Presque Isle Army Airfield

media-37694.jpeg UPL 37694 Hangar 1 @ Presque Isle Army Airfield

Object Number - UPL 37694 - Hangar 1 @ Presque Isle Army Airfield 1943


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Detailed History

In 1941, the federal government appropriated the local airport, establishing Presque Isle Army Airfield for planes bound to and from Great Britain. Activated as an Army Air Corps military airfield on 15 September, Presque Isle became a vital air transport installation and the City found itself a busy war center.

North Atlantic Transport Route 1945

Together with Dow AAF in Bangor, the mission of Presque Isle was the delivery of Lend-Lease aircraft to the United Kingdom and as an Embarkation point for overseas movement of Army Air Forces personnel and equipment.

The first troops arrived in Presque Isle to start establishing the base on 15 September 1941. At that time, no military facilities existed and the men lived in tents and trailers.

The main Army Air Force unit at Presque Isle was the 23d AAF Ferrying Wing, assigned to the Air Transport Command. The unit was activated on 12 June 1942 and conducted aircraft ferrying to Europe and other transport operations. At the height of base activity during World War II, more aircraft flights flew from Presque Isle (via Greenland, Iceland or directly from Newfoundland) to Europe than from any other American base.

In July 1944, the mission of Presque Isle AAF was changed to that of a port of debarkation and caring for casualties from the front in France.

With the end of combat in Europe, beginning in June 1945, troops scheduled for redeployment from Europe to the South Pacific began arriving for training bases in the United States. With the end of the war in August 1945, this mission was terminated.

The aerial port at Presque Isle AAF was officially closed on 18 September and the airfield was de-activated on 20 September 1945 with the end of the war. The 716th Army Air Force Base Unit was assigned to the airfield with a mission of winterizing the buildings and storing equipment with the facility placed in reserve status, and was used as a communications facility.


B17 - 42-2410 On runway Mitchel Field LI
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: The Grim Reaper
  • Unit: 306th Bomb Group 368th Bomb Squadron
A B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 41-24500) of the 381st Bomb Group. Handwritten caption on reverse: '125.'
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Annie Freeze
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 535th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: What's Cookin' Doc
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 547th Bomb Squadron 305th Bomb Group 422nd Bomb Squadron


Date27 Mar 2018 08:49:49
ContributorLucy May
ChangesChanges to aircraft associations

Connected aircraft records that have "Presque Is" in their biography fields.

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Date26 Mar 2018 20:09:01
ChangesChanges to known as

added to the nickname

Date26 Mar 2018 19:50:24
ChangesCreated entry with name, known as, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date, closure date and history

Presque Isle Airport history/wikipage

Presque Isle Army Airfield: Gallery (1 items)