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Wurtsmith Air Force Base
Shield Strategic Air Command.png
Part of Air/Aersopace Defense Command (ADC)
and Strategic Air Command (SAC)
Oscoda Township, Iosco County, Michigan
Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport-2006-USGS.jpg
2006 USGS Airphoto. Note the christmas tree alert staging area at top center.
Wurtsmith Air Force Base is located in Michigan
Wurtsmith Air Force Base
Wurtsmith Air Force Base
Location of Wurtsmith Air Force Base
Coordinates44°27′09″N 083°22′49″W / 44.45250°N 83.38028°W / 44.45250; -83.38028
TypeAir Force Base
Site information
Controlled byUnited States Air Force
Site history
In use1923–1993
Garrison information
Garrison379th Bombardment Wing
Oscoda Army Airfield, 1943
Oscoda Army Airfield, 1943

Wurtsmith Air Force Base is a decommissioned United States Air Force base in Iosco County, Michigan. It operated from 1923 until decommissioned in 1993.

During the Cold War, it was one of three Strategic Air Command (SAC) bases in Michigan with the B-52 bomber, the others (Kincheloe, Sawyer) were in the Upper Peninsula. The base was named in honor of Major General Paul Wurtsmith, commander of SAC's Eighth Air Force, who was killed when his North American B-25 Mitchell bomber crashed on Cold Mountain near Asheville, North Carolina, on September 13, 1946.[1][2]

In 2022, Granot Loma was being touted as a potential space port in the Upper Peninsula.[3] This would be in tandem with Oscoda, Michigan's Wurtsmith Air Force Base.[3]

Previous names

Major commands to which assigned

Re-designated Strategic Air Command, 21 March 1946

Major units assigned

Re-designated 2476th Base Service Squadron, 1 January 1949
Re-designated 4655th Base Service Squadron, 1 December 1950
Re-designated 527th Air Defense Group, 16 February 1953 – 15 October 1955

PFAS Contamination

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) became aware of PFAS concentrations in groundwater in March 2010 when EGLE staff performed sampling at a former fire training area on the base. Air Force has completed the PFAS Preliminary Assessment, Site Inspection, and is currently planning the Remedial Investigation under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Air Force has performed three removal actions and is currently planning two interim remedial actions to address PFAS.[4]

See also


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ "Dedication Program of Wurtsmith Air Force Base, July 4th, 1953".
  2. ^ "Major General Paul B. Wurtsmith 1906 - 1946".
  3. ^ a b Rompf, David (24 April 2022). "U.S. Journal: The Plan to Make Michigan the Next Space State: Residents are up in arms about a proposed spaceport project, the first of its kind in the Midwest, which would involve launching rockets near the shoreline of Lake Superior". The New Yorker.
  4. ^ "PFAS Response - Former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Iosco County".

Coordinates: 44°27′09″N 83°22′49″W / 44.4525°N 83.380278°W / 44.4525; -83.380278