The History of Kirtland Air Force Base

Photo of Albuquerque Air Base at-11 Trainers

Bombardier cadets in training with AT-11s at Kirtland, 1943

On Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 2:00 pm, KAFB historian Steve Watson will describe the origins of Kirtland Air Force Base prior to WW II, how it got its name and its impact on 21st Century Albuquerque.

The program will be held at the Albuquerque Museum in Old Town. Parking is free in the lot south of the Museum. Admission to the Museum and the AHS program is also free.

Photo of Stephen WatsonStephen F. Watson has been with Kirtland since 1996 and is currently the archivist for the Air Force Operational Test & Evaluation Center’s History Office. Previously he was the archivist for the Air Force Research Lab’s History Office. He is a native New Mexican with roots in Roswell and Portales. He received a master’s degree in History from UNM in 1995. He is writing a biography of Roy C. Kirtland for whom Kirtland AFB was named. He is also working on a history of early Army pilots and their efforts to create a separate Army aviation branch.

Aerial Photo of Kirtland Army Air Base

Albuquerque Army Air Base photo, April 1942