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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Lewistown in Fergus County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Operations and Alert Building

 
 
Operations and Alert Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 18, 2019
1. Operations and Alert Building Marker
Inscription.  Planning and scheduling of the training missions took place in this one-story T-shaped building during an eleven- month period in 1942-1943. After November 1942, when the first of the four-engine B-17 bombers roared down the airfield, they filled the skies over Central Montana. Despite the secrecy and censorship surrounding activities at the airfield, the Army publicized and marked off practice bombing ranges because the use of live ammunition and bombs made public safety a concern. One range in Blaine County was used for the high altitude precision bombing proven successful in Germany; another in northern Chouteau County served as a gunnery range. Two lines of Japanese “Zero Plane” silhouettes served as targets for strafing practice. The men frequently flew in precise formation under simulated battle conditions, “...when ships must be so spaced as to cover one another with guns.” Even routine training flights over Central Montana experienced casualties. One B-17 crashed near Fort Benton in September of 1942 killing all ten aboard; another crash in December of 1943 south of Musselshell claimed ten crewmen and a cook hitching
Operations and Alert Building and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 18, 2019
2. Operations and Alert Building and Marker
The Bombsite Storage Building is at the right rear.
a ride.
 
Erected by The Montana National Register Sign Program.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program marker series.
 
Location. 47° 2.826′ N, 109° 27.597′ W. Marker is near Lewistown, Montana, in Fergus County. Marker is on Terminal Drive (U-7103) near West Aztec Drive, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lewistown MT 59457, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hangar (within shouting distance of this marker); Lewiston Satellite Airfield Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); Bombsite Storage Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Recreation Building (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Armament Building (about 500 feet away); Crew Chief Building (about 500 feet away); All Purpose Shop (about 700 feet away); Pre-War Hangar (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewistown.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located at the former Lewistown Satellite Airfield, now the Lewiston Airport.
 
Categories. Air & SpaceWar, World II
 

More. Search the internet for Operations and Alert Building.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 22, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 15, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 40 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 15, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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