FROM PUEBLO ARMY AIR BASE TO PUEBLO WEISBROD AIRCRAFT MUSEUM: AN ILLUSTRIOUS HISTORY
Early view of Pueblo Field
Clark Gable trained at PAAB on a heavy bomber crew
Bomber crew posting with a trainer B-24 at PAAB
During World War II, Pueblo Army Air Base (PAAB) was one of the major bomber training fields for pilots and crews. The Museum pays tribute to those who served on the base during that time and the Pueblo community that supported it. Our collection contains many records from PAAB.
Construction on PAAB began in March 1942 on 3700 acres of land obtained by the War Department by purchase or condemnation from private owners. Nearly 79% of the work was complete by the end of August 1942.
Six major bomb groups trained at PAAB would ultimately be assigned to the "Mighty 8th" Air Force, flying wartime missions from English bases. These included the 44th which was part of the infamous low-level raid on the oil fields in Ploesti, Romania on August 1, 1943.
Major Clark Gable also trained at PAAB with the 351st Bomber Group.
Thousands of men and women worked and trained here. And while many died here in training accidents, the airmen that left PAAB had gone on to face combat in every theater of war. On June 20, 1947, PAAB was officially closed, and the land returned to the City in 1948.
The Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum (PWAM) is a non-profit museum owned by the City of Pueblo and managed by the Pueblo Historical Aircraft Society with a dedicated all-volunteer staff. The museum was started in the mid-1970s by the then Pueblo City Manager Fred Weisbrod. The aircraft were initially stored outside and were subjected to the ravages of vandals, thieves, and the environment. In response to this, a group of interested parties approached the Pueblo City government with an offer to care for and restore the aircraft. This group later became the Pueblo Historical Aircraft Society (PHAS) and is charged with managing the museum. In 2001, the first 30,000 square foot hangar was erected and in 2010 a second hangar was completed.
This construction has allowed most of the museum’s aircraft to be housed inside, preventing further damage to the bulk of the museum inventory and allowing for more sophisticated presentation and display.
LOOKING FOR A FAMILY MEMBER'S MILITARY RECORD?
While we possess a lot of archives from PAAB, the Museum does not store military records for individuals and our records from PAAB (Pueblo Army Air Base) do not include personnel records for base employees or trainees.
If you are unable to find military records online or digitized, it is possible to request a copy of your family member’s military records- here’s a link here to help you get started.
Just be careful to use archives with a .gov website, as archives.COM is a paid website that accesses the same information you can get for free from National Archives.