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SAC Memorial Chapel

The Strategic Air Command Memorial Chapel at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, was built in 1956. The Omaha architect was Leo A. Daly. The chapel is distinguished by its unique stained glass windows memorializing the personnel and the mission of the Strategic Air Command during the Cold War. This most striking window is the twelve-by-fifteen-foot SAC Memorial Window located on the west wall. A detail from the window was featured on the cover of the Spring 1996 Nebraska History quarterly, published by the Nebraska State Historical Society.

The idea for a memorial window originated with General Thomas Power, SAC commander in chief, in November of 1958. It was part of a program to honor SAC combat personnel who had lost their lives in the line of duty. A committee of officers and chaplains was appointed to raise funds for the window and select its design.

The fund-raising goal of $15,000 was soon surpassed from offerings received at base chapels throughout the Strategic Air Command. The committee selected the Wallis-Wiley Studio of Pasadena, California, to create the SAC Memorial Window. The firm also produced the other stained glass windows in the chapel. The additional windows represent the Second, Eighth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Air Forces and seventy-two divisions and wings in the Strategic Air Command. On May 29, 1960, the windows were dedicated and the chapel was designated the SAC Memorial Chapel.

Today the SAC Memorial Chapel is a nondenominational chapel for a "myriad of faith-group activities designed by chaplains and congregations to meet people's spiritual and personal needs."

The chapel is being evaluated for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

(August 1996)


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