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DRANE FIELD - LAKELAND ARMY AIR FIELD, RG2800, 1940-1945

Scope and Content Note

On May 22, 1941, the Lakeland City Commission passed a Resolution naming the Lakeland Airport No. 2, which was under construction, Drane Field in honor of Herbert J. Drane, one of Lakeland's outstanding citizens. The city had barely begun work on the new airport when, with war already raging in Europe, it leased the facility to the War Department. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers improved the three existing runways and constructed the necessary buildings to operate a training facility to fly combat bombers and fighters. The new base, a sub-base of MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida, was named Lakeland Army Air Field. Thousands of men received part of their training here.

The organizations on the field at its inception consisted of the five squadrons comprising the 98th Bombardment Group, the Fourth Weather Squadron and the Fourth Airways Communications Detachments. A Flying Fortress group trained until 1942, then until 1944, tactical groups flying the B-26, B-25, B-24, A-20, P-51, and P-40 trained. Fighter reconnaissance groups flying P-51 Mustangs and a few Air Commando squadrons also trained at Drane Field.

BOX

FOLDER

FOLDER TITLE

DATES

1

1

Combat Squadrons Assigned to Lakeland Army Air       Field

1942-45

          

2

Construction Report of Lakeland Army Airfield.

1943

       

3

Correspondence from Former Servicemen at Drane Field

1942-45

      

4

Correspondence and photos of the 344th and 497th Squadrons

1943

         

5

Medical Department Yearbook.

1943

      

6

Newspaper Articles.

1942-43

        

7

Polk Theatre Program of 'This is the Army'

1944

       

8

344th Bomb Group (1942- 44): Dedication of Memorial Plaque

1993

       

9

352nd AAF Base Unit-Third Air Force and 4501st AAF Base Unit Air Service Command Yearbook

n.d.

  

 10

457th Fighter Squadron: Sunsetter's Gazette

1994

 

11

Newspapers: 'Bombshell' & 'Drane Drop'

1943-44

      

 

Microfilm of 'Bombshell'  and 'The Sentinel' (Base Newspapers)

1943-44

       

 

Microfilm of History of Drane Field Army Airbase

1942-45

     

Oversize

4501st AAF Base Unit (SV.GP.) Air Service Command Anniversary Book

1940-44

Scrapbook

 

506th Fighter Group Scrapbook/462nd Squadron

1944-45