Wendover Airbase, Utah

Today, the old airbase is partially unused and partially converted to civilian use. In 1943 Wendover Airbase was one of the largest military reserves in the country. More than 20,000 military personnel used 668 buildings and trained on 3.5 million acres of the surrounding desert (a lot of the bombing range area is still restricted, as Dugway Proving Ground, and the Utah Test and Training Range, managed by Hill Air Force Base). The base was left mostly unused by the 1950's, and the Air Force officially moved out in the late 1970's (though they used some of the buildings in Red Flag training exercises in the 1980's). The Air Force has retained a few parts of the original base as a radar site for the western end of the Utah Test and Training Range, and some additional barrack-type structures were built to support training operations. Hill Air Force Base and the National Guard still use the runway areas occasionally as well. Though the military has reserved the right to take it all back if it needs it, the airbase site is now managed by Tooele County, which hopes to develop the area as a commercial and industrial zone. The county maintains an aviation services business located on the flightline and a museum is run by a historic organization, depicting the Airbase when it was active during WWII. Wendover was 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, and loading pits for the atomic bombs are located on the flightline. Relics from the military and movie makers (Con Air is among the films shot at Wendover) litter the flats south of the flightline. Several buildings at the airbase are leased by the Center for Land Use Interpretation for its Wendover-based activities.