Norton Air Force Base is situated at San Bernardino, California. This 2,165-acre base began operations in 1942. It was established as Municipal Airport of San Bernardino, under Army Air Corps jurisdiction. The base served as a training base of the 30,000 Pilot Training Program during the summer of 1941. It was named after Captain Leland Norton, a World War II bomber pilot.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, combat-ready fighter planes arrived there to protect the Los Angeles area from enemy attack. The airport was renamed San Bernardino Army Air Field in July 1942 and the San Bernardino Air Depot was established there. Its primary function was the repair and maintenance of aircraft. During the war, the Air Transport Command used the field. Maintenance operations for gas turbine engines began in 1943.
After the war, San Bernardino Army Air Field became one of the major maintenance centers for jet engines. In 1948, the base was transferred to newly formed U.S. Air Force. They renamed it Norton Air Force Base in 1950. Later, they began to provide maintenance, storage, and logistics support for various missile programs.
Norton Air Force Base became the home of the 63rd Military Airlift Wing in 1966, and was used during the Vietnam War. In that same year, Aerospace Audiovisual Services was established at the base to provide audiovisual services to the Air Force and all Department of Defense agencies.
The base also housed several tenant organizations such as Air Force Inspection and Safety Center Headquarters, Air Force Audit Agency Headquarters, Military Airlift Command Non-Commissioned Officer Academy-West, and Headquarters and Ballistic Missile Organization. In 1988, the base was selected for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. Most of its military operations were ceased by 1992. Norton Air Force Base was closed on March 31, 1994.
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