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April Pope History Includes Name Change

  • Published
  • By Keith Alexander
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Historian
Post World War I
On April 5, 1919, the War Department changed the name of the Camp Bragg Flying Field to Pope Field. 

According to the Fayetteville Observer, Pope Field had 101 officers and 970 enlisted troops stationed there by the end of April 1919. 

On April 24, 1922, Maj. R. C. Goolrick took command of Pope Field. Nearly a year later, Pope Field hosted five planes from Puerto Rico. 

Later that same month, Maj. Follett Bradley arrived at Pope Field, where he conducted lectures on aircraft mechanics. Pope Field maps displayed eight improved and 18 unimproved runways at that time. 

World War II
Throughout April 1943, the 43rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) continued to attack Japanese shipping. 

One of those attacks occurred on April 6, when Capt. Jay Zeamer Jr. recorded sinking one Japanese transport ship in his pilot's log book. 

He stated that there was plenty of "Ack-Ack but no fighters" that day. Six days later, elements of the 43 BG (H) assaulted a Japanese carrier in Simpson Harbor, which was one of several harbors used by the Japanese on Rabul Island. 

Humanitarian Relief Efforts
Between March 28 and April 17, 1964, the 464th Troop Carrier Wing participated in Operation Helping Hand. 

The 464th Troop Carrier Wing deployed eight C-130 aircraft from Pope Air Force Base to Alaska. This operation involved the movement of the following items: 1,850 tons of electrical generators, water purification equipment, seismographic apparatus, construction equipment, bedding, clothing, and 850 passengers, which included medical, construction, and communications personnel to Alaska. 

On April 24, 1973, a C-130 aircraft from Langley Air Force Base landed at Pope. Once there, loadmasters loaded this aircraft with 18 tons of supplies. The following day, these supplies were delivered to Mississippi River Valley residents, who were homeless due to heavy rains flooding the valley. 

On April 1, 1970, the United States Air Force activated the 43rd Strategic Wing at Guam. 

At that time, the 43rd Strategic Wing flew the B-52 and the KC-135 aircraft. From April 1, 1972 through January 28, 1973, the 43rd Strategic Wing earned an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with a combat "V" device for their service in Vietnam.