Myrtle Beach Air Force Base

Myrtle Beach Air Force Base

1940s–1993

Myrtle Beach AFB became part of Tactical Air Command, with F-100 Super Saber fighters and an estimated 3,500 military and civilian personnel. During the following two decades, aircraft from Myrtle Beach AFB saw extensive action in Indochina and other theaters.

Myrtle Beach AFB originated as a municipal airport. The U.S. Army transformed it into a training base during World War II. It later became a fighter base for the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Command until its final deactivation in 1993. Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army Air Force appropriated a civilian airfield at Myrtle Beach to train pilots and their crews in bombing and gunnery, using a range created on the base. During the latter part of the war, a German prisoner-of-war camp was established on the base that interned more than six hundred POWs, who were put to work primarily in the local forest products industry. In 1948 the army deactivated the base and it was returned to the town.

As the cold war intensified in the 1950s, the U.S. Air Force reacquired the land and buildings of the former World War II base and reactivated it in 1956. Myrtle Beach AFB became part of Tactical Air Command, with F-100 Super Saber fighters and an estimated 3,500 military and civilian personnel. During the following two decades, aircraft from Myrtle Beach AFB saw extensive action in Indochina and other theaters.

Early in the 1970s the Myrtle Beach installations were renovated to receive A-10 “Warthog” ground attack aircraft. During the middle of the same decade, civilian planes began using the same field to bring tourists to the Grand Strand. A decade later the air force constructed an A-10 simulator facility on the base. By the late 1980s the facility had 3,600 active-duty military and five hundred civilian personnel. As a result of cuts to military spending brought on by the end of the cold war, Myrtle Beach AFB was closed in 1993.

Cragg, Dan. Guide to Military Installations. 2d ed. Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole, 1988.

Lewis, Catherine H. Horry County, South Carolina, 1730–1993. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1998.

Moore, John H. “Nazi Troopers in South Carolina, 1944–1946.” South Carolina Historical Magazine 81 (October 1980): 306–15.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Myrtle Beach Air Force Base
  • Coverage 1940s–1993
  • Author
  • Keywords originated as a municipal airport, transformed it into a training base during World War II, final deactivation in 1993, As the cold war intensified in the 1950s, the U.S. Air Force reacquired the land and buildings of the former World War II base and reactivated it in 1956,
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date May 22, 2024
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update August 15, 2022
Go to Top