Wendover Airbase

1630 Called “Leftover Field” by Bob Hope when he visited in 1942, Wendover Airbase is now a large and largely unused World War II airfield, with a present at least as interesting as its past. Construction of the Wendover Airbase started in 1940, and by 1943 it was the largest military reserve in the world, in area. 23,000 military personnel were based in 668 buildings and trained on 3.5 million acres of the surrounding desert. It became the home for the training program for the first atomic bombing missions, later carried out on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The remains of the assembly and modification areas associated with this top-secret program can be seen less than a mile south of the flightline of the Wendover Airport. The former office for Colonel Tibbets, the commander of the atomic bomb squadron, is now an underused public storage building. By the late 1950’s, the base’s use was in steep decline, and the Air Force officially transferred the base to the town of Wendover in 1977. In 1999, the town surrendered the base to Tooele County, which now manages the airport and the remaining 100 buildings.