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1945 Esler Field Army Air Base Newspaper Wwii Louisiana Aaf Camp Beauregard Wwii For Sale
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This is an original WWII era issue ofEsler Field STAR AND WINGSwhich was the base newspaper for Esler Army Air Base in Louisiana. This is Vol. 4, No. 9 dated March 3rd, 1945 This is a broadsheet newspaper format of four pages measuring about 18" x 12" per page filled with news, photos and war stories, cartoons, sports and related topics of interest to personnel based at Esler Field during WWII.
This issue has an article on the new Eager Beaver unit insignia adopted by the 408th Fighter Squadron based at Esler Field as well as other interesting content.
This newspaper has been folded but shows only minor wear and is 100% complete, fully intact and in very good shape overall. Email any questions. Thanks for looking.
The following is some WWII historical information on Esler Field from Wikipedia:
"Esler Field, also known as Esler Regional Airport, is a military and public use airfield in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, near the City of Pineville. It is located 10 nautical miles (12 statute miles, 19 kilometres) northeast of the central business district of Alexandria, Louisiana, The airfield is owned by the Louisiana Army National Guard and is the home of Army Aviation Support Facility #2 (AASF#2).
This airport is included in the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation airport. It has no scheduled commercial airline service at present but was served by Delta Airlines in the past which operated mainline passenger jet flights.
World War II
After World War I in 1919 the Army had abandoned Camp Beauregard and turned the property over to the state of Louisiana, which returned it to the United States, however interest in the military utilization of Camp Beauregard increased significantly in 1939 when war began in Europe. The United States needed a training ground for American troops. In 1940 the land was returned to the War Department for use as a World War II training area. That area included the now-abandoned Camps Claiborne and Livingston and what has become Esler Regional Airport.
Construction of the airport, originally called Camp Beauregard Army Field, for the United States Army Air Corps began in 1940. In the summer of 1940 and throughout 1941 the area was used for the Louisiana Maneuvers. The Air Corps used the airfield extensively during the maneuvers, with the 67th Observation Group stationing the 107th Observation Squadron at the airfield between 28 October 1940 and 14 December 1941. In addition, the 109th Observation Squadron used the airport from 27 February 1941 until 18 December 1942 flying light observation planes.
The airfield was renamed Esler Army Airfield in 1941 to honor Lt. Wilmer Esler, a pilot who became the first casualty of the airfield when his plane crashed on April 11, 1941. Esler AAF was assigned to Third Air Force, III Air Support Command. The 333d Air Base Group was the host unit at the airfield, being activated on 1 February 1942.
The first unit assigned for training at Esler was the 12th Bombardment Group, arriving for B-25 Mitchell training on 21 February 1942. The unit remained at Esler until July until being deployed to the Middle East and being assigned to Ninth Air Force.
In December 1942, the mission was changed to training Reconnaissance units, and Esler was reassigned directly to Third Air Force. The 347th Army Air Force Base Unit became the host unit at the station. Reconnaissance groups receiving training at the airfield were:
74th Reconnaissance Group, 13-28 December 1942
71st Reconnaissance Group, 24 January-31 March 1943
69th Reconnaissance Group, March-December 1943
77th Reconnaissance Group, 13 September-14 November 1943
In late 1943, Esler was again reassigned within Third Air Force, to the I Tactical Air Division, to become a close air support training field. The Division moved its headquarters to the field in April 1944. The P-40 Warhawk-equipped 372d Fighter Group trained at Esler in March and April 1944.
With the departure of the 372d, the 353d Army Air Force Base Unit took over training for replacement pilots, and unit training ended. On 20 April 1945, the 353d BU was redesignated as the 353d AAF BU (Maneuver Station), and Esler supported various training maneuvers at Fort Polk, providing simulated tactical air support to Army units.
On 1 August 1945, the airfield was again reassigned directly to Third Air Force. With the end of the war, inactivation of Esler Field began on 7 September 1945. However, the Air Force's inactivation was quite slow, with the airfield being put on standby status 31 January 1946. The 353d was redesignated as a Standby Unit, but not inactivated, keeping a skeleton force of 6 officers and 50 civilians assigned to the base until 31 May 1946 when the base was finally closed. The airfield remained Federal property until the 1950s when it was finally ceded to the Police Jury as surplus property. A small civilian airport opened after return to civil control."
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1945 Esler Field Army Air Base Newspaper Wwii Louisiana Aaf Camp Beauregard Wwii: $20