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McClellan Air Force Base facts for kids

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McClellan Air Force Base
Air Force Materiel Command.png
Part of Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC)
Sacramento County, California
McClellan Air Force Base - CA 9 May 2002.jpg
McClellan AFB, 9 May 2002
McClellan AFB is located in California
McClellan AFB
McClellan AFB
Coordinates 38°40′04″N 121°24′02″W / 38.66778°N 121.40056°W / 38.66778; -121.40056
Type Air Force Base
Site information
Controlled by United States Air Force
Site history
Built 1935-1938
In use Open 1938 - IN USE
1948-2001 (as McClellan AFB); now civilian airfield
Garrison information
Garrison Air Force Materiel Command

McClellan Air Force Base (1935–2001) is a former United States Air Force base located in the North Highlands area of Sacramento County, 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Sacramento, California.

Bell P-39 Repair Line.
To step up its delivery of Speedy Bell P-39 "Airacobra" fighter airplanes to American pilots in the South Pacific, the Army Air Forces Air Service Command put American production line methods to work in its repair docks at McClellan Field, California. Two and one-half million dollars worth of airplanes were overhauled by civilian Air Service Command workers at Sacramento, California preparatory to being sent against the enemy.
Mcclellan afb 8-10-2006 1-45-06 PM
Memorial Plaque of McClellan AFB


For the vast majority of its operational lifetime, McClellan was a logistics and maintenance facility for a wide variety of military aircraft, equipment and supplies. Initially known as the Pacific Air Depot and Sacramento Air Depot, in 1939 the base was renamed for Major Hezekiah McClellan, a pioneer in arctic aeronautical tests. Born in 1894, he died on 25 May 1936 when his Consolidated P-30 which he was flight testing crashed near Centerville, Ohio.

The depot went through several name changes, finishing its life in 1995 as the Sacramento Air Logistics Center (SALC). The SALC reported to the Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) and later the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC).

In 1986, the U.S. Air Force established the McClellan Aviation Museum on what was then McClellan Air Force Base. The museum was later chartered by the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

The United States Coast Guard previously operated Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento at McClellan AFB as a tenant activity, operating and maintaining several HC-130 Hercules aircraft. CGAS Sacramento continues to operate at McClellan following its closure as an Air Force Base and is the only remaining military aviation unit and installation on the airfield.

In 1993, the base was selected by the Pentagon for closure. At first, McClellan was scratched from a list of bases to be closed, but that decision was faced with allegations that the Clinton administration was playing politics. The base was eventually selected for closure, and there were plans to offset the expected loss of $1.5 billion, and 11,000 jobs, to the California economy. The plan relied on privatization and other investment to offset the economic and employment losses. The base is now McClellan Business Park, a growing business enclave that hosts a diverse mix of companies spread across more than 8 million square feet of space of all types. This former military facility is now home to hundreds of private companies, as well as state, federal and local government agencies.

In 2005 the McClellan Aviation Museum changed its name to the Aerospace Museum of California. Various military aircraft sit on display inside one of the hangars, and many more are outside on the flightline. The museum has displays which highlight the mission of the base when it was active, as well as neighboring bases such as Beale AFB, Travis AFB and the since closed Mather AFB. The museum hosts educational programs to schools in the local area.

In 2015 the Sacramento Bee reported that McClellan Airfield had been designated as a Superfund site, because the Environmental Protection Agency has identified 326 waste areas on the base. Water wells closest to the base in the Rio Linda-Elverta district, have had the highest levels of hexavalent chromium, which is a known carcinogen. Water from six of 11 wells tested above the state’s maximum contaminant levels for chromium-6, which is 10 parts per billion.


  • Pacific Air Depot, 1935 - 1 February 1937
  • Sacramento Air Depot 1 February 1937 - 1 December 1939
  • McClellan Field, 1 December 1939 - 13 January 1948
  • McClellan Air Force Base (dates to be confirmed, closed 2001)
  • McClellan Business Park, 2009 - present

Major command assignments

  • Material Division, United States Army Air Corps, 24 August 1938 - 11 December 1941
  • Air Service Command, 11 December 1941 - 17 July 1944
  • Army Air Forces Materiel and Services Command, 17 July 1944 - 31 August 1944
  • Army Air Forces Technical Service Command, 31 August 1944 - 1 July 1945
  • Air Technical Service Command, 1 July 1945 - 9 March 1946
  • Air Materiel Command, 9 March 1946 - 1 April 1961
  • Air Force Logistics Command, 1 April 1961 - 1 July 1992
  • Air Force Materiel Command, 1 July 1992 - 13 July 2001

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Base de McClellan de la Fuerza Aérea para niños

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