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A Brief History of Carswell Air Force Base

Before the arrival of the B-36, and after its retirement, Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, Texas, played an important role in the Air Force's bomber program.

The site of the base was originally selected in 1941 as a Consolidated Vultee factory for the production of B-24 Liberator bombers. A separate contract was awarded for the Tarrant Field Airdrome, to be built to support the aircraft factory.

Map of Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, TexasMap of the former Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, Texas

The construction of an air force base on the east side of Tarrant Field was authorized after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Tarrant Field Airdrome was assigned to the Army Air Forces Flying Training Command in July 1942.

The base was named after Medal of Honor recipient Major Horace S. Carswell, Jr. (1916–1944), a B-24 pilot.

In the coming years, Carswell would be home to not only the B-36, but also the B-29 Superfortress, the B-58 Hustler, the B-52 Stratofortress, and other aircraft. Carswell AFB was selected for closure under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990.

The 7th Bomb Wing (Triangle J tail code) and the 11th Bomb Wing (Triangle U tail code) operated the B-36 at Carswell.

For most of its existence, the base's mission was to train and support heavy strategic bombing groups and wings.

The base was realigned and renamed the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Carswell Field (NAS Fort Worth JRB) on October 1, 1994, when the U.S. Navy assumed control of the property.

The west side of the base still serves as Plant #4 and employs several thousand personnel, primarily Lockheed Martin employees. Various Air Guard and Air Reserve components are also stationed there.


Bombers on display at Carswell AFB: B-17 Flying Fortress, B-29 Superfortress and a B-36 Peacemaker
Bombers on display at Carswell AFB: B-17 Flying Fortress, B-29 Superfortress and a B-36 Peacemaker
Convair B-36D Peacemaker, S/N 49-2652, 7th Bomb Wing (Heavy), at Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, TX
Convair B-36D, S/N 49-2652, at Carswell AFB

Convair B-36J-75-CF Peacemaker, S/N 52-2827, the last production B-36J,
now restored at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson
Convair B-36J-75-CF, S/N 52-2827, the last production B-36J
Night maintenance on B-36 Peacemakers at Carswell Air Force Base
Night maintenance on B-36 Peacemakers at Carswell Air Force Base

 

 

Historic image of the Convair plant in Fort Worth across the runway from Carswell AFB
Historic postcard of the Convair plant in Fort Worth across the runway from Carswell AFB
Historic image showing the Convair plant in Fort Worth
Historic image showing the Convair plant in Fort Worth
Carswell Air Force Base NCO CLub, circa late 1950s, Fort Worth, Texas
Carswell Air Force Base NCO CLub, circa late 1950s, Fort Worth, Texas
Carswell Air Force Base ... Headquarters of the 8th Air Force
and site of filming of the movie "Strategic Air Command"
Carswell Air Force Base ... Headquarters of the 8th Air Force and site of filming of the movie "Strategic Air Command"

 

 

More About the B-36 Peacemaker

The B-36 survivors are listed below ... click the links for additional information and photographs of the airplane at each facility.

Facility
Location
Model
Serial No.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Dayton, Ohio
B-36J-1-CF 52-2220
Pima Air and Space Museum Adjacent to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
Tucson, Arizona
B-36J-10-CF 52-2827
Strategic Air and Space Museum Near Omaha, Nebraska B-36J-1-CF 52-2217
Castle Air Museum Atwater, California RB-36H-30-CF
51-13730