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McChord Field (Images of Aviation)

McChord Field, tucked away in the Pacific Northwest, maintains an understated presence. Yet this subdued outpost plays a vital role in major conflicts around the world. On July 3, 1940, McChord officially opened as a training base, developing bomber crews for aircraft such as B-17s, B-18s, B-25s, B26s, and even some of the Doolittle Raiders. Strategically located, McChord functioned as an aircraft modification center, producing P-39s, the Soviet Union’s most venerable aircraft, as well as a homeland defense center during World War II. The dawning of the Cold War expanded air defense operations with the newly formed Air Defense Command, receiving the P-61, followed by the F-86, F-102, F-106, and F-15. A global airlift hub using C-124s, C-141s, and C-17s, McChord has supported humanitarian, Antarctic, and wartime missions for America.