Zaragoza AFB Air Show, 1962

[Above] Honor Guard for 16th AF Commander Knapp with LT Dan Moore. Reviewing in front of Zaragoza Fire Dept. Left of the Flag is TSgt Peacock, Charles and carrying the flag is SMSgt Walker

[Above] General Knapp reviewing the Honor Guard with Lt Dan Moore

[Above] Zaragoza AB, 1960 then SSGT Dan Moore, the only one in civies in the photo. He was the Air Police investigator and only wore a duty uniform when necessary. Also to the left of the photo is the Zaragoza Base Commander Col Preston conducting the meeting

For the following picture, please use the SCROLL BARS to view this really old newsclipping. Had to make it really huge for clarity!

This was the Thanksgiving for the 1962 Cuban Crisis. After the crews volunteered and the press release made it to 16th AF, they decided that the Aircrews were to precious a commodity to place in jeopardy and they would not allow the crews to take over flight line security. Therefore, “D” Flight who was frozen on swings volunteered along with overhead personnel to relieve the entire flight so the could ALL eat together, so it was one big chow relief.

Driver Certificate of Training: 1962

Photos by JOHN 'Goose' KOVATCH 1963

first Sentry Dog handlers assigned to Zarragoza AFB, Spain

First Sentry Dog handlers assigned to Zarragoza AFB, Spain in 1959 from Wiesbadn K-9 Training center just after coming off a C-47 from Germany.

Photo credit: Tony and Faye Burke


3974th CDF Security Control.

The second group of pictures are taken at 3974th CDF Security Control. The next photo is at the newley constructed kennels at Zarragoza. The third photo is taken at Security Control 3974th VDF. Photo Credits: Tony Burke


Photos from Larry Payne of Zaragoza Air Force base

Here are some of the many photos that my dad has from his time in Zaragoza, Spain from 1959 until 1962.  Some of the photos are of an O-11A crash track that my dad rode on most of the time.  Others are of training pit fires on the base.  The planes are C47, B47 in one photo and T33, B45, F101 in a flight line in another.  In the photo of my dad and his buddies in the airmen's club, my dad is third from the right next to the blond guy smoking. He's the one with the curly, black hair, thin mustache and big smile.

Take care!



















Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon Roster Jan 29 1964


Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon Roster Jan 29 1964 Page 2



Gonzalo and I. This is as close as we got to the base. There are a
 lot of changes, of course, but a new MMS area along side the access
 road did surprise me. 


Photo of TACAN facility at Zaragoza circa 1965

I have attached the image to this email.  I and my men would climb this tower at least once per week to perform maintenance.  The crane on the left was used to change-out a faulty antenna.  The crane was provided by a civilian contractor and brought onto the base on two flatbed trucks, then assembled on temporary railroad tracks at the TACAN sight.   

The second photo is of me checking out the Zaragoza TVOR.
Jack - New Albany, Indiana USA


Photo of TACAN facility at Zaragoza circa 1965





Photos by STEVE MARSTON 1965

1962 Snow Falls in Zaragoza. 2-3 inches. Photos by JOHN 'Goose' KOVATCH

Zaragoza,  Spain 

Location:  163 miles NE of Madrid

Date of Current Name: 

Previous Names:  San Jurjo Aerodrome

Date of Establishment:  1936

Date Construction Began: 

Date of Beneficial Occupancy: 	

Base Operating Units:   9 Jan 56 - 1 Jul 57     7603 ABSq
                        1 Jul 57 - 1 May 58     redesignated 3974 ABSq
                        1 May 58 - 1 Jan 59     redesignated 3974 ABGp
                        1 Jan 59 - 1 Jun 64     redesignated 3974 CSGp
                        1 Jun 64 - 15 Apr 66    3972 ABSq
                       15 Apr 66 - 1 Jul 70     redesignated 7472 ABGp
                        1 Jul 70 - 15 Jul 72    406 CSSq
                       15 Jul 72 -              406 CSGp

Major Units Assigned:   6 Sep 58 - 18 May 64    431 Ftr-Intcpr Sq  F-86D, F-102
                        5 Jan 59 -  1 Jan 65    874 AC&W Sq
                              68, 69            Det 4, 1989 Comm Sq
                       15 Aug 76 - 1 Aug 78     Det 2, 306 Strat Wg   (SAC)
                        1 Aug 78 -  90-91       redesignated 34 Strat Sq KC-135
                        1 Jan 71-1 May 91       1986 ISS  (AFCC)
                        1 May 91 - 31 Oct 92    redesignated 406 Comm Sq
                        1 Jul 70 - 15 Jul 72    406 TFTG
                       15 Jul 72 - 31 Oct 92    redesignated 406 TFTW
                          ?	- 30 Sep 88     Det 9, 67 ARRS  (MAC) UH-1N

Disposition:  Returned to Spanish government on 30 Sep 92.

25 Apr 2000
Zaragoza,  Spain


	Shortly after the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, the Nationalist 
Forces supporting General Franco established an aerodrome near the village of  Zaragoza. 
Early in 1937, combat operations began at San Jurjo Aerodrome with two squadrons of  
Heinken HE-51 bi-plane fighters stationed here.  Later, during the civil war the 
facility was divided into two flightlines about two miles apart and after the war 
the Spanish Air Force used the SW side (Valenzuela) and the  NE side (San Jurjo) 
was used as a civilian airport.  In 1946, the Spanish AF moved to the newer 
facilities on the NE side and the Spanish Army based an artillery group on the 
SW side.

	Modern hard surface runways were built and nav aids installed in the 
early 50s.  In 1954 additional facilities were built for USAF and in 1955 the 
7603 ABSq was assigned to downtown Zaragoza.  They moved out to the base on 15 
Feb 56 when the base was officially activated.  Zaragoza was transferred from 
the control of the Joint US Military Gp (JUSMG) in Spain to SAC on 1 Jul 57.  
Its mission was to provide support for the dispersal concept for SAC alert 
forces (B-47s).  Also a SAC unit,  the 431 Fighter Inceptor Sq was stationed 
here as well as the 874 AC&W Sq until mid 1964 when the base was placed in a 
caretaker status.  On 15 Apr 66, the responsibility for Zaragoza was transferred 
from SAC to USAFE with the establishment of the 7472 CSGp.  The northern sector 
of the base was occupied by the Spanish Air Force and the southern sector was 
shared by the USAF and Spanish Army with the civilian airport in the NE corner.

	The loss of Wheelus AB, Libya in Sep 69 prompted USAFE to build up 
Zaragoza AB as a weapons training site.  Use of the Bardenas Reales Range 
( about 35 miles north of the base)  began in Mar 70.  The 406 Tac Ftr Training 
Gp was reactivated at Zaragoza on  1 Jul 70 to maintain and operate a weapons 
training site for tactical aircraft assigned throughout Europe and to furnish 
admin and logistical support to all units assigned to Zaragoza AB.

	The 34 Strat Sq (SAC) with KC-135s was assigned at Zaragoza as part 
of the European Tanker Task Force in 1976.  The 1986 ISS (AFCC) supported 
the 406 TFTW by providing air traffic control facilities, nav aid service 
and base communications.   Det 9, 67 Air Rescue & Recovery Sq (MAC) flew 
Hueys with a primary mission of combat rescue and maintained one helicopter 
on alert during any operations at Bardenas Reales Range.  They also responded 
to civilian emergencies and in Jul 79 provided rescue and fire control 
assistance during one of  Europe’s worst  hotel fires in downtown Zaragoza.  
They rescued  4 people from the roof  by helicopter as the local fire dept 
had no ladders long enough to reach them.

	Zaragoza was selected by NASA as a transatlantic abort/contingency 
landing site for the US space shuttle’s launches.

	The base at Zaragoza was used extensively during the Gulf War as a 
transient stop over for cargo and personnel on their way to the Gulf.  

	Weapons training at Zaragoza's Bardenas Reales range ended on 13 
December 1991. Through a separate contract with Spain, NASA would retain 
access to Zaragoza for a contingency landing site for the space shuttle.

	The base was returned to the Spanish Air Force on 30 Sep 92.
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