreski, Gerald R. Murray, Arthur L. Andrews, Sam Parish, Montgomery Regional Airport, Aubrey Hornsby, 32d Air Division
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Gunter Air Force Base


Gunter Annex is a United States Air Force installation located in the North-northeast suburbs of Montgomery, Alabama. The base is named after former Montgomery mayor William Adams Gunter. Until 1992 it was known as Gunter Air Force Base or Gunter Air Force Station. It has been a military training base since its opening in 1940.

Gunter Annex now falls under the command of nearby Maxwell Air Force Base.

Overview

Gunter Annex is the home of the Headquarters 754th Electronic Systems Group (HQ 754th ELSG). The 754th Electronic Systems Group provides and supports secure combat information systems and networks for the United States Air Force (USAF), the Department of Defense and other Federal Government Agencies.

The 754 ELSG is a part of the 554th Electronic Systems Wing, which is headquartered at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

The host unit of Gunter Annex is the 42d Air Base Wing, headquartered at Maxwell. The former 42d Bombardment Wing took over host duties at the complex on 1 October 1994 when the wing was redesignated and reassigned from the closing of Loring Air Force Base, Maine.

History

William Adams Gunter

The facility is named after William Adams Gunter (1871–1940), a long-time mayor of Montgomery Alabama. Mayor Gunter was an aviation advocate who championed aviation and was a major force behind the construction of the original Montgomery Municipal Airport at this site in 1929. There were several efforts to have the airport officially named in his honor while he was still living. Although he successfully resisted these efforts, the site is still commonly referred to by residents as 'Gunter Field'.

World War II

In 1940, the 'Plan for the Expansion of the Air Corps Training Program' was published and indicated a need for a preliminary flying school in the Montgomery area. The Commandant of the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Colonel Walter Weaver, picked the Montgomery Municipal Airport and the surrounding area as the location for the flying school. This included a newly built, but as yet unoccupied state hospital for tuberculosis patients. In June 1940 the War Department approved the recommendation to lease the land.

In August 1940 the first military personnel arrived and construction began. The hospital was used as a headquarters building and Colonel Aubrey Hornsby was the project officer and later the first commanding officer. The Army leased the 187 acre municipal airport and purchased an additional 300 acres for the cantonment area. Complicated leasing agreements delayed construction and the Army facilities were not completed in time, so the first two classes, Class 41-A with 107 students and Class 41-B, trained at Maxwell AAF on the other side of town. The first class to train at Gunter was 41-C which began instruction on November 28, 1940.

In late 1940, Mayor Gunter died and, on the recommendation of Colonel Hornsby, the flying field was officially named 'Gunter Field' in early 1941. By July 1941, construction of the field was largely complete. In addition to the main airfield, the following known sub-bases and auxiliaries were used:



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