Hurlburt Field, FL Image 1
    Hurlburt Field, FL Image 2

    Hurlburt Field, FL History

    Hurlburt started as a minor training field for Eglin Army Air Base during World War Two. The field was first Eglin Auxiliary Field No. 9, and went through a series of minor name changes before settling on Hurlburt Field in 1943, in honor of 1st Lt. Donald Wilson Hurlburt, killed at Eglin Field earlier in 1943. Hurlburt Field was among those used by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle's Raiders for training on their historic raid on Tokyo in 1942, and was also one of the early development sites for US drones and missiles; Hurlburt was where early cruise missiles were being developed in anticipation of Operation Olympic, the first phase of Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan. These preparations were not used against Japan, but served to help develop weapons systems for the ongoing defense of the US in the Cold War.

    Hurlburt Field was inactivated following World War Two, and reactivated in 1955; the field had fallen into disrepair and a wave of construction followed, adding hangars and particularly housing for personnel. Hurlburt became the operational launching field for the 17th Bomb Wing, for three years, until that unit was posted to the United Kingdom.

    In 1961 Hurlburt became the activation site for the 4400th Combat Crew Training Squadron, a special air operations unit which would go on to missions in Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia. Various similar units have operated from Hurlburt since, most recently the 1st Special Operations Wing. Hurlburt also houses the USAF Special Operations School, a joint operations training center, and the 505th Command and Control Wing.