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DAAB - Mission and General Background
The Dyersburg Army Air Base was a B-17 Combat Crew Training School located in Halls, Tennessee. The name of Dyersburg Army Air Base suddenly became Dyersburg Army Air Field in early 1944 according to archival business correspondence. No correspondence has been located which requested that the name be officially changed.
In a letter dated August 11, 1941 from George E. Stratemeyer (Brigadier General, Air Corps) to Walter R. Weaver (Major General, Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Ala.) Stratemeyer stated that he had been contacted by Tennessee Congressman Jere Cooper. Cooper requested that an Air Corps activity be located at or near Dyersburg. L. D. Hamner, Mayor of Dyersburg, and businessmen L. O. Brayton and Vern Forcum accompanied Cooper to try to secure a facility for the area.
By March 21, 1942, the Corps of Engineers reported that the area later to be known as DAAB was being considered to be a site for a Basic and Twin Engine School. "This office has a gross appraisal covering the subject site, containing an area of approximately 2,603 acres, and it is estimated that the present fair market value thereof is $350,780. This figure includes the cost of property damage and relocation of existing churches, cemetery and utilities."
The Dyersburg Army Air Base was commissioned in March, 1942, and construction was begun. In a letter dated May 4, 1942, from the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, it was recommended that the site be abandoned as a site for the Basic and Twin Engine School but should be turned over to the Third Air Force. It was assigned to the Third Air Force as a station for Operating Training Units in correspondence dated May 9, 1942.
Crew training officially began in May of 1943. Seventy-seven hundred crewmen received their final phases of training on the massive bomber at the DAAB facility. When the training was completed, the crews were either sent to the European Theater or to another state-side base to await overseas assignments.(Source: National Archives. Anyone who may have documented evidence that portions of the above are in error, please contact Pat Higdon at 731-836-7400.)
|Copyright 2006 THE DYERSBURG ARMY AIR BASE MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION, INC. Courtesy of ECSIS NET|