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The 1966 Carswell Airshow, held in conjunction with the Air Force Association's 20th anniversary convention. The XB-70 Valkyrie, shown in center, made its only public appearance at this airshow. The historic jet and the planes next to it face a runway that remains today--and is part of our course route.
Quick Facts: Name and Command Changes through the Years
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth was founded as Tarrant Field Airdrome in 1932, renamed Fort Worth Army Airfield in 1942, and renamed Griffiss Air Force Base in 1948. Then, from 1948 to 1993, the installation was named Carswell Air Force Base, named after Major Horace S. Carswell, Jr., a Medal of Honor Recipient and Texan. Even today, many people still refer to the base as Carswell in the area. Carswell closed as a full Air Force base on September 30, 1993, and closed as an Air Reserve base on September 30, 1994 before reopening under the US Navy on October 1, 1994 as "Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth."
In 1941, a Consolidated Aircraft factory was built on land adjacent to the field. The factory produced B-24 Liberator bombers. Today, that factory is called Lockheed Martin and is the manufacturer of the F-35 Lightning II.
As the aircraft factory rolled out new models over the years, the base’s overall mission had adapted. After WWII, the base became one of the few newly formed Strategic Air Command (SAC) bases. The bomb wings transitioned through a number of planes, including the B-36 Peacemaker, THE B-52 Stratofortress and the B-58 Hustler.
In 1991, the federal government issued its Base Realignment and Closure recommendations. Carswell AFB was among the bases on the list, and by September 1993, the base was closed. In October 1994, the base reopened as a Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, and numerous Navy Reserve, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Air National Guard commands were relocated to the facility.
Under the operational command of the Commander, Naval Installations Command (CNIC), NAS JRB Fort Worth is now a joint defense facility which plays a pivotal role in the training and equipping of air crews and aviation ground support personnel.
The installation is located within the City Limits of Fort Worth, Texas, approximately seven miles northwest of the downtown area. "Cowtown," as it is often called, is the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas and the 16th-largest in the United States. The city is also large in geographic area, covering almost 300 square miles. Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington, and the other surrounding cities, comprise the DFW Metroplex—the largest metropolitan area in North Texas.
Journalists standing on the 230-foot wingspread of a B-36 at Carswell. An officer present quipped, "put another 100 or so on there if you wish--the wings can take it."
A B-52 being towed into a Carswell maintenance dock structure built specifically to fit the bomber, April 1957.
Convair B-58 crew pose together at Carswell after setting three new provisional world records for speed on Jan. 12, 1961. From left: Capt. H.S. Bialas, Maj. H.E. Confer, Maj. R.H. Weir.
Crew members of Carswell crew and Women in the Air Force (W.A.F.) at the Strategic Air Command (S. A. C.) Bomb Competition at Barksdale AFB, Nov. 9, 1974.. From left: D. E. Blais, Felix Ankele, Capt. Ted Daniel, WAF Lt. Dana Sprig, Herman Stute, and Staff Sgt. Pete Kau.
The legendary Bob Hope (left) and band leader Les Brown bow down to comically honor another legend, Fort Worth businessman Amon G. Carter, right. Hope and Brown performed at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum around 1950 for Carswell personnel and their families. Several other lesser-known celebrities also appeared, including Jerry Colonna, Marilyn Maxwell, Jimmy Wakely, Judy Kelly, and Jack Kirkwood.