Fairmont Army Airfield

Fairmont State Airfield

Fairmont Army Airfield played a substantial role during World War II. Not only a training center for heavy bombardment groups, Fairmont also produced the airmen of the 393rd Bombardment Squadron who went on to train in Wendover, Utah and eventually drop the first atomic bombs used in combat over Japan.

World War II

With construction beginning in September 1942, 1,000 laborers were hired to build the field. Located northeast of Geneva and southwest of the smaller community of Fairmont, Nebraska (itself situated along the Detroit-Lincoln-Denver Highway [US 6] and a major rail line), Fairmont AAF was originally planned as a satellite airfield for Topeka Army Airfield in Kansas. By 1943, the field became a primary training facility for heavy bombardment groups.

Initially training B-24 groups (the 485th Bombardment Group and the 451st Bombardment Group), Fairmont transitioned to B-29 training in August 1944 with the 16th Bombardment Group. Along with B-29 groups in Kansas, the field trained units destined for the Pacific theater. While the 16th deployed in March 1945 to Guam, other units including the 98th, 467th and 489th Bombardment Groups returning from the European Theater of Operations retraining on the B-29, did not. 


The base would deactivate on December 31, 1945, and the War Assets Administration would declare the property surplus in Spring 1946. The same year, the Nebraska Department of Aeronautics acquired the airfield for use as a civilian airfield.

21st Century

Fairmont State Airfield by 2009 remained in state property, the same year an airshow was held on the field. Some photographs are available below. 

In 2020, the area remains as a state airfield. World War II-era buildings continually deteriorate while one runway is utilized  


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