Alliance Army Airfield Base
by Angel Trejo SAA 7th Grade
In 1942 there was the war to end all wars, also known as WWII. The Secretary of War said they would build an airfield to train paratroopers and engineers. There were many people coming in from all over the country; more than 5,000 people came. The population of Alliance doubled over night. Today, for comparison, we have over 8,000 people living here in Alliance. Here’s a little history about what happened in our small town.
Workers on the Airbase moved into garages, attics, store rooms, and even brought their own trailers
to established parks. This Airbase was to be the training facility for Paratroopers and Air Commandos; the Airbase needed a long runway for C-47 Sky Trains to tow gliders.
Between the opening, August 22, 1943, and the Spring of 1944, the 1 Troop Carrier Command, 434th Troop Carrier commanded the Airfield. The Airfield housed 14,000 paratroopers. As these paratroopers flooded into Alliance, housing was at critical shortage. In order to relieve the housing stress, a federal housing project was constructed at the east side of Alliance consisting of an apartment complex. It had heat, power, a stove, and stucco walls. There were nine troop carrier groups at the airport.
They went and fought at the Normandy beach landings, also known as D-Day. After the war, the Airfield was put on the surplus list and was closed for a few more years, then in 1953 the City of Alliance made it into the Alliance Municipal Airport.
Today a large number of WW2-era buildings remain in use throughout the county, and remnants of buildings may be seen around the Alliance Golf Course and current Airport Terminal.
Presently, Alliance has a museum called The Sallows Military Museum at 1100 Niobrara next to the fountain park. The purpose of the museum is to “Remember, Honor, and to Educate” and is dedicated to the men and women who served our country. More about the airbase can be found there. The Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance is located on 20 acres of ground, which was used in WWII as an army airbase. Today, veterans are laid to rest here.