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MacDill celebrates 64th birthday Saturday

by Tech. Sgt. JR Foster
6th Air Mobility Wing Historian

MacDill celebrates its grand opening in 1941.


As each of us has an annual day of celebrating our birthday, so does MacDill, and that day is Saturday for Tampa’s air base. It has been 64 years since MacDill celebrated its formal dedication April 16, 1941.

Throughout the years, the base has seen numerous changes in appearance, personnel, its name and certainly commanders. The most recent change in commanders occurred Feb. 3 when Col. Margaret H. Woodward assumed command of MacDill and the 6th Air Mobility Wing from Brig. Gen. Tanker Snyder.

MacDill initially was named South East Air Base, until the name changed to MacDill Field Dec. 1, 1939, in honor of the late Col. Leslie MacDill. Cololnel MacDill was killed when his plane crashed shortly after taking off from Bolling Field Washington D.C. Nov. 9, 1938.

Shortly after the formation of the United States Air Force in 1947, MacDill Field was renamed MacDill Air Force Base Jan. 13, 1948, and the name has remained since.

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