Goldsboro in Wayne County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
Erected 1995 by Department of Archives and History. (Marker Number F-59.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • Forts and Castles. In addition, it is included in the North Carolina Division of Archives and History series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1956.
Location. 35° 22.046′ N, 77° 57.408′ W. Marker is in Goldsboro, North Carolina, in Wayne County. Marker is at the intersection of Berkeley Boulevard and Elm Street, in the median on Berkeley Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Goldsboro NC 27531, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Odd Fellows Home (approx. 1.8 miles away); Goldsboro (approx. 2.3 miles away); North Carolina Press Association (approx. 2.3 miles away); Seymour Johnson AFB History / 4th Fighter Wing History Memorial (approx. 2.3 miles away); Wayne County Veterans MemorialFirst Pentecostal Holiness Church Congregation (approx. 2.3 miles away); Company E, 119th Infantry, Goldsboro Rifles World War I Monument (approx. 2.3 miles away); John Lawson (approx. 2.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Goldsboro.
Regarding Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. In 1941 the Works Progress Administration built a new municipal airport south of Goldsboro; the dedication was held one week before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The field was named for Seymour Johnson (1904-1941), a Goldsboro native. Following three years of education at the University of North Carolina and graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, Johnson entered flight training and received his pilot wings in 1929. In 1936 the Navy assigned him to serve as a test pilot for Grumman Aircraft. Lieutenant Johnson was killed in a single-plane crash in Maryland on April 2, 1941, and was buried in Arlington Cemetery. The Goldsboro News-Argus led the campaign to have the airfield named for Johnson.
In 1942 the U.S. Army Air Force took over Seymour Johnson Field for use as a training center. At the peak of its strength during the war years, the field hosted 27,000 troops. Over the course of the war in excess of 250,000 troops trained there, creating serious overcrowding and housing problems for the area. The 326th Fighter Group arrived in 1943 and in 1944 basic training of F-4 pilots became the primary mission of the base. The Army Air Force at Seymour Johnson prepared the first bombers to penetrate Germany. At the close of the war the field functioned as a separation center. In May 1946 it was deactivated.
On April 1, 1956, the U.S. Air Force reopened the base following a successful campaign by Goldsboro community leaders. The 83rd Fighter Wing was assigned as the primary union to be replaced by the 4th Wing in 1957. In 1959 the base first housed A-59s. Personnel from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base have been deployed in the Cuban missile crisis, in Southeast Asia, and in the Mideast. Today the base is home to the F-15 Strike Eagle. Seymour Johnson is the only Air Force base named for a naval officer. (North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 20, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 490 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 20, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.