Scan of USAF postcard-Walker AFB front gate postcard, about 1960

Scan of USAF postcard-Walker AFB front gate postcard, about 1960

Alan Armstrong reports.

Today, Roswell International Air Center is a sleepy airport in southeastern New Mexico upon which are parked numerous jetliners that have been mothballed or are being broken up for salvage. Located three miles south of the central business district of the City of Roswell in Chavez County, New Mexico, the airport has a unique place in American history.

The Genesis of Roswell Army Airfield

Initially known as Roswell Army Airfield, the property upon which the base was developed was acquired in 1941 from rancher David Chesser. Owing to its excellent flying weather, the purpose of the facility was to provide military flight training and also to serve as a bombardier school. The facility had no less than 4,600 acres along with seven concrete runways. Roswell Army Airfield was complemented by no less than nine auxiliary landing fields to accommodate overflow and tough and go traffic, and the airfield was assigned to the United States Army Air Corps Training Command on September 20, 1941.

Enlisted men of Base Photo drawing cameras to go up in a Beechraft AT-11 on bomb-spotting missions at Roswell Army Flying School, Roswell, N.M.

Enlisted men of Base Photo drawing cameras to go up in a Beechraft AT-11 on bomb-spotting missions at Roswell Army Flying School, Roswell, N.M.

Roswell Army Flying School was home to Beechcraft AT-11 twin engine trainers and Cessna AT-17 twin engine trainers, together with Vultee BT-13 and BT-15 training aircraft.

In time, the Second Air Force provided all B-29 Superfortress transition training for the Army Air Forces. On September 12, 1944, Army Air Force Headquarters established B-29 schools for the transition training of crews consisting of pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers. By January 1945, Roswell Army Airfield was home of the 3030th Army Air Force Base Unit (pilot school, specialized Very Heavy) which specialized in training B-29 Superfortress crews.

Roswell AAF sign, about 1946. ( United States Army Air Forces- USGOV-PD)

Roswell AAF sign, about 1946. ( United States Army Air Forces- USGOV-PD)

The 509th Composite Group

The 509th Composite Group was activated on December 17, 1944 at Wendover Army Airfield in Utah. It was tasked with operational deployment of nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in August 1945. The Group contained squadrons of B-29s, C-47s and C-54s. It operated Silverplate B-29s specially configured to carry nuclear weapons.

The 509th Composite Group led by then Colonel Paul Tibbets returned from its wartime base at Tinian and relocated to Roswell Army Airfield on November 6, 1945. The 509th Composite Group was initially assigned to the Second Air Force under the Continental Air Forces. In the midst of demobilization in late 1945, the 509th Composite Group was reassigned to the 58th Bombardment Wing at Fort Worth Army Airfield on January 17, 1946. Then on March 1, 1946, the 509th Bombardment Group was assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC), being one of the first of eleven organizations assigned to SAC. At the time of the formation of SAC, the 509th Composite Group was the only unit that had experience in deploying nuclear weapons. Many historians consider the 509th Composite Group as the foundation for the Strategic Air Command. A sign outside Roswell Army Airfield in 1946/47 shows a mushroom cloud for the 509th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). With the creation of the United States Air Force as a separate service on November 17, 1947, the group became the 509th Bombardment Wing. Beginning in June of 1948, the 509th Air Refueling Squadron was activated as part of the 509th Bombardment Wing along with the 43rd Air Refueling Squadron at Davis-Mountain Air Force Base in Arizona. With the addition of KB-29M Tankers, the 509th Bombardment Group’s aircraft could reach virtually any point on Earth.

In June 1950, the 509th Bombardment Group began receiving the upgraded version of the B-29 known as the Boeing B-50A Superfortress. When the Corvair B-36 joined the Air Force inventory, the designation “Very Heavy” was dropped from the description of the 509th Bombardment Group which was then redesignated as “Medium.”

By January 1954, the Boeing KC-97 Aerial Tanker had replaced the KB-29M aircraft, and the Wing entered the jet age in 1955 receiving the first jet bomber, the Boeing B-47 Stratojet.

By June 1958, the 509th Wing had been transferred to Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire. Today the 509th is located at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri where it operates the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.

A Victim to Base Closing During the Vietnam War

In March 1963, the Base was ordered shut down and operations ceased August 1, 1963. Little remains today to remind visitors of the history enjoyed by this former military base. From 1941 to 1942, it was known as Roswell Army Flying School. From 1942 to 1947, it was known as Roswell Army Air- field. From 1947 to 1948, it was known as Roswell Air Force Base. From 1948 until closure in 1963, it was known as Walker Air Force Base. The last name of the facility was in honor of General Kenneth Newton Walker, a native of Los Cerrillos, New Mexico, who was killed during a bombing mission over Rabaul, New Britain, Papua, New Guinea on January 5, 1943. After his group scored direct hits on nine Japanese ships, General Walker’s aircraft was last seen leaving the target with one engine on fire and several Japanese fighters on its tail. For his gallantry, General Walker was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943.

The old control tower. ( Image credit Alan Armstrong)

The old control tower. ( Image credit Alan Armstrong)

As one walks about the campus of this former military field, the old control tower is still standing as are a number of aircraft hangars, office buildings and maintenance shops. Although the City of Roswell has placed a new fire station on the field, the general appearance of the facility is that of a run- down former military air base, the significance of which is now lost on most Americans. The airfield is littered with what appears to be hundreds of aging jetliners, some in storage and some being broken up for salvage. In short, the old Roswell Army Airfield is now an airplane bone yard.

Two Americans who have not lost their reverence for the historical significance for this closed military facility are Johnny Stites and his wife, Maralea. Mr. and Mrs. Stites maintain the Walker Aviation Museum in the terminal building of the airport. This modest museum is adorned with aviation artifacts and models of military aircraft to pay homage to those who died ensuring and protecting our freedoms during the Second World War and thereafter. Admission to the museum is free, and there is a grill next door to the museum. High above the tables which serve the grill is a large model of a B-29 Superfortress.

The museum's gift shop. ( Image credit Walker Aviation Museum Foundation)

The museum. ( Image credit Walker Aviation Museum Foundation)

If your travels ever take you near Roswell, New Mexico, you might consider a visit to the Walker Aviation Museum and this closed military facility in southeastern New Mexico.

Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 8.53.19 PMAlan Armstrong is an aviation lawyer in Atlanta. He is listed in Martindale Hubbell’s publication of Preeminent Lawyers. Alan has spoken frequently on topics of aviation law to pilots and aviation groups. He has testified before the House Aviation Subcommittee and conducted a mock trial at Sun-N-Fun. A commercial pilot with flight instructor privileges, Alan has flown a number of vintage aircraft. Along with two other pilots, Alan owns and flies a replica Nakajima B5N2 Kate bomber, and he is a pilot in the Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. The replica Kate bomber was built for  and flown in the 20th Century Fox film, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” More details on that aircraft may be found at www.japanesebomber.com.

79 Comments

  1. Clifford Morgan says:

    Walker AFB closed in 1968, not 1963. I was stationed there from Sept 1964 until July 1967.

    • The paragraph title “A Victim to Base Closing during the Vietnam War” made no sense if the base closed in 1963. 1968 makes a lot of sense in this context.

  2. David Fistman says:

    I was stationed at Roswel A.F.B. from 1960-1963 l did aircraft sheetmetal on B-52s and KC -135s . Also on various other aircraft. We stopped at the base about five years ago. My old barraks was still there. (I was in the 6th FMS squadron).

  3. Terri Tucker says:

    My father Billy Cox was stationed at Walker Air Force Base in 1964 . We are looking for some of his pictures . My father passed away 9-11-13
    I know he went to boot camp in Lakeland Air Force Base 1964 then went to Roswell NM . I’m just trying to find out where I need to look.
    Thank you

  4. Robert Ellison says:

    My pop was recalled to Walker in 1947 and flew in the 509th through Pease AFB. Wyatt Duzenberry was pop’s flight engineer thru B-29’s and B-50’s. 100th was also at Walker vibrating all the nails out of the walls.

  5. My Dad was stationed at Walker AFB from 1949-1958 and was in the 509th wing, 830 squadron. I was born there in 1954. He was a navigator/bombadeer. The wing was transferred to Pease AFB in 1958 and he was transferred along with his crew. My Mom is still living and she remembers so much about their life there.

    • Mark Stanley says:

      My Dad was stationed at Walker from 1947 through 1963. He was a crew chief on 29’s and 52’s. PCS’d to Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico in October of 1963. I was Born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Roswell in 1954. Interesting note… John Denver and Demi Moore were also born at St. Mary’s hospital.

      • Mark Stanley says:

        I forgot to mention that he was on the first Mission in the B52 to SE Asia. We lived on East Wells and moved just up the street in 1962 to a circle, Ruahonned (sp?) place. Both houses were accross from the old wooden hospital building and down the street from the new Hospital that opened in the Early 60’s.

  6. Steven Wagner says:

    I was stationed at Walker AFB from 1961 to 1965

    • Robert conklin says:

      I was in 812th medical group 1960 to 1964. In dental clinic

      • Frank Menti says:

        I was also in the 812th Medical Group from 1960 to 1964 working at the dental clinic along with Robert Conklin.

        • Sanford Eisman says:

          I was in the 812th also at the Dental Clinic in 1965- 1966. Was transferred to Goose Bay dental clinic when base was phased out.

          • Sanford Eisman says:

            I should have said “when the base was in the “process” of being phased out”. A couple months before I left for the Goose
            I was re-assigned to as a driver for one of the medical squads. Good ole days at Walker. Remember the Ye Court Jesters?
            When Paul Revere and The Raiders played at the skating rink in town?
            I remember a club in town we all danced at- it was on a 2nd floor, but can’t remember the name of it.

      • I was assigned to the 812th med group flight surgeon’s office at Westover AFB in 1968 out of tech school. It just disappeared into the wind along with the 99th Bombardment Wing.

    • George Conner says:

      Steven I was there same time 11/1961 to 2/1966. There was a Steven Wagner in my squadron, 6FSS. Was that you?

    • Tom Stacey says:

      I was in the 812th from april65 till july67 when the base closed.Good memories.

  7. Stephen Mitchell says:

    I was stationed at WalkerAFB , from October – 1962 – August 1966 , with a brief TDY to Anderson AFB , Guam , Oct – 1965 – Feb 1966 . I was assigned to the 6th CES , roads and grounds as a mason . I also worked in the missile silos performing corrosion control . I remember the silo explosions , and meeting General Curtis LeMae , who was at Walker investigating those explosions . I did attend Eastern New Mexico University at Roswell , after it opened a campus on the base 1971.

    • Donald Touchet says:

      I was at Walker Dec. 61-May 64 also 6th CES. I was a Firefighter.I remember one winter it was 24 below zero, soo cold.

      • Donald Touchet says:

        Does anyone know about the B-52 explotion that killed 7 airman in a hanger? Around 1962-64.

        • Thomas Fontana says:

          My fatherwas sstationed there when it happened. I was in kindergarten, I remember it very well. We lived on East Burnsst.I think I it was 134.

        • My name is Jim sanders I was there on the flight when that happened . I was in 6th trans sq. from 1961 – 1964 july

        • Yes several of our shop members were there. Was in 6^ th Field Maintenence Squadron. They were purging oxygen into the fuel tank, when explosion took place.

        • Robert conklin says:

          I was a dental tech on call. With my on call dentist. We wer called to chart their teeth an id them through their dental records. My first exposure to death.

        • Jim Shelton says:

          I was there that day.
          Fuel cell guys purged the aircraft with Oxygen.
          This was not the thing to do….

          I don’t think it killed 7 though and it was just outside of the hanger. Don’t remember the hanger number it may have been hanger 1048

        • Yes, I was AP, watched 0655 burn on ramp just outside hangars area Destroyed By Fire on November 19 1963 during maintenance whilst parked at Walker AFB, New Mexico.

        • chuck burns says:

          That was during a ORI inspection. I was in the 6th OMS. I think thair were 3 killed. It was caused from purging the center wing tank with oxygen instead of nitrogen.

        • My name is Lee Heath and i was working at the fire station with you and i do remember the explotion. Hope you get this

        • I was researching info early this am as my memories of this still are apart of my life now at 72 years old—–on this particular incident. I was an A.P. on flight line security in 1964—–forget the date but will never forget the explosion of a B-52 near a hangar. I was first on the scene to give witness to that tragedy. It was a big blast that nearly set off another B-52 nearby. We had secondary explosions on the wing fuel tanks from the first initial blast——–the fuel ran like a small stream into an adjacent hangar and ignited the tail gunner’s 4 of the .50 caliber machine guns on the tail——-what a precarious situation. Etc Etc.
          And yes I witnessed a couple of the deaths.

      • Lucas Madorin says:

        Do you remember a William “bill” shivers that was in crash rescue or firefighter, stationed there at that time?

    • George Conner says:

      I had extended my tour 2 more years, and also worked in all the silos. Missile crew enjoyed setting off alert system, to see how long we took to get out the silo. Spent almost a year in them. 3 days in an 3 days out. 3 blown up by the time I got out an came home. Also worked at Quick Strike for a year. Too many Broken Arrows

  8. I was stationed at Walker AFB between May 1964 and February 1967. I was in 6 SAW. They were closing the base when I left.

  9. Bernie Pfenning says:

    Owned the only TR-3 on base in 1962 and only Vermonter. Loved Rosewell and a special girl .

    • My 8th grade teacher in 1963 in Sembach, Germany had just come from Roswell and owned a green TR-3. When she learned we were going to be stationed there, she told me all about the town and how much I’d like it.

    • Bernie Pfenning says:

      Wow!! Not sure who posted this, but could hardly believe my eyes when I happened to pull up the site for Walker AFB, just for the fun of it. And yes, the special girl, I do remember well. Will not divulge her name, but her initials were WFJ. TR-3 was replaced by an English Racing Green, TR-4 after returning to Vermont. AAh, for the good ole days!!

  10. Was definitely operational between July 1964 and July 1966 when my Dad was stationed there. I went to school for 9th and 10th grade in Roswell; Sierra Jr. High and Roswell High School. My sister graduated from high school at RHS and then married a guy who was stationed at Walker through 1967. It is now a sad little town going the way of former base-post towns that were closed for political reasons after building their local economy around the base.

    • Was your father Staff Sgt. Manley? Was he in the Transportation Squadron?

    • Ray Robinson says:

      Doug,
      Was your fathers called BJ at work? I was assigned to WAFB from 9/62-367 in the jet eng shop and retrained to Mechanical Accy shop. I do have a picture of the Austin Healey I bought from himbut had to give it back after overhauling it. Two stripers didn’t make very much money.
      Ray

  11. Robert B Black says:

    I am a retired USAF Flight Engineer. I was stationed at Walker AFB 1957-1965. Walker was not only the largest Sac Base, but also the most advanced facility for aircraft. Over 400 parking spots for aircraft, with single point refueling receptacles at every spot. Two opposing runways allowed the aircraft to land, regardless of Wind conditions.
    Closing of the Facility was Politically motivated when LBJ did not carry NewMexico in the 1966 reelection campaign. A special delegation from NM was dispatched to plead with LBJ to reconsider the decision to close the facility. His response “Get your favors from your Republican Friends”.
    Closing the Base was a Travesty for the AF, losing the most advanced Aircraft Facility with extremely low operating cost, and creating an Economic disaster for all Eastern NM.

    • Charles Schneiter says:

      I was born in Roswell July 1959 my Dad Ray Schneiter was station there before we went to England in 1961 he was a great man.

  12. Larry Peterson says:

    My dad was a B29 mechanic there in 1945. He was at Kirkland before and he was also at Alamogardo, NM.He died 4 yrs ago. His name.. Arnold L. Peterson. I would like to find his service records. He liked Roswell and Bottomless Lake for beers.

    Larry Peterson.

    • John Guglielmi says:

      I am a Veteran Service Officer in Indiana. I was station at Walter from March 64 till my discharge in 1966. You can request your father’s service records at the National Archives in St Louis: http://www.archives.gov. Just follow the prompts for military records. I deal with veterans everyday and help them obtain benefits from the VA. Any questions, just email at the address above. Good luck.

  13. My dad, who passed in February, 2015, was stationed there in 1951 and early 1952. I was born there in 1951, but never returned. Lots of bases had their origins on politics, and this one, like so many others, had its death in politics, too. Walker was the first of 16 places I lived by the time I was 21.

  14. B. Mesibov says:

    Looking for Physicians at Walker AFB from 1964 until Base closing.

  15. So happy to find this site. It’s nice to think that my father may have known some of you when he was stationed at Walker AFB in the early 1960’s.

  16. Theresa, Gutierrez says:

    Hello, first of all thank you all for your service. I would like to ask if anyone knew a Robert Lucero from Southern California who was stationed there in 1963.He is my biological father and I know nothing about him. I’d love to know about him maybe meet him…maybe I look like him… . If anyone knows anything I’d greatly appreciate any feedback. . Thank you so much God bless you all.

  17. Harold B Simon says:

    I was stationed a Walker from 1956-1959. The 509th BW was at Walker with KC97’s but left when we got our B52’s and KC135’s. We had B36 aircraft until 1957 when we acquired B52E’s. I was assigned to the 6A&E squadron in the radio/ radar shop. After Walker I went to Minot AFB,ND. Walker was still the best place. Had some friends who lived at Orchard Park. We have a 6th BW reunion in Sept but I could not find any housing units at Orchard Park. Roswell was great.

    • Tom Scharmen says:

      Hello Mr Simon, I believe you may have known my father, Merrill E Scharmen. He flew B36s and B52s with the 6 BW for many years. He is still with us. See more about him at my brother’s facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/kim.scharmen?fref=ts – Scroll down to see Merrill’s WW2 mission diary
      Tom Scharmen
      Albuquerque
      comsalud [at] netscape.net

    • Fred Ottaviano says:

      I was stationed at Walker in 1957 with the 6th FMS as an electrical guy. If I recall the B52’s had their 4 alternators forward of the bomb bay doors. They were early arrivals. I left in 1958 transferring over to the 509 FMS. Walker was a good place for Pirates. Remember the Patch.

      • jerry schwecke says:

        hi fred i was in the 509th electrical shop till we got transfered to pease in new hampshire. do you remember sgt lee the nco the charge? do you remember any other guys from that time period?

  18. Michael A. Jones says:

    I arrived at Walker in September 1957, I left May 31, 1967 Was a 43131E the 24th Bomb Squadron, TDY to the 393rd Post Flt Dock till our B-52Es arrived beginning in Dec 1957. In 1959 all maintenance personnel were transfer out of the bomb squadrons and into 6th OMS and FMS I left Walker on May 31st 1967. One month before it was officially closed.

  19. My dad served at walker him and a few friends would go to a small cafe where he met his future mother in law he was married on 59 but now rests on levenworth national cemetery

  20. Lee Stauber says:

    Finished my basic training at Walker Afb, January 1951. Stationed there until permanent change of station Feb 1953.

    • Yvonne Cross says:

      I was born at St Mary’s Hospital 06/13/1948. My Dad was stationed there after the war. He Transferred to Bergstrom AFB in1952. It eventually became The SAC Command . He was a Senior Master Chief when he retired. His name was Ottis L. Holmes. He was not hard to forget. He was 6′ 5″. If you remember him let me hear from you.

  21. Peter R. Cornwell says:

    Was stationed there from 1963 till Dec. 1966 6th supply squadron, from there shipped to Andeson base Guam.

  22. George Coatantine says:

    I was stationed at Walker Air Force Base as a Air Born Radio Operator, 1953-1956. In June 26, 1956 a Boeing KC 97 Stratotanker crashed on take off, Occupants
    11/Fatalities 11. I Have been trying to find out more information about this crash. Please if anybody can tell me more I would appreciate any information that could be found/

    • Duncan Monroe says:

      George,
      Search under WW2aircraft.net for KC-135 crash. Several accounts there and details. I was on base at the time as an Air Force brat and remember the day well.

      Duncan

    • michael Anderson says:

      a propeller broke o0ff at the hub of #2 engine ripping the engine from the wing. The propeller entered the lower forward deck where jet fuel tanks erupted causing a huge fireball. The kc 97 ended just outside the fenced perimeter heading in the opposite direction re the takeoff. The whole upper half of the air craft was blown off and the remaining engines were buried in the ground.. I believe the Aircraft Commander was Lt. King. I escorted A/2c Maurice Boyd’s body home in Miami, Oklahoma. Maurice and I had gone to tech school in Biloxi and after a stay at Davis-Monthan AFB we transfered to the 509 AREF. I was a assigned as the combat ready radio operator on T-84 crew, Lt. Dusty Rhodes A/C I do not recall your name.

      • Ron Crooker says:

        I was on the flightline that day. The left wing root erupted in an explosion and the left wing folded upwards as the fuselage sank to the ground in flames. It was a frightening thing to witness – the wing folding no doubt a consequence of your (Michael’s) description of the cause, ie. the propellor loss into the lower forward compartment. I crewed a KC-97G after that for 3 years and often recalled that crash – with some trepidation, since, more often than not, I flew on my plane when it went on a mission.

        • michael Anderson says:

          Ron, me and some crew members visited the crash site a couple of hours after the crash. I distinctly remember seeing the left wing with the outboard engine buried in the ground at approx. 30 degrees’ MA

  23. Richard G.Pappa says:

    George,
    I was stationed at Walker from April 1954 to July 1957 with the 812th Air base Group, HQ. Squadron. Base flight section. I was crew chief on one of B-25 for about two years and transferred to transit alert section. I saw the explosion of the KC-97 on June 26th 1956.
    To find the newspaper article about it that I submitted to a ww2aircraft.net website just Google my Richard G. Pappa name and you will find the first two hits on me. The first article is a short quip on me being stationed at Roswell. The second article will lead you to the article of the crash. Click on this.
    Click on FORUMS on left side of page.
    Under search threads and posts, type in pappa in keywords and hit enter.
    The first article is the one you want. Any problems, contact me. Thanks Dick

  24. Robert m. Greenhoe says:

    I was stationed at walker with the 58th FIS in 1960 until we were deactivated that same year, that summer a KC 135 went through a hanger , a few were killed. I was a jet mech. on F 89 J. I have been trying to locate. a roommate and buddy John Christian from Waco Texas.

  25. john m toole says:

    I was stationed at Walker from 1949 until november 1952 I was in the 830th bomb sqd. was on b29 and b50.s ground crew, best buddy was Marvin M from Iowa, was in an acident and spent a while in the base hospital loved a nurse Lt. Agnes Trywicki not sure of spelling. I married a Roswell beauty and had 6 kids

  26. Jackie Smith says:

    Does anyone have any insight or specific information on the Walker Air Base Auxiliary Landing Field No 1 to Roswell AFB? The company I work for “APAC” is an archaeological firm and we are recording the landing field as an archaeological site. Any information anyone has we be a great help to us.

  27. Robert W Cooper says:

    Was in 6th field maintenance squadron as a jet engine mechanic from 1962 till March. 1966. Was looking for old sac buddies. Particurly a good friend from NY named Robert Handlen? Nickname. (Jolly).

  28. John B. Avnet says:

    I was stationed at WAFB from late 1952 until May 1954, with the AACS (Airways and Air Communications Service) detachment. We were a tenant organization tasked with operating the air traffic control facilities. I was a GCA (Ground Controlled Approach operator). Worked in a radar van situated right next to the active runway. Also spent time in the control tower.
    Walker was wonderful duty. The locals were friendly to the AF unlike places like Biloxi Miss.
    At the time I was there the base had B36s, B50s, KB29s and finally KC97s.

  29. Royce M Pitts says:

    I did two tours at WAFB One from 1950 to 1956 in Base Refueling which was a part of the 812 th supply. Went to Lowery AFB and retrained in Bomb Navigation system and upon completion of school was assigned to Castle AFB until 1958 and then Returned to WAFB to 511th Field Training Detachment where I taught Bomb Navigation System until the base closed.. The day the B-52 Blew up I was in the class room and our sectary Mrs. Stukanberg hid under her desk as she thought we were under attack. I have four boys and 3 where born on base and 1 in Roswell.

  30. Harry Townsend. (Hal) says:

    Many fond memories as an air policeman in the 6th combat defence squadron from 1964 to 1965. Revisited the closed base with my family in 1992.

  31. Larry Cooper says:

    Was stationed at Walker 1956 to 1958 when we moved to
    Pease A.F.B. in N.H. assistant crew chief with Bob Taylor. Had a good friend we called Shades. He was from England. Walker was a good base.

  32. Ellie Hayman says:

    My late husband. Dr Harvey Hayman was there from 1960 to 1962. I gave birth in the airbase hospital August 19 1961 to my daughter, Wendy. Lived on Holliman Place. Planning to return this Summer. 55 years later.

  33. Anthony Purcell says:

    I was at Walker from 1957 to 1960, Jet Enine Mechanic. 6th FMS assigned to engine hanger, Unit Conditioning. The day I left Walker was February 3, 1960 which is the same day a KC 135 blew a tire on take off and crashed into a hanger. I heard the explosion and seen the smoke in my rear view mirrow as I exited the main gate. Not sure which hanger it went thru but have been told it was the engine hanger where my shop was. Anyone know for sure?

  34. I was stationed at Walker from 1955 to 57.– I was a IFF and rendezvous technician.– Unfortunately one airman was killed when a B-47 he was working on exploded.

  35. Will Schmitt says:

    Hey All you Walker AFB Guys! We have a Walker AFB Reunion every year around September 20 in Roswell. You are all welcome!!
    Will Schmitt

  36. Barbara Binford Hays says:

    I was hoping someone my know anything about my grandfather or the name of the b29 he flew. Major (was captain at time of service) Jack Binford.In march 10th 1951 is when he was called back. 8th Air Force Sac ,24th, 28th, and 19th bombardment squad.

    To be honest I have most of his military records but I don’t understand what the heck I’m looking at or the depth of its information. lol I need a translator please. Thank you all for your service! Barbm456@gmail.com

  37. David Dillon Ret.SMsgt says:

    B-52-0655 Nov 1963, getting purged for fuel cell work. I was on 0644 With Bill Dudley and Trennie Cavandish.Trennis and I was on our way to chow and stopped by 0655 to see if anyone wanted to go eat. One said he did. Two other guys was trying to get the cowling closed on nbr 3&4 engine. There cloth tool bag was next to them. As we pulled away about 100 yards. A shock wave hit our metro truck. Knocking me to the floor. The rear doors were open and I seen parts of the nose dock hanger roof flying in the air. Then the explosion and shrapnel from wing sections on wings bars flying through the air. The center fuel tank blew forst. The guy in the cockpit jumped out the side window broke his back still ran to fuel shop. Each fuel take blew except the right drop tank it still had 17000bls of fuel. Later found the two ground crew guys died as the wing and engine fell on them. Only the zipper and melted tools were left in the once bsg. A B2-52 next to 0655. Some guys got a tow tractor even while fls m es were still bring .They towed that B-53 out of harms eay. Everyone in the big hanger headed for the rear desert. That sane day a missile blew up in a silo…Left There in 1964. Loved the base.

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