A celebration — “Salute to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base” — to honor D-M’s 90-year history and its contributions to national defense and Southern Arizona’s economy is set for Thursday, Oct. 5.
The family event will be held at Pima Air & Space Museum, 6000 E. Valencia Road, from 4 to 8 p.m., said organizers.
Four veterans will be honored:
- Art Schaefer, a first lieutenant who served as a B-17 navigator with the 385th Bomb Group in World War II;
- Raymond Blumenstetter, a staff sergeant who was a B-24 air mechanic with the 446th Bomb Group in World War II;
- Jack Macy, who served in the Navy as a Corsair fighter pilot in the Korean War;
- and Edward Chan, a major who served as a bombardier in the 15th Air Force 55th Bomb Wing and 460th Bomb Group in World War II. He retired as a first lieutenant.
“The 90th birthday party for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base promises to be a huge success because Tucson-area residents and the business community here have always been extremely supportive of D-M and those who serve there,” said Bryan Foulk, president of DM50.
According to organizers, an Air Force economic impact study released earlier this year concludes that in 2016 D-M and military retirees living in metropolitan Tucson contributed $1.5 billion annually to the local economy.
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew his plane, the “Spirit of St. Louis,” to Tucson’s dedication of its new airport — Davis-Monthan Field.
It was named in honor of two Tucson World War I pilots.
It was renamed Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in 1948, a year after the Air Force was established as a branch of the military, according to organizers.
DM50, a group of Tucson civic and business leaders who advocate for the base and its airmen, is hosting the celebration.
The proceeds will be used to support the base and for programs that benefit military personnel and their families, said organizers.