George Field Army Air Corps Base, 1942-1946
The marker is located four miles northeast of Lawrenceville, at the intersection of County Roads 1200 North and 1570 East, at the entrance to the Lawrenceville Airport (Mid-American Air Center).
George Field Association and The Illinois State Historical Society
America at war in 1942 needed new bases to complete the training of its Army Air Corps cadets before they joined combat groups overseas. "Allison Prairie" in Lawrence County, Illinois, provided ideal conditions for a field due to its size and varied weather patterns. On April 16, 1942, the War Department announced the selection and began construction in June. On August 10, Colonel George W. Mundy officially took command of the 2,836 acre complex then named George in honor of the late Brigadier General Harold "Pursuit" George.
The first class of cadets arrived at George Field on October 16. Six days later, Major General Ralph Royce officially dedicated the field before a crowd of 25,000 residents and Army personnel. Colonel Edwin B. Bobzien took command of the field in November.
Cadets assigned to George Field were ready for advanced two-engine school training in Beech AT-10s, having already completed-flight, primary, and basic training. The school graduated 1,932 cadets in its first year alone. The nineteenth and final class graduated on August 4, 1944.
George Field served as a glider-towing school after August 15, 1944, for C-47s towing CG4-A gliders designed to carry up to twenty-four men. The 850th troop carrier command and Colonel Tracy K. Dorsett assumed control of the field until the Army closed it on January 31, 1946. The federal government deeded the land and the facility to the City of Lawrenceville in 1948.
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