Fairmont Army Air Field, located 3 1/2 miles south, was one of eleven army air force training fields built in Nebraska during World War II. The 1,980-acre field provided final training for the 451st, 485th, 504th, and 16th Heavy Bombardment Groups before they proceeded to the European, Mediterranean, or Pacific Theaters. The 98th, 467th, and 489th Bombardment Groups returning from Europe trained at Fairmont for possible service in the Pacific. The groups flew B- 24, B-17, and B-29 bombers.
The rapid influx of construction workers and military personnel needed to build and operate the field brought housing shortages, as well as an economic boost, to Fairmont and other nearby communities. Area residents welcomed the servicemen and tried to make their stay more pleasant, often inviting the soldiers into their homes. Some servicemen met their future wives while at Fairmont, and returned here after the war to raise their families.
Fairmont Army Air Field was de-activated in October 1945 and declared surplus in the spring of 1946. Part of the field is now operated as the Fairmont State Airfield.
Fillmore County Historical Society
451st Bombardment Group (H) Ltd.
Robert M. Karstensen Sr., President
Nebraska State Historical Society
U.S. 6, 1 mile east of Fairmont