Hometown Pride Tour: The History of Sheppard Air Force Base

Hometown Pride Tour: The History of Sheppard Air Force Base

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE (KAUZ) - This weekend during the air show, Sheppard Air Force Base will be celebrating it's 75 years of history.

"Over 4 million airmen have come through the gates of Sheppard to go out and produce air power across our globe," said Brigadier General Patrick Doherty.

The roaring sound of jet engines is a common sound over Wichita Falls and surrounding areas.

Sheppard Air Force Base has called Wichita Falls home since the base was activated in October of 1941 just months before Pearl Harbor and the entering of the United States into World War II.

During the war, Sheppard's population jumped tremendously.

In January of 1942, the number of new recruits jumped from 5,500 to 19,000.

By the end of World War II, more than 42,000 aircraft mechanics, 1,800 glider mechanics, and 445,000 basic trainees passed through the gates of Sheppard.

In August of 1946, Sheppard was closed when the war department placed Sheppard on inactive status.

Twenty-one months after Sheppard was closed, the base was opened again to help with The Cold War.

On January 18th, 1950, Sheppard was selected to become a permanent Air Force base.

Sheppard continued to train airmen throughout the Korean, Cold, and Vietnam wars.

Today, Sheppard is home to the 82nd and 782 training groups.

Sheppard delivers more than 60 thousand officers and enlisted technical training graduates in more than 900 courses.

Along with flight training and aircraft maintenance, the base also provides explosive ordnance disposal training and various civil engineering courses that teach airmen how to maintain their base.

"It's exciting to be here at Sheppard in the 75th year anniversary with over 4 generations worth of this community caring for the Air Force mission," Doherty said.

The future of Sheppard is looking just as bright.

As the technology of aircraft continues to advance, so does the maintenance required to keep them in the air.

This adds more opportunities for Sheppard to continue to grow.

"We're excited about the F-35, our new fifth generation fighter. We're a part of producing the maintenance footprint for that aircraft and the sustainment piece that goes along with that. There's a lot of growth in the 82nd training wing and at Team Sheppard," said Doherty.

Sheppard will also begin to train airmen on the maintenance of the Air Force's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program.

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