Wendover, a ghost town and former air base located in Tooele County, Utah, has a rich and fascinating history. During World War II, Wendover Air Base was a major training site for B-17, B-24, and B-29 aircraft, playing a significant role in the war effort.
Today, visitors can explore the remains of the air base, including a hanger, bunker, and military housing, and view the ‘Jailbird’ C-123 cargo plane from the movie ‘Con-Air’.
Despite its current status as a ghost town, Wendover’s past is alive and well. The air base was once home to over 17,000 military personnel and civilians, making it a bustling community during its heyday.
Visitors can uncover the site’s rich history through driving tours and a museum, gaining a unique glimpse into the past of this historic location. From its wartime significance to its Hollywood connections, Wendover offers a fascinating look into Utah’s history and its role on the world stage.
- During WWII, Wendover Air Base was a major training site for B-17, B-24, and B-29 aircraft.
- The impact of the air base on the local culture is still felt today.
- Wendover Air Base closed in 1977 and has been turned into a tourist attraction with a museum, driving tours, and the opportunity to explore remains of the air base.
- Visitors can see the ‘Jailbird’ C-123 cargo plane from the movie ‘Con-Air’ on display, but excursions onto the runways are not allowed.
History and Background
The history and background of Wendover, a Utah ghost town and former air base, reveals its historical significance and cultural impact.
The military acquired almost 3.5 million acres of land in 1940 for a bombing and gunnery range, leading to Wendover Air Base’s establishment. The base was a crucial training site for B-17, B-24, and B-29 aircraft during World War II and had a peak population of 17,000 military and 2,500 civilians in 1943/44. This air base played a crucial role in the war effort and helped train thousands of pilots and crew members.
The impact of Wendover Air Base on the local culture is undeniable. The base became a hub for the local economy and brought in people from all over the country to work and train.
After its closure in 1977, the city of Wendover took over the airfield and turned it into a tourist attraction. Today, visitors can tour the remaining buildings, view the ‘Jailbird’ C-123 cargo plane used in the movie ‘Con-Air,’ and learn about the history of this important military installation.
The cultural impact of Wendover Air Base is still felt today, as it continues to draw visitors and provide a glimpse into the past.
Wendover Air Base
Located in the small town of Wendover, the airfield played a crucial role in military training during World War II, training thousands of military personnel and housing various aircraft.
The military first acquired the Wendover Air Base in 1940, where almost 3.5 million acres were designated for bombing and gunnery range. The B-17, B-24, and B-29 aircraft were trained at the base, and at its peak in 1943/44, there were 17,000 military and 2,500 civilians stationed at the air base.
Since the airfield was turned over to Wendover City in 1977, it has undergone renovations to preserve its history and make it available for public viewing. The airfield has been an active site for visitors to explore and learn about military history.
While the runway is fenced off, visitors can still view the barracks and other buildings. The airfield offers museum and driving tours, and visitors can even see the ‘Jailbird’ C-123 cargo plane from the movie ‘Con-Air.’ Despite being an active airfield, excursions onto the runways are prohibited, and tours can be arranged through the airfield office.
Visiting Wendover Today
Visitors can experience a glimpse into military history by touring the renovated Wendover Airfield. The airfield offers museum and driving tours, and guests can see the ‘Jailbird’ C-123 cargo plane from the popular movie ‘Con-Air.’
The airfield is an active facility, and visitors are not allowed onto the runways. However, the barracks and other buildings are available for viewing. The airfield office can arrange for tours, making it easy for visitors to get a guided tour of the property.
In addition to exploring the ruins of the airfield, visitors can also find local accommodations in Wendover. The town has several hotels and motels; visitors can enjoy dining at local restaurants.
The town is a great destination for those interested in military history and wanting to learn more about the Wendover Air Base. With so much to see and do, Wendover is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a unique and educational vacation experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What caused the decline of Wendover as a functioning town after the closure of the air base?
The closure of the Wendover Air Base led to a decline in the town’s economic activity. Efforts to revitalize the town have been made, but the impact of the air base’s closure is still evident. The air base played a significant role in World War II and the Cold War.
Are there any rumored paranormal sightings or experiences reported in Wendover?
There have been reports of possible paranormal sightings and experiences in Wendover, including haunted stories and local legends. Ghost tours are available for those interested in exploring the mysterious happenings of this Utah ghost town.
What is the most unique or unusual artifact or exhibit on display at the Wendover Air Base Museum?
The Wendover Air Base Museum showcases unique artifacts such as the ‘Enola Gay Nose Art’ and ‘Silverplate Bomber’ exhibits, highlighting the base’s role in developing atomic bombs. The base’s impact on the local economy was significant, with 17,000 military and 2,500 civilians at its peak in 1943/44.
Are there any notable events or festivals held in Wendover throughout the year?
Wendover, a Utah ghost town & air base, has notable events & festivals throughout the year, including the Wendover Air Show, Miner’s Day, & Oktoberfest. Wendover tourism offers local activities & hidden gems.
What other nearby attractions or destinations would you recommend visiting during a trip to Wendover?
For those visiting Wendover, nearby hikes include the Golden Spike National Historic Site and the Bonneville Salt Flats. Local cuisine can be found at the Wendover Nugget and Rainbow casinos. Historic landmarks to see include the Pony Express Trail and the Wendover Airfield. Outdoor recreation options include fishing at the nearby Great Salt Lake and skiing at the nearby resorts.