Christmas at Wright Field

Posted on Tue, December 25, 2018

In 1917, the United States Army Air Service established an aviation engineering section at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio. In 1927, the Engineering Division, as it was then known, moved to nearby Wilbur Wright Field and there remained as the Air Force Material Division (AFMD) and Air Material Command (AMC). Throughout the years, those stationed at Wright Field celebrated the holidays.

Auditorium decorated for the holidays, Christmas tree on left

Wright Field auditorium ready for the Christmas party, December 24, 1930.  NASM-WF-40073

A photograph from December 24, 1930, shows the Wright Field auditorium decked out with a large Christmas tree. The stage features couches, a fireplace, and a piano, in preparation for a holiday program. Stacks of packages flank the stage.

Snow on Buildings Next to Sign Saying Wright Field

1940 Christmas Card from Wright Field’s Building and Grounds Division (B&G).  NASM-WF-72141

In 1940, the Building and Grounds Division distributed a seasonal holiday card, featuring the snow-covered buildings of Wright Field.

Wright Field combined with Patterson Field to become Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1948. It is the site of the National Museum of the US Air Force, which features an exhibit on Bob Hope, who was known for his Christmas shows for the military.

The National Air and Space Museum Archives holds many collections concerning Wright Field. Two of the largest are the Wright Field Technical Documents Library and the Wright/ McCook Field Still Photograph Collection, containing hundreds of thousands of photographs, some of which can be viewed online.

Happy Holidays from the National Air and Space Museum!

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