1964 Castle Air Force Base

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CAFB_Valley Bomber_019.jpg

Base Photo lab<br />
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March 1964: CAFB, California<br />
Staff of the Valley Bomber, 93rd Bomb Wing, Directory of Information, SAC<br />
Photo by Al Golub/Golub Photography<br />
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Castle is named for Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle, who died on Dec. 24, 1944 flying his 30th bombing mission. He died leading an armada of 2000 B-17s on a strike against German airfields. On the way to the target, an engine failure over Liege, Belgium caused his bomber to fall behind, where it was attacked by Germans and caught fire. He ordered his men to bail out but stayed alone at the controls of the flaming Flying Fortress until it crashed. The entire crew, except Gen. Castle and one airman killed before the bailout order, survived. Gen. Castle received a Medal of Honor posthumously for his bravery.<br />
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Castle became home to the 93rd Bombardment Wing in 1947. Aircraft stationed at Castle included B-29, B-17 and C-54 aircraft, with B-50 bombers arriving in 1949. In 1954, B-47 bombers arrived.  On June 29, 1955, Castle received the Air Force's first B-52. These heavy bombers can hold the equivalent of three railroad cars' worth of fuel. The first Air Force KC-135 jet tanker arrived May 18, 1957<br />
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Castle was selected for closure under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 during Round II Base Closure Commission deliberations (BRAC 91). The last of the B-52s left the base in 1994, followed by the departure of the last of the KC-135s in early 1995. The base closed September 30, 1995.
Al Golub, Golub Photography al@golubphoto.com