For 40 years, Bunker Hill-Grissom Air Force Base contributed tremendously not only to our nation’s defense, but to the economy and culture of the Tri-County area as well. Built at a cost of $10 million during World War II as a Naval Air Training Station, the base was deactivated in 1946 but came back to life as a Strategic Air Command installation at the height of the Cold War. Throughout the 1960s, Bunker Hill, which was renamed Grissom Air Force Base in 1968 in honor of Indiana’s Air Force astronaut, was one of only two SAC Bases hosting B-58 Hustler Wings. More than 4,000 airmen were assigned to the base with a monthly payroll exceeding $1 million. Grissom airmen and their families came here with differing backgrounds, cultures and religions, which continue to influence our community even 20 years after victory was declared in the Cold War and the active duty base closed.
- Courtesy of reader Tom Kelley; file photo