Scott Air Force Base is one of the oldest, continuous-service Air Force installations. Its history spans the major evolutionary stages of the Air Force: Aviation Section; Signal Corps; Army Air Service; Army Air Corps; Army Air Forces; and Air Force. It was named Scott Field on July 20, 1917, after Corporal Frank S. Scott, the first enlisted person to be killed in an airplane crash.
The original Scott Field consisted of just under one square mile, according to the lease negotiated and signed by the War Department and the Belleville Board of Trade on July 14, 1917. Scott Field had a primary mission of training pilots and ground crews for the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I.
The War Department purchased Scott Field on March 31, 1919 for $119,285.84, but had yet to decide its future role. On 28 June1921, the War Department established Scott Field as a "Lighter than Air" station for air ships and balloons. In 1937, "Lighter than Air" operations came to an abrupt end when a change in Air Corps policy called for the replacement of airships and balloons by airplanes. Scott Field assumed the important wartime mission of training radio operators and mechanics, and became known as the "Communications University of the Army Air Forces".
By the end of World War II, Scott Field had graduated 77,370 students. Those graduates were crew members aboard thousands of Army Air Force aircrafts, including the B-17s and B-29s.
On October 17, 1949, the headquarters for Air Training Command (ATC) relocated to Scott Field. The headquarters of both the Air Force Technical Training Command and the Air Force Flying Command, divisions of ATC, inactivated and their functions consolidated into the HQ ATC. On October 1, 1957, Scott Field was transferred from the jurisdiction of ATC to HQ Military Air Transport Service, the predecessor of the Military Airlift Command (MAC). Today’s Air Mobility Command activated on 1 June 1992 and took on the functions of MAC, which inactivated on the same day.
Today, Scott AFB and the 375th Airlift Wing hosts some of the nation's most important organizations -- including three headquarters: United States Transportation Command, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, and Air Mobility Command, 18th Air Force, the 932nd Airlift Wing (Reserve), the 126th Air Refueling Wing (Guard), and a direct reporting agency, the Air Force Communications Agency. In total there are approximately 66 associate partners on Scott.
Through decades of growth Scott Air Force Base has grown to six times its original size since 1917 to 3,589 acres.
|Information courtesy of the Scott Air Force Base History Office|
|If you would like to see some pictures of Scott over the years you can click HERE.|