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

Lewistown Army Airfield

1942-1943

 
 
Lewistown Army Airfield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 18, 2019
1. Lewistown Army Airfield Marker
Captions" (top center) 358th Bomb Group - 548th Bomb Squadron at Great Ashfield England circa late June 1943, shortly after leaving Lewistown, Montana.; (bottom center) Airmen at Lewistown Army Air Field in winter flying suits. Pictured taken in January 1943. Temperatures fell to 30 degrees below zero in Lewiston that winter. 2nd Bomb Group - 49th Bomb Squadron Airmen from left to right: S/Sgt. Carl A. Pekkala, Chester Trawczynski, Edward Now, Frank Merril, Robert Tunstall.; (top right) 2nd Air Force commanded bomber training in the western United States during World War II. (bottom right) 2nd Bomb Group, 49th Bomb Squadron; 385th Bomb Group, 548th Bomb Squadron; 390th Bomb Group, 570th Bomb Squadron; 401st Bomb Group. 615th Bomb Squadron.
Inscription.  At this airfield, US Army Air Force airmen trained to fly and fight with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress during the darkest days of WWII. Heavy bomber crews completed final proficiency phase training here before being assigned to aerial combat in Europe and North Africa. The combat squadrons polished the vitally important skills of formation flying, precision bombing with the top secret Norden bombsight, aerial gunnery and navigation.
The Montana airbases were constructed in record time by the US Army Corps of Engineers. By the first anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, B-17 aircraft were landing at this airfield. The 49th, 548th, 570th, and 615th Bomb Squadrons all preformed crucial Organizational Training Unit missions in Montana. B-17 training bases were also located at Cut Bank, Glasgow, and Great Falls.
The Montana-trained squadrons flew a total of 1263 combat missions, dropped 71,128 tons of bombs, lost 548 aircraft and shot down 1018 enemy planes without ever turning away from a mission. They earned Presidential Unit Citations for valor and fortitude over Leipzig, Oscherslaben, Regensberg, Schweinfurt, Steyr and Zwickau.
Lewistown Army Airfield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 18, 2019
2. Lewistown Army Airfield Marker
The marker is next to the picnic table.
Assigned to the Mighty 8th and 15th Air Forces, the unwavering courage and unbowed bravery of airmen from this Montana airfield shines as this nation's bright pride.
 
Erected by Montana Department of Transportation.
 
Location. 47° 3.308′ N, 109° 27.568′ W. Marker is near Lewistown, Montana, in Fergus County. Marker is on U.S. 87 near H Street, on the left when traveling west. 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. The Nez Perce Conflict of 1877 (a few steps from this marker); The Judith Basin Country (a few steps from this marker); Camouflage Building (approx. half a mile away); Quartermaster Warehouses (approx. half a mile away); All Purpose Shop (approx. half a mile away); Training Building (approx. half a mile away); Crew Chief Building (approx. half a mile away); Pre-War Hangar (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewistown.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Kiwanis Club Campground.
 
Categories. Air & SpaceWar, World II
 

More. Search the internet for Lewistown Army Airfield.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 17, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 17, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 49 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 17, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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