England Air Force Base Tour
Where We Lived
Let's begin a tour of parts of the base as it was seen a few years ago...
We worked hard, and we worked long hours at our duty assignment, whether it was named Alexandria Air Force Base, or England AFB.
When we went home, many of us stayed on the base, on base housing, or in the barracks. Others lived "in town", in Alexandria or Pineville.
But we all returned the next day, as part of a strong, determined team of specialists, dedicated to defense!
Where We Worshipped
The base chapel at England Air Force Base, once known as Alexandria Army Air Base, was a calming influence in our lives, where we put things into perspective, and prayed with our families, and peers. Many were married there over the years.
The chaplains ministered to us, and encouraged us, in normal, and difficult times. In peace, and in war...
Where We Relaxed
After long days on the flight line, and in the hangars and in the support facilities, we all needed a diversion.
Many nights were spent at the base theater, escaping to another venue, to the wild West, or to Broadway, or to comic relief. And we always stood with pride before the movie for the playing of our national anthem, the "Star Spangled Banner".
The price was well worth the admission, and the popcorn was good too!
The Base Theater, still standing in 2003 when this photograph was taken
The Base Exchange (BX): Where We Purchased Goods & Gasoline
The price was right, usually the cheapest, at the base service station, and the Base Exchange and the laundry, and other facilities on base.
With easy access and plenty of parking, the availability of such facilities as the BX made a big difference to us in our daily lives.
This photo of the BX was taken in 2003.
The Airshows for the Alexandria Public
Each year, England AFB opened its doors to the Alexandria, Pineville and Central Louisiana public, and the response was always enthusiastic from the thousands of visitors.
In the photo to the right, visitors examine an F-86 at the 1957 EAFB air show.
A variety of aircraft from the local air base, and other bases, were on display. From fighters to bombers, and from trainers to transports.
And we always enjoyed seeing the Thunderbirds precision flying team, both in F-86 and F-100 aircraft.
The F-100 Super Sabre, a supersonic jet fighter aircraft built by North American Aviation, served with the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1971, and even later with the National Guard.
In May 1957, in the image to the right, the pilot identified as Colonel Daniel climbs down the ladder of an F-100 Super Sabre during an air show at England Air Force base.
The first F-100A officially entered USAF service on September 27, 1954. The total production for the F-100 program numbered 2,294 aircraft. It served extensively during the Cold War, and the Vietnam War.
In 1961, at England AFB, in the 401st Tactical Wing, were four fighter/bomber squadrons: the 412th, 413th, 414th and the 415th.
We clearly remember seeing, and hearing, our first F-100 at a 1950s air show at England AFB, and the thrill of seeing the Super Sabre approaching from the north, barely above the runway, and then streaking straight up as it neared the crowds gathered! And we also remember seeing the F-100 in Thunderbird colors.
Boeing KB-50 Tankers Flyover
The public always turned out for air shows at England Air Force Base, and was treated to both static displays, and flyovers such as this group of KB-50 tankers in 1962 from the 622d Air Refueling Squadron.
The first KB-50 flew in December 1955 and was accepted by the Air Force in January 1956.
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds precision aerial flight team were a frequent attendee at EAFB open houses and Air Force air shows.
The sounds of the KB-50 was reminescent of the deep roar of Strategic Air Command B-36 Peacemaker bombers flying high over Alexandria during the 1950s.
(click image to enlarge
B-57 Canberra in Alex for Maneuvers
"Speedy Bomber" quotes the article about Exercise Sage Brush.
The Tactical Air Command's "newest operational light bomber", the B-57B Canberra, was at England Air Force Base for maneuvers.
The twin-jet engine Canberra entered service with the Air Force in 1953.
(click image to enlarge
F-84F Thundersteak at EAFB
On November 15, 1955, Exercise Sagebrush, the largest joint exercise since World War II to date, started to test U.S. Air Force and Army capabilities to perform combat missions.
"The Hog is Loaded" - Participating in Exercise Sage Brush was the F-84F Thunderstreak, some of which were stationed at England Air Force Base in Alexandria during this exercise.
(click image to enlarge)
"Ready for Dedication"- Shown is part of the apron, static aircraft displays, and reviewing stands at the England AFB dedication on June 23, 1955. See apron on EAFB map.
(click image to enlarge)
The former Alexandria Air Force Base was renamed England Air Force Base in honor of Lt. Col. John Brooke England, a highly-decorated P-51 Ace from World War II.
He also flew in the Korean War, and was killed in a F-86 crash in France on November 17, 1954.
At the time of the crash, he was on a rotational tour from Alexandria AFB with the 389th Fighter Bomber Squadron, which he commanded.
Our Tour is Over
England Air Force Base ... We Remember
The Base is closed, and we've moved on. But the memories of the hard work and our fellow airmen and soldiers, and the good times, remain...
The Main Gate ... England Air Force Base, Alexandria, Louisiana
We hope you have enjoyed this brief look back to England Air Force Base, as it existed before its closure. In October 1990, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission made the decision to close the base. Remaining A-10s were transferred to Air National Guard units. England Air Force Base ended its storied history on June 1, 1992.
The original photos in this series were taken in May, 2003, at what is now known as the England Airpark.
Thanks for taking the time to journey back to the past, and take the tour of England Air Force Base!
You may also want to visit our new website Airplanes Of The Past for photos of more Air Force bases, aircraft, stories, aircraft boneyards, photo albums and more.