Chanute Air Force Base

Download this issue!Chanute Air Force Base – Rantoul, IL
By Michael Kleen

Read about this location and more in Legends and Lore of Illinois: The Definitive Collection

Read about this location and more in Legends and Lore of Illinois: The Definitive Collection

Chanute Air Force Base opened in Rantoul in July 1917 and was a vital part of the local economy for nearly 76 years. After its closure in 1993, much of the base was divided up into residential and commercial properties, but most of the core buildings remain abandoned. The Chanute Air Museum moved into one of the old hangers, and its website offers an illustrated retrospective of the base’s history. Inevitably, local kids exploring the abandoned parts of the base in the past few years have begun to bring home unusual stories.

Chanute Field, as the facility was originally known, opened as a result of the First World War. When the United States entered the war in 1917, our fleet of military aircraft was woefully inadequate. The War Department quickly allocated funds to open the Field and begin training an air corps. After the war, Congress bought the land around Chanute Filed and authorized construction of nine steel hangers. Fires plagued the original base, since many of the buildings were made of wood.

Between 1938 and 1941, as the United States began modernizing its military, a “renaissance” occurred at Chanute. Buildings such as a headquarters, hospital, fire station, water tower, gymnasium, and even a theater were installed. The Works Progress Administration provided everything necessary for a permanent air corps to be stationed there.

What happened next? Click here to download the entire issue (.pdf) and find out!


Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 3 Digital Edition

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  1. Bill Reid says:

    I enjoyed seeing the photos, although it’s sad to see everything rundown. I was stationed at Chanute twice: 1974-1978 as a student attending (and later as an instructor teaching) Avionics School in White Hall, and again 1980-1983 as an instructor (again.) Living on-base and in Rantoul started my interest in local history, which I’ve maintained every place I’ve lived since. I would be happy to share my knowledge of Chanute & Rantoul.

    • Douglas K Wenger says:

      I hope you remember me. I had a band at the base called RYDER. Iused to teach basic electronics including Inst/Flight control Systems to include AFSC systems. I loved my job enough to be Instructor of the Month. I’m interested in the whereabouts of several of our instructors, to include Larry Mc Canlesss, a very special lady Vicki, Scott, Mr Henrickson..always had a big belt buckle on, a Mr Smith who was partially handicapped, to a guy named John a tall easy going guy who I beleived stayed in the Rantoul area….please send me an email asap.
      Doug Wenger

      • Dave Kneeland says:

        I was stationed at Chanute AFB from 1983 – 87 as Instructor and Instructor Supervisor for the Avionics Instrument Systems Specialist Course. What have you been up to?

      • Cynthia Austin says:

        Hi Doug: I was stationed at CAFB 75-79 and I dated an Instructor name Pete Jones…I’ve been trying to locate him…did you know a Pete Jones..

      • john greenhalgh says:

        he doug, dont know if you remember me, i vaguely remember you and greg crist practicing at his home in base housing. my name is john greenhalgh and worked in finance from 80-84

      • Art McKinney says:

        I was at Chanute twice. In 1978 as a student and then 1984-1987 as an instructor. Taught in the instrument course. Have been back through the old place a couple of times. I have family in Peoria and I live in Indiana now. Enjoyed my time there. I also worked at 3360 Group Resources.

      • Hi: Any relation to a surgeon by the same name,at Chanute in 50-52?

    • im looking for information on the senior officer row homes. we just purchased one and it seems my family isnt the only living there

      • Joan (Perigo-)Smith says:

        Hi! My sis/Denise(NY) just told me(CA) that she recently connected with you(IL). In the mid 1960’s we lived practically right across the street (then, called “Senior Officers’ Row”) from the big HQ building where Dad worked.
        [VIEW:,334865pu.tif&title=1.%20%20View%20of%20front%20from%20north.%3Cbr%3EHABS%20ILL,10-RAN.V,1Q-1&displayProfile=0 ]
        Did they re-name the street(s)? (Read somewhere “Galaxy St.” and wondered if that’s now it, or one of their other neighborhoods.) I remember we’d step out of our upstairs bedroom window and sunbathe on the roof top of our adjoining single-story sun room. Do miss the place, and so wish we’d bought our house back when it was vacant. How much did they sell for?? We also lived a year or so on another base street, named “Twining Drive”.
        I just got some 1940/50’s postcards of Rantoul’s main street on Ebay (there’s always an assortment of memorabilia there…just enter RANTOUL in the search box).
        Were you already living in Rantoul when you bought that base house, or, were you from some other area? What do you like/dislike about there??
        : )

      • Hi Elizabeth,
        I lived at 8a Senior Officers Row from 1972-1975. We were a family of 7 kids a dog and two cats. As a kid (6th,7th and 8th grades) I had a blast living there. Some of my best memories were living at Chanute. During that time all the houses on Senior Officers Row were occupied by Colonels and their families. Lots of big families too. While my family had 7 kids, 1 had 5kids, 1 had 6kids, and another had 7 kids. There were a couple families with 2-3 kids. Back behind the garages was an orchard fenced in with a briar patch that kept it private from the airmen walking across the lawn from White Hall. I spent countless hours sitting in an apple tree pondering life. Lots of memories. I often feel like I left a part of me there.

      • I too lived on Senior Officers row (9a) from 1968 – 1972. I loved that house, ours had a finished basement (was like my own apartment) It was great location for BX, Theaters, base gym etc.. Most of my friends lived on other side of base though, so until I was driving it was a haul to see friends. I too enjoyed the orchard out back, use to run sprints there to get in shape for football. There was a small bar ,club room behind one of the garages, the Colonels would have their cocktails there Friday night.
        I believe they sold for very reasonable $40,000 range when based closed. Sad to see what has happened to the base.

    • Lucy Putnam says:

      Hello all,
      Have an “off-the-wall’ question about the Chanute Air Force base and am hoping that it rings a bell with someone who has been there.

      I’m the archivist for a religious order. One of our members was an artist and he designed stained glass windows. I have drawings for several (as many as 27 windows or panels) and they are all marked “Rantoul Air force Base”. The only date is May 1972. Was there a chapel or church on the grounds of the base? or nearby? with stained glass windows? Does it still exist? Any information would be appreciated.

      • Russ Blakeman says:

        There is/was a chapel near the HQ building at the intersection of the main street that came in from the main/north gate and the street that came in from the west gate off US 45 and passed the theaters. It was right across from the parade field. Someone that has posted here about buying a house on Senior Officers Row lives down the block from where the chapel is or would have been. I haven’t been to Chanute since I left when it closed in 93 so I don’t know but if you can contact that person, or the base reuse committee in Rantoul ( ) you might be able to get the info you need, or I can contact the three people I know that have settled back in the Rantoul area. One is part of a gospel signing group and may have some contact with the chapel still if it’s there and in use. I don’t recall any others on base but I haven’t attended church in 40 yrs so I have no idea if there were others.

      • I was stationed at the Headquarters Building called P-4, under the Command of Colonel Cook,
        Captain Gallant. On the Main Drag from the Entrance we had a Small Chapel, manned by
        1 Master Sergeant, and at least three Officers< i was stationed there from 1978 to 198,
        Admin Specialist in the Orderly Room, and then a Command Control Specailist in the Command Post before transfer. There was a Chapel on Base. I believe the Maser Sergeant
        name was Guarnet.

        Sgt Rice

      • Howard Reeser says:

        Yes, there was a large chapel on Chanute. It was located across the street from the parade grounds I believe. It was close to where the B-58 aircraft was on display…I was there as an instructor form 1989-1993.
        Howard Reeser

      • Hi Lucy. Chapel one is still located in the original place at Chanute, across from the Parade Grounds. The stained glass windows are still there. I remember in the early ’70’s that the church had a collection for Betty Crocker points… Those helped purchase the windows that are still in the Chapel. The Chanute Air Museum also has a window on display. I believe it is an older window that was replaced by the afore mentioned ones. The Chanute Air Museum also sells books on the history of the base. The historian who wrote one of the books is Donald Weckhorst. The book is sold in the gift shop. I hope this helps.

      • There are two Churches on the Base. My kids still live in Rantoul. Im close to Champaign.

      • rita younger says:

        Yes Lucy there was a beautiful chapel with stained glass windows. I was married in that chapel. Rita

      • Michael Emery Sr. says:

        Hi Lucy,

        Yes, there were a number of chapels on base. My dad was stationed there and we lived on base. In fact, they moved a chapel to near th homes, butted up to a barracks. I must have been about 8 or 9, when a few of us rode our bikes from the housing area to the chapel, still on blocks and wheels, climbed up inside, and went up to the choir loft, where one boy dropped a match between exposed studs, and started a fire. A couple days later, my dad called me, asked if I knew anything, and I went to talk to his CO. I told him what happened, my dad got a written reprimand, which was ‘lost’ and the other kid’s dad was’ busted’ (lost rank) Dad, didn’t tell me till after I was married, that he was complemented on my respect and truthfulness when I spoke with his CO. I have many, fond memories of Chanute AFB, altarboy, marching, auto races, free movies, skating rink, swimming pool, all close to the housing area, which were 2-story 6-plexes. Often, Fr. Kimisch(?) whould come over after Sunday Mass, and have dinner with us, probably once a month or so. He also taught me to be an altarboy when I was almost 8 yrs old, and told me that I would be a priest one day. That didn’t happen, though I do restorative justice ministry, Cursillo, Kairos, and share my faith every chance I can. I attended St. Dominic’s school, taught by Dominican nuns. The 4 of us attended Catholic schools through HS, not easy on what a tech sergeant made in those days,
        Sorry, more info than you wanted, but we were there from 1952-1955 I believe.
        Hope this helps.

        Michael Emery Sr.

      • carolyn reuther says:

        My father received a commendation for two stainless steel altar vases he designed and executed for Chapel 1. If they are to be destroyed, I would love to have them.

    • SA Crawford Gannett says:

      My dad was an instructor in the 60’s and 70’s at chanute air force base. His name was George M. Crawford (nickname fish). He worked with liquid air. Did you know him?

      Thank you,

      SA Crawford-Gannett

    • shari walters says:

      I have been inside White Hall many times…I worked in there recently with a friend of mine. I did have what they call an EVP on my cell. I got it one day when I was catching videos of areas there and when I heard it, I was a little freaked at first, but it was cool at the same time. A couple of my teachers and fellow classmates also heard it because I wanted to make sure I wasnt hearing things. To this day things are still roaming the halls there and I think it is really sad they have to tear it down. I wish they would clean it up and use it. I love that building…you can just feel the history pouring out of the walls. I would love to hear of your experience there, I have quite a few.

    • Dear Bill . I am trying to locate someone who might have remember my father SSGT. Charles Evans , who was a cook ,stationed in 68 . Please email me at

    • I was student at chanute AFB in 1983-1984, I studied the autopilot systems, i was living in 306 building, i look for civilan and military friends who might remember me, they called me sweet man, i am from morocco, please email me at

    • nellie douglas says:

      I am trying to locate a picture of my brother in his uniform to put at his grave, he was at Chanute in 1962, or 1963, His name is Dewey Roe, are there year books ????


  2. They use Grissom hall for high school students, i was one of those students and ive never seen anythhing happen. i would like to know bill if you know of anything haunted in rantoul

  3. Bob Atkinson Summer of 1953 says:

    Thank you for trying to preserve things of the past. I was 20 years old when I was there and I went to Google this evening and clicked on Chanute AFB. Enjoying it very much. Keep up the good work.

  4. Mary Esmonde says:

    I use to visit at Chanute when my brothers were stationed there. I made friends with a girl by the name of Diane Haines. Her dad was msgt allen haines. I have been trying to find her since 1980. Last time I saw her was 1/11/1975. If anyone out there remembers her I would like to here from you. I had 4 brothers that were all sationed at chanute. Alan Esmonde, Rick Esmonde, Bill Esmonde, Tim Esmonde.

  5. R. Schoening says:

    I am looking for information on a SSgt Orin T. Overson who was a survival instructor at Chanute Field in 1952. He drowned in a training excercise in the Spoon River in 1952 while participating in an Air Force survival training program. Any information or guidance in finding some information would be great!
    Thank you,

  6. Scott Smith says:

    I attended Automatic Flight Control Systems (Autopilot) training at Chanute in 1970. I completed my training in 1971 and had not been back since until one Sunday afternoon in the summer of 2009. I was disappointed to see the base in shambles. All the old wood buildings are of course gone, White Hall the main training building is abandoned, the ’69th Squadron building appears to be a senior centers. I talked to a local citizen that had been there for the base closing. She told me that she had seen the base closing report and it indicated the reason that Chanute was recommended for closing was “you can’t play golf year round”. Rantoul was a great little town in the heartland of America. It is a shame that someone did not take the resources that are there and start a world class technical school to compliment the U of I in nearby Champaign-Urbana.

    • im looking for an old friend his name is Ken Sylvia. He was stationed in Ill back in 1970. Airforce, his home state is RH. Could you maybe help me find him have been looking for a long time..

    • Curtis Culbertson says:

      Hello Scott, I also attended Automatic Flight Control Systems (Autopilot) training at Chanute in
      mid June 1963 to 21 Jan 1964. I was in the 3357 squadron. Do you recall the badge “Cookie Button” we wore on the pocket of our shirt? If I remember, mine was blue with black 57 on it. Weather squardon wore a golden yellow button with black 60 on it. So young and happy back then. Regard, Curtis

      • George B Parker says:

        Scott and Curtis,

        I too studied autopilot systems at Chanute for the B52 and was sent to Hamilton AFB,Calif.
        to work on the F101B Autopilot. I left Chanute I think in Feb, 1963. I too was in the 3357 th
        and lived in wooden baracks.

      • shari walters says:

        my boyfriend went to White Hall on the base and soon after went to iraq. Not really sure what year it was, but his name is Allen Doss and he was a colonel in the Air Force.

  7. Jim Peterson says:

    I was a student at Chanute in 1967, 47th Sq. Life Support. Sad to see the old field falling apart but again so am I. There was B-36 at the beginning of the flight line. What did they ever do with it? Also there was a B-52. Rumor was it landed in emergency status and couldn’t take off later. What became of it. Thanks for you pictures and history if the place. Fond memories of a great place. The story goes, Chanute had the biggest chow hall in the history of the military services.

    • TSgt Don Calhoun says:

      Civil Engineering and CRS or EMS disassembled the B-36 at Chanute, boxed it and sent it by railroad to Castle AFB CA. Then Castle came on the closure list and closed. See below website.

    • jim downs says:

      Dear Jim, I was also at chanute in 67.(60th squadron, AGE)Strangely depressing to see pictures of the old base. Went to ramstein after graduation.Live in california, last 35 years. Jim Downs

      • Dan Miller says:

        I was in AGE school from 6/67-12/67. 3360th. Went to school from 11pm-7am A real Chicken s… squadron but it was good for me. Ended up at Kincheloe for the whole time left.

      • Bill Verdonik says:

        Jim, was instructor until Dec 1967 (went to school 1965-66 /3360). Was instructor for the 3-11 PM -other student squadron can’t remember number 3348 sounds right but not sure).

      • jeff Mowery says:

        Yes, a shame to see many AFB’s being torn down. I am an Air Force brat and lived on Chanute AFB back in 1964. Then went to KI Sawyer AFB in Michigan, which is/has been sold off and torn down also. Brings some good memories of my younger years.
        Anyways, I was wondering if anyone would know who I could contact as I am trying to locate a person from way back then. If you have any information who I may contact could you please email me at

      • Bill Rumpf says:

        “We are the 60th, the mighty, mighty 60th”
        It is still depressing after 47 years.
        Fortunately after Larson AFR Washington I spent 18 months on the beautiful island of Guam.
        Left there at 85 degrees and was dumped into Loring AFB Maine where it was 10 degrees and 24 inches of snow. Uncle Sam had a cruel sense of humor.

    • I am visiting Chanute for the first time after I was stationed here in 1965 (45 years). The first thing I noticed was the B-36 was missing. So I did a web search and found that it had been moved to March Air Museum. If you go to this web site you can read the whole story of one of three B-36 Aircraft still on Public display.

      • Actually Ralph you probably did a typo – you cited the right aircraft but it went to Castle, not March. The B-36 was reassigned (I believe) due to the closure of Chanute then when Castle closed they were given land to retain the air museum on. I was on Chanute till close and I taught in the last hangar on the south end of the flightline that the Chanute museum is in now, called Grisson Hall (may have been called something else in 65 as I believe Virgil I “Gus” Grissom died later). When you were there in 65 the plane had been there 8 yrs as it was landed on Chanute’s runway in 57. In the mid 70’s all flying on Chanute ceased and the runways were marked abandoned. Except for some helicopter traffic and a landing of a B-52 that was restored to flightworthiness from the boneyard at Davis Monthan AFB in 83 there was nothing else till the locals got the FAA to OK it for air traffic again after the base closed. Also if you search Youtube for “Chanute B-36” you will find a video marked part III of the reassembly. The poster says he can’t post parts I and II which were disassembly at Chanute and transport to Califonia but are too big for upload with Youtube’s 10 min limit. Castle really did a beautiful job with the RB-36, which was mismarked all those years are Chanute, and was in really bad shape the last few years on the display pad at Chanute. In California it should be a stable enough environment that the plane lasts another dozen or so generations.

      • Vera Rogers says:

        Hi, is your name Ralph Moss who was stationed in Loring from 63-65. Do you know an old friend who was also there named Richard O’Daniels? Do you remember Ramona Frazier who also lived there?

        If so, please email me at

    • The B36 was purchased by a preservation company and taken apart prepped for rail shipment and sent on its way. I do not remember where it went or the name of the company. I was there until the end. I left the base in 1993 and was transferred to Minot AFB where i retired. The Canberra aircraft was prepped for flight and was flown to Australia by the Australian government. I think the B-38 in front of the HQ was also prepped for flight and flown out. I cannot remember where it went only that the fuel tanks were full of JP-4 I was a member if the 3345 CES from 1997 till the base closed in 1993. As a military buf and 20 year veteron the Chow Hall looks to be a n old balloon hangor and when I was there it had a diffrent function thean a chow hall, it was offices. I was not the one that put the lock on the gate but I almost was.
      Truly, Sgt Duke-Dog.

      • Russ Blakeman says:

        As I mentioned above, the B-36 went to Castle AFB in CA. The preservation company didn’t purchase it, they were paid to tear it down, pack it on rail cars, and deliver it at the new site. None of the aircraft were flown under their own power, some were airlifted to other sites like some of the A-7’s from the refule training area – airlifted by a Skycrane helicopter on cables while on the old runway they converted to Challenger Rd. All the aircraft are still property of the AF Museum and are on loan including the B-36. Castle closed after Chanute but they were smart enough to set aside property as an air park and all the aircraft they were able to retain including the B-36 are in that air park on the former Castle AFB. I think all of the B-52’s were ground into scrap metal with the START reductions. I know the crew area of one was turned into an egress trainer and is in the museum and maybe the City of Riverside B-52 was saved from the scrapping, I forget. I was there for retraining from Jan 83 to Aug 83 when the black camo pattern B-52 came in from AZ and came back in mid 85 and stayed till mid 93 myself, in the 3360th as an air launched missile systems instructor but I was also assigned at the start of Desert Shield into Desert Storm to the LES/SPS full time then went back to my course area in Grissom Hall. I lived on Perimeter Rd (1259C then B with the housing upgrade in the 80’s) looking out my front windows at the fence and alternated corn and soybean crops towards Dillsburg. One of our course instructors went from Chanute to Minot and he retired and went back to Rantoul and lives there. Two others retired from Chanute and stayed, one in Rantoul and one east of Rantoul.

    • It is on static display at the former Castle AFB, CA.

    • Joan (Perigo-)Smith says:

      To all you G.I.’s who were there in the 1960’s, I probably saw you in the BX. My dad (Col. Robert Perigo) retired from Chanute after serving four years there, and for awhile during high school I was a p.t. base Cashier (can remember when Cig’s cost $0.25 a pack and cartons $2.50. Also, $0.15 hamburgers at Burger Chef and $0.75 movies at the ‘Home Theatre’)! The family of my best friend owned the ex-‘Redwood Inn’ in town. It’s been a long time now… have enjoyed finding several memorabilia items about RANTOUL + CHANUTE on Ebay.

      • Nadeane (Storie) Mannion says:

        Gosh! Give me a down day and I become engrossed with nostalgia. We live at Chanute, until my dad’s assignment to Itazuke, Japan in 1960. I have enjoyed looking through the messages here. I attended J. W. Edgar Jr. High and my freshman year at Rantoul Township High. One of my dear friends got her first job at the Redwood Inn.

      • Dave Johnson says:

        All these memories you guys are stirring up! I was in the 3350th Training Squadron from 1969-1970. The one instructor I remember was SSgt Bill Runnels who was notable in that he bore a striking resemblance to Don Knotts. Gave the evil eye if he heard someone whisper Barney Fife. I ran into him again at RAF Upper Heyford. My first duty station after Chanute was Shaw in SC. I still remember JEEP jackets and staggering back to the barracks from the Airmen’s Club and going to the dances at the USO outside the gate where they enforced the “no bodily contact” on the dance floor. A different era for sure.

    • Paul Jordan says:


      I was at Chanute when the B 52 landed. At that time I went to school from midnight to six. Was sound asleep when it did flew over our old WW 2 barracks. Thought the end had come .LOL

      • Phil Kirby says:

        I slept in those old dorms, they called it the Pitts when I was their in 1980. I attended firefighting school or crash/ rescue it was January and I remember the cold very well. My teachers were Sgt Bain and SRA Dooling… It’s been a long time ago.

    • Hey Douglas, this is Robert “Sonny” Fales (Airman1stClass) and i was going to electronics tech to to prepare me for AircraftElectricalSystemsRepair & maintenance in 1980 which would later find me stationed at GrandForksStrategicAirCommandBase FieldMaintenanceHqtrs for servicing of B-52’s & KC-135Stratotanker Refueling AirCraft. Anyways, i am wondering if you remember one of the Electronics Instructor who taught us how to assemble & trouble shoot & measure the values of transistors Diodes Capacitors & basic circuit board theory.Anyway, you most likely heard of the demise of his young little girl being Raped & Murdered by one of his airman buddies he befriended??He was a very kind sweet Air Force Instructor that was extremely patient and understanding guy and i am wanting to relocate with him as i know he’ll be amazed to hear from me to because i was very good guitarist back in 1980 (especially now) I am hopeful that you could help me relocate this gentlemen again.Here is my email & Bangkok,Thailand Mobile (+66850147852) and if you know who i am talking about, he should be in his middle sixty’s now.I hope he is still alive,Anyway, if i could get a copy of the photograph booklets of all the Instructors of electronics & avionics that served during 1979 untill 1980’s then i do recognize him and i could then Google him and zero in on his family’s where abouts!!Thank You so much for your reading all this and possibly assist me finding this awesome Airforce tech instructor and friend!!GodBless you Bro.Douglas and take good care of yourself…

  8. Jim Peterson says:

    I have a couple pictures if you are interested.

    • Debbie McKinley, Weis says:

      I am interested in seeing your pictures I have one only. I think it is 1930’s or 1940’s. My father was not quite the age he was supposed to be.

    • i was air force brat,there bewteen 79-83.lots of good mem’swe lived on douglass rd next to golf course(the rd is now called something like golf corse circle or something).we lived on corner w/two crabapples in front yard,if any one has pics of area id sure like to se them…thank you…….william latz at,… father was tecsrgt named willliam latz,he worked on the flight simulaters,useualy for the b-52’s

  9. danny baldridge says:

    I was stationed at chanute from oct 1981 to april 1982,as a student of 3371 school squadron.i have very fond memories from my time there.

    • Steve LaMere says:

      I was in structural repair school there from oct 81 – april 82 in the 44th school squadron I would like to hear from anyone that was there around then it was a fun time in my life.Do any of you remember the holiday inn sr.?

      • Gab Belmont says:

        Yes, But I remember Holiday Inn Junior better. :-D
        I was stationed there for Air Frame Repair training in 76 & 77. Great base and lots of fun, fond memories. I was just looking at some pictures of friends taken during that time.

      • shari walters says:

        Did anyone out there know anyone at all who went by the nick name Buddy who went to White Hall or worked there? I am just curious. Please email me at if you do or did…thank you.

    • I was there at the same time. Can’t remember which school squadron though.

      • Don Stone says:

        I was there Jan 82 to Apr 82 Jet Engine School 3352nd. The weather was really nice something like 85 degrees below zero! First two weeks all I did was shovel snow! When you walked to the mess hall you couldnt see your hands in front of your face! Anyone remember the Pit and Ping?

  10. Tom Jaeger says:

    Went to aircraft instrument school the afsc (af32331) I think. That was way back in 1967. Good memories, sorry to see it in the state it is in.

    • Tom: my name is Jim Reese and I was an instructor in the aircraft instrument school from 1966 thru 1968. In 1967, I believe I taught A-shift (6-noon) in Block 4 (the last block of the course). Many good memories from long ago. I’m going to make the trip to Chanute tomorrow, it’s 80 miles from my residence, sounds like I’m going to be disappointed.

      • Steve Johnson says:

        Do you recall CMS Raymond Smith who was there when you were at Chanute?

      • Albert Lamoureux says:

        I may have had you as an instructor when I attended the aircraft instrument repair course in late summer and early fall of 1966. You must have done a good job teaching the electronics portion of the course, because I was in various electronics repair businesses since my discharge from the US Air Force in March of 1970, until I retired in January of 2010. Thank you, and all my other trainers for a long productive career in electronics. God bless all of you.

      • Dennis Brown says:

        Jim: Went through the aircraft instrument repair school, instructor training in 1966. Taught 3rd block A-shift and I don’t remember for sure, but maybe some D-shift also. Was an instructor 1966 into 1967 before being transfered out to Tinker AFB. Was a good assignment at Chanute, does not sound like it is anything as I remember from those years I was there.

      • Gene Arnold says:

        Jim: I was there July 66-Oct 66, aircraft instrument school, best I remember 24:00 to 06:00 class hours, I know we seemed to always be marching in the dark. From there to Grissom AFB on the B-58, KC-135, C-47 and T-33, and any thing else that happened to drop in needing attention. Thank you for your service. I Took an early out in April 70 after they took my 58’s away in Jan. 1970.

  11. Debbie McKinley, Weis says:

    I have recently gotten a picture of my Father, Donald Eugene McKinley. The photo has ( ACFT. WELDERS, CLASS, 11102B CHANUTE AIR BASE ) in the left bottom corner. The photo is of his 15 member class. I would like to have more information. If anyone can help me, please contact me. Thank you.

  12. Chris Terry says:

    I was a surgery tech at the hospital from mid ’65 to late ’68. I’ve been able to reconnect with four of the guys, but would like to hear from more. There was an airshow there, I believe to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Air Force, in 1967. The C141, now retired, was a “new” aircraft on display. President Johnson landed there and then took a helicopter to a funeral of someone in Springfield… lots of memories of “old” Chanute. “Don’t shoot ’em, Chanute ’em!”

    • President Johnson landed at Chanute in July, 1965 and went via motorcade to Springfield, Ill for the funeral of Adalai Stevenson. They awoke us in the middle of the night to search our barracks, 188; we were kitty corner from the post office and close to the flightline. We were 3360th student squadron, A.G.E. It was a really hot day and the word was they hooked up a flight line air conditioning unit to Air Force One and forgot to open the doors on the unit for circulation, plane was pretty hot when they returned. BTW, I was a patient in the base hospital for three days in March, 65; had pneumonia. Received great care. I remember a black sergeant who was my nurse, tough guy but great nurse. Jim

  13. George B Cardwell III says:

    Loved the pictures, however there was not an Idyess Hall as your caption says, it is actually Dyess Hall where the Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course was taught. I attended from June 1988 to November 1988 as a member of Class # 880616 IAO (Improvise Adapt and Overcome). They was not enough quarters available for the student officers so we all lived on the economy. Several of our class live in Urbana and commuted to the base each day for classes. They were actually building a new officers quarters that would have accomodated the officer students however construction stopped when it was announced that the base was going to close. I returned to Chanute to attend the Jet Engine Mishap Investigation Course about a year before it moved to Sheppard AFB.

    • Robert L Jackson says:

      My name is Robert Jackson and I was an instructor of the Jet Engine Mishap Investigation Course. I moved to Sheppard AFB with the course. I think the Air Force screwed up to close Chanute and go to Sheppard.

  14. Thank you, George, and I apologize. Apparently when I quickly glanced at the picture to write the caption I interpreted the chipped paint at the beginning of the sign on the building as an “I.” Yes, sometimes I do wonder if I’m slipping mentally…

    I really appreciate the interest all of you have taken in this particular issue. I had no idea it would quickly become our most popular, and I can’t help but feel honored to have facilitated some reunions between old comrades. Thank you for your service, gentlemen.

  15. Eugene Beaulieu says:

    Beginning in 1959, I attended the basic jet engine school at Chanute. I was assigned there as an instructor in the basic course in 1966. I was stationed there twice more, and retired from Chanute in 1980 as a Chief Master Sergeant. I always enjoyed my assignments there. It’s sad to see the deterioration of some of the buildings.

    • Boyd L. Bradford says:

      Trying to get in touch with Cmsgt Beaulieu we helped start the first First Sgt Crs in the Air Force in the 70’s Msgt Boyd Bradford Ret

      • Terry Baum says:

        Are you looking for CMSgt. Eugene (Gene) Beaulieu? If so, I knew and worked with him at Chanute in the late 60’s early 70’s as instructors in the Basic Jet Engine Course.

    • Terry Baum says:

      Hi Gene … long time and lots of miles gone now. I remember you when we worked with Jim Farrell, John Murphy, Lee Vedder, Danny Murphy, Ralph Plowman, and all the rest at CAFB, Block I. I think that I was at Chanute when your Bronze Star Medal was awarded to you for action in Southeast Asia.

      Hope that you get this! All the best!

  16. Paul Schaecher says:

    Stationed here for ELAB school from Oct 81- May 82. One of the worst winters ever and I am from Illinois. Came back for High Reliability Soldering School in 1988. I once again returned after active duty discharge to crosstrain into the Fire career field at the newer Fire Academy. That was from Nov 92-Jan 93. I was in the 2nd to last class before they moved.

    • I was there Dec 81 to May 82 for AGE school and I thought all winters there were that bad! So much snow that winter and so cold, wow!

      • Richard Williams says:

        I was there in AGE school 1964-1965 tried to march to chow hall till we hit the first drift.Was back a few years ago and all I could find was the movie theaters. Rich Williams 6o th.

    • Don Stone says:

      I was there during that winter at Jet School. It was crazy! I shoveled snow for 2 weeks while I processed in. Road Toad too! Good Times!

  17. Audrey Weltman Kelly says:

    My father, Henry Weltman, was stationed at Chanute Field from 1942 to at least 1944. The only paperwork I have shows an Asn of 36241 730. He was with the 8th Tech Sch Sq.
    All we know is that he was a parachute rigger and he apparently invented something that had to do with improving the rigging. He never spoke about the war and now my sisters and I wish we knew more about his life. Any information anyone has will be greatly appreciated.

    • Billie Hedde says:

      I too am looking for information concerning the time period before WWII when training and development of the parachute was being done at Chunute. My father had an Uncle, Henry Anderson from Ft. Wayne In. who was stationed there and involved in that develpment process. Does anyone have information concerning this period of time. Uncle Henry tried to talk my father into joining up there and later during WWII my father became a paratrooper in the 82nd.

  18. Melissa Broadway says:

    If you recognize that last name you must have been at Chanute when my father was there. (Sept 69 – Aug? 70). We were transferred up there after Keesler once Keesler was recovering from Hurricane Camille and then he went to Saigon, while the family went home to Texas. I have mixed memories of the area. Chanute was great! Rantoul (at 16) was boring, except for speeding on the dirt roads! But Cham-bana…. well I didn’t like getting shot at because of the base sticker on my car.

    • Debbie DaCruz says:

      My father was also there oct 69 to oct 70. We probably went to the high school together. Most of my friends from the base were from Texas!
      We used to have dances on Friday nights on base and the bands were high school kids from Rantoul.

  19. Scott J. Kelly says:

    I Was Born On The Base In 1953, From Time To Time I Would Visit The Base, I Miss It !
    For Some Reason I Don’t Feel As Safe, The Base Is A Real Mess, Thank You Congress For
    Another Fine Job, I Have To Take A Trip Back To See The Air Museum, GOD Bless America

  20. Hello! I was in school there in 1971 as an Avionics Instrument Systems Technician. I left some money in the Credit Union there in the hopes of someday getting it! Does anybody know what happened to it or where it went. How would I get my money? Searching has sure brought back memories though.
    Thank You

    • Curt Samuelson says:

      I was stationed at Chanute from Jan 1969 to April of 1971 I worked in base supply(E-4) I remember A smsgt Beasley SSgt Chuck W ard I lived off base at Thomasboro I also remember working with Bill Backes and Russell Coles I worked in item research

  21. I was a 2nd Lt at Chanute from Aug 69 to Aug 71 as part of Base Supply, 3345 M&S Group. Wayne Knapp was Chief of Supply then. Msgt. Larry C. Lenover was NCO during my time in M&P. For a while I lived in Champaign, later at 11 Kiernan Drive on base, until I went over to Karamursel Turkey. Many happy memories of chasing the Illinois Central ‘City of New Orleans’ after work down US 45 in my 912 at 80 mph. Always a good idea to pause at Thomasboro to check for the State Cop behind the grain elevator though. Happy to hear from any Base Supply permanent party. JGM

    • TOM BICKSLER says:


      • John Meyer says:

        Tom, I think that I remember you although my memory has turned to mush in my old age. Who was the warehouse NCO that had the white Corvair with the “after burner flameout indicator” sticker under the constantly glowing generator light on the dash? BTW, I was the 2nd Lt. with the green Porsche. And yes Knapp also gave me an opportunity to practise my military social skills (shall we say). After I left Chanute I went to Karamursel, Turkey. Lo and behold, SMSGT Childress was there when I got there. We did a couple TDY’s to Greece and Italy together. Interesting guy. Do you know whatever happened to MSGT Larry C. Lenover or CMSGT Myron K Reibolt in M&P section? Hope all has gone well for you. I am in Cincinnati now, retired from USAF Reserve in 1997.

        CAFB Aug 1969 to Aug 1971

      • andy grisko says:

        I was station at Chanutue 1961 to1965 BEMO538 sec MSG Rooselvelt Guardonie was the NCOIC.SSG JIM TRAINIM TSG WARREN SMITH If you heared of any of these guys give me a call

      • I am looking for anyone during the time of 1969 that may have known my father, MSgt/SMSgt David Jessup. I’ve heard the name Col Knapp a few times. Also, heard the name of SMSgt Childress…may have become a Chief and stationed at McChord AFB, WA in 1972/75 time-frame (but, my memory isn’t that good). Anyway…I’m lookiing for information on what squadron my father was in back then for a shadow box…he died this last April 2010 of heart failure. Thanks! Bear

      • I am looking for an airman named Ken VanderWal who was possibly stationed at chute in 1966 until 1968 I do believe. He was stationed at Incirlick AFB Turkey before going to Ilonois. Can someone help me locate him or tell me if he is still alive.

  22. Michael Kapustin says:

    I was stationed there in 1957 as a student in recip engine class. we were housed in the “old” hospital that consisted of single story barracks that inter-connected and occupied quite a bit of area….
    Had MANY meals in that HUGE mess hall with the two base theaters across the street.
    Our final engine class was engine run up on other side of base in “test cells”..
    I well recall those cold winter mornings marching in flight formations down the flight line, past that B-38 (What ever happened to it ?.
    Our run ups on flight line were a B-50, and C119 Flying Boxcar !
    (Am i dating myself, or what !)
    Also spent many a weekend at the only theater in Rantoul, or “Rangoon” as we called it..
    Would love to hear from anyone who was there at that time frame !

    • Pat Russell says:

      Hello Michael:

      Many years ago, around 1957, I dated a “gentleman” who was stationed at Chanute. He used to come up on the bus to take me out. I lived on the so. side of Chicago. He usually brought a friend named “Ralph” from either so. Carolina or no. Carolina.

      Many years later, I think of “Jack” Essmen Hindi and often wonder how he is doing. I wonder about Ralph as well.

      Did you know either of them?

    • Michael,
      Sounds like you might have been stationed there with a gentleman by the name of Art Heaney…He would have been a student around 57-58? Married a local girl named Franny, crazy little thing!
      Any info would be appreciated!

  23. I was stationed at Chanute for SRAM missile training Oct. 1971 thru Dec. 1971, the first class of missile students headed to Loring AFB, Me. Instructor Bob Hoard took a few of us to an Illini football game. Nice quarters for senior NCO’s also.

    • You came way before me as I was there to retrain in 83 and instructor from 85 to 93 but I taught in the SRAM/ALCM/ACM course with Plattsburgh AFB with FB-111A between Chanute stays. Loring, Plattsburgh, Pease, Carswell, etc, etc, etc – 99% of them closed. Of course Minot is still open and Barksdale is now a command HQ and those two I believe are the only B-52 bases left open. FB-111A are all mothballed and B-1B used for alternate uses. We crated the boosters for our AGM-69A SRAMs at McConnell AFB KS (my last base before retirement in 95) in early 94 waiting for disposal orders for them – almost a year of doing ZERO. We didnt even have to open the structures, just verify the door seals. We shipped them all to OK for destruction, the 463’s had already shipped the warheads for demil well before that.

      • Russell, all of our instructors were from Boeing. Being in the first class of 316X0’s when we got to Loring in January 1972, there were no B-52’s for close to 6 months so we played with a few missiles in the shop until it became the new fish bowl and I decided the flightline was the place to be.

    • Fran McDowell says:

      Looking for a second lieutenant, Jim Cook (James Leslie Cook) who was stationed at Chanute aroud Oct. 1970-April 1971.

  24. LOOKING for: TSGT Peter “Pete” Jones
    Pete was an Instructor at Chanute AFB, 1974-1979 or possibly longer.
    Tall African American. He often said, he was originally from Georgia.
    I would estimate Pete is around 68-70 years young now.

    Anyone having any information on Pete, I would appreciate hearing from you.
    Stan Miller

  25. Gary Stephens says:

    Call me crazy but I was stationed @ Chanute from 10/79 thru 3/83 and I can’t remember my squadron designation. I was a Medical Supply Specialist in of all places the Hospital, any help with this would be appreciated. Any pix from hosp. personnel would be awesum. Admittedly I smoked a bit of the wacky tabacky back then, so my memory isn’t what it could or should be. I lived in Jones apartments South of the base for a while and then moved across the field to Green Acres, which was PARTY CENTRAL. I still maintain a great freindship with one of the locals and make several trips a year to “Rantucky Arkantoul”. The condition of the base is depressing on more levels than I care to get into, it certainly reminds me that I’m older than I care to admit. All vets have my deepest respect and admiration.

    Gary Stephens

    • Oh no not one of those pot heads LOL. Anyway word from a local still there is the hospital, the brick one at the south end of the base, is now housing migrant workers on the first floor and the rest closed off due to asbestos.

    • David Hatfield says:

      Gary I was stationed at Chanute from 71-75 and again from 77-81. I was a medical service specialist in the base hospital. I was ER supervisor for a while, then ICU, and finally 2nd floor general disease ward. A guy named Dan O’Hara was supervisor on the third floor. I have vague memories of a lot of nice folks in supply and medical maint. A great old civilian maint man named Earl. I left for Turkey in 81 and stopped by a few days ago. Really sad to see how the place has wasted away. I don’t remember the hospital having a unit designation of than Hospital Squadron. I too lived in Green Acres and in fact managed the apartments for a while.

      • I lived in Green Acres Apts when I was there for retraining. Got to Chanute in Jan 83, wife came out from staying with family in Phoenix in probably March 83 and I rented the second floor end unit – we could watch US 45 toward Thomasboro from the balcony and see US 45 towards the base from the bedroom window. Stayed there few months till retraining was done in August 83 when we packed up and went to Plattsburgh AFB NY. When we came back in 85 as an instructor I got to know a lot of civilians and military, a couple in Thomasboro and one of the civilian contractors (heavy set guy named Curt and his wife) rented at Green Acres, in one of the single floor units down near the parking lots. Got to know a lot of people at U of I CU too as I ran the Hacker’s Anonymous BBS (all legal, the former operator named it that) run in the theorectical chemistry area on an IBM 5170 AT with two 20 mb (not gb, mb)hard drives in it and a modem.

      • Gary Stephens says:

        I remember you David, you’re tall and had dark hair. In fact, what I remember most is that you must have had your “roids” worked on because for a while you carried around a donut to sit on. I did some ER hours for extra cash and worked for MSgt McRen. I also remember O’Hara he was on the softball team with me. If you remember MSgt Rizzo, he lived across the street from a buddy of mine I still visit regularly, he stayed in Rantoul for quite awhile after his discharge and eventually moved to Arizona to get out of the cold. It’s nice to have the a name to bring back more memories. I was a Sra, tall skinny and a bit of a wiseass, and hung real tight with a short blond haired guy named Jeff Malott. Working in the basement I too remember Earl, he was a hell of a guy. He drove a checker, it was never a cab, he bought it from a guy in Chicago and drove the wheels off that thing. He lived West of Springfield and drove to and from Chanute everyday until he retired. I hope life has treated you well and that your health is good. Takecare.

      • Dan OHara says:

        Hatfield….O’Hara here, living in sunny Houston, Texas. Chanute is a ghost town now and it’s depressing to see a base where you were stationed, go that way. If you get this… Email.

      • i am an iranian officer i remember when i was at this base in welding shop.i never forget that time

  26. I was at Chanute from Mar to July 1968 in the 3360th squadron (A.G.E.) I went to Vietnam after graduating. I hate to see the place so run down now. My barracks were right across the street from the old Tradewinds which had plenty of pool tables and other stuff. I would love to hear from anyone there then or see any old pictures from that time period. I was stationed in Indiana (Grissom) after coming home from Nam (Phan Rang) in 69. I reenlisted there and spent the next 4 years at Shaw AFB in South Carolina.

    • Joe Bowles says:

      Jim I was stationed at Chanute Feb. 1966 to July 1966. Capt. Dome was our commander who had his dog with captain barss on it’s collar. I was in dorm directly across from mail room. I have pictures of the area but will need to dig them out also some old 8 mm tapes of the march to school. I return to Chanute in1968 for 7 level training. Was Sgt Rainey there when you were stationed there? MSgt Berry was our 1st Sgt. In 1966.

      • Joe: Sounds like barracks 188 Didn’t have far to retrieve our mail, eh? Who could forget the Friday night march from AGE school to the chow hall? 3360th really was “honor squadron”The food was great at that chow hall even if it was mamouth. Was Brockman in charge of the 60th when you were there?

    • I was stationed at Chanute ftom sept 66 to apr 67. afsc 31650Q missile systems analyst (hounddogs) Went to the tradewinds sat night for the dances. played ping-pong alot. went to Loring then Kadena, then wright pat, then fairchild. Loved the air force. went to OTS in 1972 Nav training.

    • Art Whorley says:

      Jim Hogan, I was stationed at Chanute in the 60th for AGE as well. I arrived in September of 1968 and left for Langley AFB, in Virginia, in March of 1969. I too lived in the barracks on the corner across the street from the Tradewinds. I remember it was S-189 because I remember the spiel we had to recite as barracks guard when someone of importance entered. “Sir, barracks guard, barracks s-189, reports barracks ready for inspection. Sir please sign in. Sir, the correct military time is….” At least that’s the way I remember it 46 years removed from that time!

    • Jack Nicodemus says:

      I also was at Chanute. 1965 to 1966. 3355th Jet Engine School. Became an instructor and sent to Amarillo. From there to Phang Rang, Vietnam Jun ’67 to Jun ’68. Good reading of someone also at Phang Rang.

  27. Jacques A. Hahn says:

    Stationed there from 1953-1955 in Pneumatics Sys. Rpmn as a inst. in block 3,and in 1960-1961 as a 7 level inst,lived on base at 88 Circle Drive and enjoyed the NCO club with my good buddy T/Sgt Vanhook

  28. DAVID TRIMMER says:


    • Bill Johnston says:

      I was in the 60th (age)–Dec62-May-63. I also remember the week of K.P. duty. They used those big washing machine looking peelers, and ground the potatoes down to the size of peas. My job was to keep the milk dispensers full. I would throw in a full container and take the empty ones out to the loading dock. One of the guys was living off base and had his car parked out back and he left the trunk unlocked for me. On my way thru the kitchen area I grabbed a tray with 8 pies, dropped the empty container of milk and loaded the pies in the trunk. The next trip netted a large sheet cake,—then some knives and forks. The guys back at the barracks will eat good tonight.

  29. Cynthia Austin says:

    I was stationed at Chanute AFB, IL, May 1975 – Aug 1979. I was assigned to Security Police Squardon, I managed the Orderly Room with a another female solider name Cathy, from Louisiana. I remember an Officer in our unit name (last name Moss). I married a airman name Charles Duke, Jr., he worked in the Hospital Records Section. If anyone was stationed there during this time…please contact me, I am trying to locate Pete Jones, he was a Technical Instructor, during this timeframe. Thanks

    • Sam Arnold says:

      Was the “officer” Moss a black gentle? I remember a TSgt Paul Moss there during that time. I was also there 1975-1979. Gate guard, Patrol, Desk Sgt, Armory, then Weapons training range.

      • Cynthia Austin says:

        Hi Sam: He may have been NCO, it was so long ago…I worked in the Orderly Room, from 1975-1979 and sometimes in SPI. Cathy worked in the OR with me. Please email me at

      • Cynthia Austin says:

        Yes, you are right, Moss was an africian american…and his rank was TS…not an officer…When I saw your name…I remembered you. I need to speak with you about something personal. Please email me at

    • Steve Bocrie says:

      Hey Cynthia Duke,
      Do you remember me. Cathie was my in the orderly room with me. I remember Sgt Moss, Col. Motley, Sgt Adams, Airman Knowlton and some of the others. Well I hope that things are good. Saw your blog and thought I would write back.

      Take Care,

  30. vic hansen says:

    Hello All…I was station at chanute from 56 to 58..went to instrument school there and remained there as an instructor of the flight instrument phase…I recall the day the B-36 first landed at Chanute. I could hear it long before I could make out what it was loud..they parked it on a prepared hardstand at the end of the runway…when I was P/P we lived in fairly new barracks a block or so from the B-36… And of course had to pull my share of KP. Left Chanute in 58 for Tachikawa and from there took a concurent to Rhein-Main…
    Vic Hansen

    • Deb Zimmerman says:

      Hi – my dad was an instructor at Chanute around 1961-65. Just wondered if anyone remembers him. We loved the base and just so sad it is gone. My brother wondered today if he would remember any of the area – from all the notes, it doesn’t seem he would. We lived on Twining Dr. and I guess the streets all have different names now.
      Anyone have pics from back then? I attended Maplewood, Eastlawn, Broadmeadow, Myna Thompson and JW Eater while I was there.

      • Deb Zimmerman says:

        Oh – his name is John Pierson, LT.Col. ret.

      • Some streets are renamed, some the same. Some are closed and new ones added. The perimeter fence in most places gone. We lived at 1259 Perimeter facing the cornfields east to Dillsburg with just a fence across the street – they have an open view now. Current maps show a new county road from Perimeter going east as well. When the base closed in 93 Twining was still named that.

      • Gina Bayless says:

        Hello, I too lived on Twining Drive, Rantoul and my dad was a Lt Colonal. We lived there from 1960-67. I do have some pix of our houses. I was 2 when we moved there and my brothers were 3 and 4. We were the Welborn family, cuFred, Elsie, Fred, Ginger, Chris, Steve and me, Gina……leave a msg if u want to talk….

      • Joan (Perigo-)Smith says:

        Small world! I lived on ‘Twining Dr.’ 1961-63, and attended JW Eater Jr.High. Can remember walking to lunch at “Burger Chef” for their 15-cent burgers & shakes, also to the clover-shaped base swimming pool (10-cent entry) and to the cheap Base Theatre (went to see Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape” three times). Then we moved to the street across from HQ where my dad -Col. Robert Perigo- worked. Was at RTHS 1963-67 (U must be younger than I; name is familiar tho…is your sib older?). Fond memories!

      • Gina Bayless (Welborn) says:

        My dad was Lt. Col. Frederick J. Welborn and we lived on Twining Dr from ’60-1966. The Welch family lived 2 doors down and a General lived diagonal to us. My name is Gina and my brothers are Fred (he was in his teens), Ginger,(teens), Chris, (age 3 to 9yrs), Steve (age 2-8yrs) and myself (1 to 8 yrs old). My dad was the oral surgeon at the hospital. My mom was Elsie. I have lots of pics with other people in them of my dad and mom. Thought you might like this info to see if it jogs your memory. Good luck.

    • Ken Mueller says:

      Vic I think I remember you from Rhein Main, did you work at the Rocket Club? I was in the parachute shop from April 62 to Sep 65.

      Ken Mueller

    • gary brunnworth says:

      vick contact gary brunnworth at

    • Ken Mueller says:

      Hi Vic, I remember you from the Rocket Club. I believe you were a Blue coat. I worked at the parachute shop.

      Ken Mueller

    • gary brunnworth says:

      vic if you receive this please call gary brunnworth at 618 639 1243 we were stationed together
      at rhein main 1959

  31. Doug Daniels says:

    I was at Chanute in 1964 in Pneumatics training. When I left I was stationed at Bergstrom AFB in Texas. Came back in 1965 for Advanced Jet Engine Starter School. I faintly remember they had the best Airman’s Club of any base I was on.

  32. I am looking for fire pictures at Chanute in 1979 during Oct-Dec. Thanks. Jerry

  33. Harold Huron says:

    My father was station at Chanute 1943,44,45. If anyone has pictures fron those days i would love to see them.

  34. B marchisotta says:

    I am looking for a James Manning at Chanute AFB fro 1954 to 1958, from Wisconsin..

  35. Jim Reese says:

    Steve Johnson :Do you recall CMS Raymond Smith who was there when you were at Chanute?

    No, I don’t recall that name. Highest ranking non-com in our group was a SMSGT Jones,

  36. If anyone has information about Ken Sylvia that was stationed in Ill back in1970 please contact me at 530-354-3701

  37. elizabeth king says:

    hey! my husband and i recently purchased one of the senior officer homes on officers row. and we were curious about what the buildings around us were for and wondering if anyone had old pictures of the base that could be emailed? we love to get them printed off to get framed and used to decorate our home! thanks
    email is

  38. kEN BUEHLER says:

    Looking for a Lt.Donald Arthur Ruehlman who was in the US Army and stationed there around 1943. This is a genealogy project I am working on and wonder if anyone has any remembrance of him. Thank you.

  39. Stephen Beasley says:

    Hi everyone!

    I was stationed at Chanute Air Base for motor pool training from April ’77 – July ’77. I’m not positive, but I believe I was in the 41st. It’s been so long ago. I remember what I did more than anything else. I do remember a brand new video game at the Airman’s Club called, ‘Break-Out’. Mostly I shot pool and played pinball. The Enola Gay was there in those days, before they moved her to the Smithsonian Institution.

    • John R. Teeter says:

      Stephen —
      The “Enola Gay” at Chanute was a replica; the original went straight to the Smithsonian.

      • Well it was a B-29, just not the Bocscar or Enola Gay, someone painted the ID of the Enola on that generic B-29. The B-36 was also mismarked – wrong serial and its an RB-36 rather than a B-36. The Castle Museum on the former Castle AFB CA has completely researched the origins and history of the one that sat on Chanute from 57 to 92 and when they put it back together they fixed everything up and marked it correctly. Looks real nice now. Just get on Youtube, put B-36 Castle Part III in the search box and you’ll see how nice they reworked it. One of these days we’ll head through C-U and Rangoon and see what the “museum” up there has. I imagine it’s pretty nice as former CMSgt Don Weckhorst has been working with it for many years and he’s a stickler for accuracy.

  40. Robert C Hunter says:

    I attended Fire Protection School in 1971 after basic training. One of the best times in my life. That set me up for 35 years in civil service as a Federal Firefighter. Just retiring in 2008 at the required age of 57.

    I remember having my first beer at Chanute AFB. Remember a business that use to go to the barracks yelling “pizza pop” selling small pizza and soda. Many good memories. Shame to see it gone.

    • Don Olszewski says:

      I use to go with my Father and yell pizza pop at various barracks

      • Curtis Culbertson says:

        Hi Don, was your father a tsgt in 1963 -64. I can remember the guy that came by the 57th squadron barracks drove a Buick or Oldsmobile. Had the boxes of pizza and cases of bottled soda in the truck. Funny, I recall he would pour the soda into a waxed paper cup and put the empty bottle back in the wooded case. I think the “Pizza Pop” man or men are as famous as “Colonel Sanders”..

    • Chuck Willis says:

      To This day, when I return home with a fresh pie from our local pizzeria, I shout (gently) “PIZZA POP!” Great memories, so sad to see the decay. Last DC-9 load allowed to land at Chanute Direct from Lackland! There April ’71 to Jan-Feb ’72 30230 Wea. Equip. School after Basic Electronics. then back the summer of ’72 for GMD-2 7-level school. Had an Instructor who was also a Mars Operator, and Accomplished Ham — had the cleanest 30 Word per minute ‘Fist’ I’ve ever heard! Sorry I didn’t stay in your code class Sarge. Base theater! Saw the Mephisto Waltz
      there. Scary movie! Watching the Southbound City of New Orleans pass my Barracks window, every afternoon at 4:30, so many memories!

  41. Chanute AFB. Ah, what memories!! I did two training assignments there. The first was after basic training in July 1988. It was the Aircraft Electrical course. I graduated in November 1988. I revisited Chanute in late 1992 to attend the Aircraft Electro/Environmental course. Most of what I learned the second go round was the air conditioning and pressurization systems. The electrical side of things were a refresher to me but it was a good course nonetheless. Of course, as a young airman in 88, I was in the dorms. College lifestyle, hit the theatre, hit the bowling alley, study, hit the U of I campus for “exploration” :-) I had such a great time there. It was sad the time flew by too quickly. My second “stint” I was married so they placed my family in base housing. My wife and I had a nice two bedroom place. It was a different feel as I was permanent party this time. I could drive to class, no marching, lol. It was a lot calmer then. :-) I saw a few websites that have pictures of the base. It’s really disheartening to see it in such decay. The strange thing about my 12 years in the Air Force is that everywhere I’ve been permanently assigned for long or short, has closed. Chanute, England AFB, LA and RAF Bentwaters, UK. It would have been nice to take my sons to show where Daddy spent a good bit of his formative years. Oh well. I miss Chanute very much. I don’t miss those coooooold marches to class though. :-)

    • Vincent lombardo says:

      Do you remember the galoshes and the face mask and the blue book bag?

      • Bill Johnston says:

        I remember the galoshes sure did tear up a spit-shine. One guy in class tried to go all day without taking his galoshes off in class. When the instructor forced him to remove the galoshes, it was revealed that the airman had no shoes on, his spit-shined boots were well protected under his bunk. ——Do you remember the metal flashlight with the red wand on it. The outside files of marchers carried them for visibility when going to school in early morning hours. In the winter, it took a couple hours to get feeling back in your hand.

  42. Gabi Belmont says:

    Must be getting old. Misspelled my own name.

  43. Gabi Belmont says:

    Its been so long I will have to find my paperwork to know the exact dates and other info. I do know that I was 17 when I went to basic training in 1975 and turned 18 at Chanute that same year. I was thrown the greatest birthday party at the Airman’s Club. Probably one of the best birthday parties I’ve ever had. That place was awesome and so were the bands. I made so many friends there. Wish I could find some of them. It was the coldest place I have ever been and to this day I still say it had the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. It was like the sky was on fire. In remember the dining hall was great. Weren’t their chandeliers?

  44. Charles L. Harris Jr. says:

    After graduating from the 3723 bmts, flight 539 it was directly (no leave)off to Chanute AFB,Ill. for Liquid Fuels Tech school,afsc 54630. Got there early in the morning and wondered, What next ? It was nice, got to stay in the new 69th barrack, or should I say hotel, eat your heart out Army.good food, KP once, being lorded over by an A1C who thought he was God . Became a “rope” and thought I was a god, that didn’t last long, I like being liked.Other memories, pizza pop man, marching to school,girl who completely stripped one night in the airmens club when she was not authorized to do so, that brought the house down, I’am just an innocent kid from baltimore, that didn’t last long either, all kidding aside, it was a great time in my life and I’am saddened by the destruction of that great old base, I know there are tens of thousands of stories just like mine,…that was June/July 1968

  45. Don Stone says:

    I was stationed at Chanute AFB January 82 to April 82 in jet engine school, I think it was 3352nd. Shared dormitory with fire school. It was so cold. First 2 weeks I shovel snow! Does anyone remember the Pit and Ping?

  46. Dustin Meyer says:

    I was in fuel systems school @ Chanute in the fall of 1966 into early 1967. I remember it being one of the coldest winters on record in the area. We had to wait nearly a month to begin school because of the FANG training during that time. We were housed in an old WWII baracks where the snow blew in thru the windows at night and covered our beds. We had to wear artic gear to march back and forth to school. Played a lot of basket ball, watched a lot of movies, drank a lot of beer while waiting for school to start. Of course the fun ended when that happened. Eventually ended up in the UK @ RAF Lakenheath until fall of 1970.


    I was stationed at CHANUTE AFB from NOV.1968 to APRIL 1969 going to A.G.E. school.It was the coldest winter Ive ever experienced.Does anyone remember PIZZA POP ?He helped many hungry GIs on the weekends.Chanute AFB reminded me of a college campus until you saw the military airplanes on display.You then realized what your training for.To hear Chanute AFB closed and in dis-repair was very dis-heartning to me.Ill never forget my days in A.G.E. school at Chanute AFB.I was with the 3360 th student squadron and we won many a outstanding ribbon awards.The food at the chow hall could have been better but we didnt starve.I loved the military airplanes on display but I wish I would have taken better pictures of them.Good ole CHANUTE AFB.I salute you!

    • Dave Schrick says:

      I was also stationed there from dec.68 to apr.69. I remember that winter very well, am just now getting feeling back in my feet. what a memory. me and a friend how was also there went back in feb. 2013. so sad. did like the air museum. where has the time gone?

      • Terry McCammon says:

        Dave i was stationed at Chanute at the same time you were. I was in the 69th and attended the Air Craft Instrument Repairmen Course “A” shift. I remember one day that winter it got so cold they issued these special cold weather masks for us to wear while marching to school. My yellow rope that marched us that day is a neighbor of mine still today and we reminisce about that winter. They did put us in a route step all the way over there because of the ice.

    • Art Whorley says:

      Anthony, I was about a month ahead of you, arriving in October of 1968 and departing in March of 1969. I was in the 60th and was in AGE training. My barracks was S-189 on the corner across from the Tradewinds and the squadron HQ.

  48. Kendall Arthur says:

    I was stationed at Chanute from 1991-1993 I was assigned to to 3345th I was a firefighter. I loved it there hated when I got out moving away. such a small town. evjoyed seeing all the pictures if anyone has anymore especially of the fire school or fire ststion please email them to me. thanks. If anyone knows of any firefighters that was stationed there during my time put them in contact with me.

    • Last I saw the fire station at the west end of White Hall was up for sale. The new fire school back on the south end of the base was one of the first things sold for pennies on the dollar to JB Hunt Trucking for a truck driving school.

  49. looking for any reference to using “shipping crates” for houses.

    When i was stationed there 1970 – 1974, i heard stories about the early days of the war, and that chanute being a repair facility, large crates were routinely sent engines to test.

    Researching any data that would prove the story.

    • David Hatfield says:

      Kirk, its no joke. There was a small trailer park/apartment complex north west of the base that had a few apartments constructed from shipping crates for B-17 bombers. Long narrow crates with side bumpouts where the wing roots would have been.

  50. Tod Hjulberg says:

    Great Pictures – but like everyone else has mentioned, it’s dsad to see it so run down. What memories. After BMTS, I was at Fire School at Chanute from 6 Jun 88 to 27 July 88 with 3335th STUDENT GROUP assigned to 3371 STUS “The 70 Worst”. First time away from home and my first real freedom with no parents! Best time I had there, even though it was during the Heat Wave of 1988. Best memory was breaking Phase 2 to go to the THE TASTE OF CHICAGO on 10-11 July 1988 when it was blazing hot; highs for that weekend topped at 97-102°F!

  51. richard grafe says:

    i was a air policeman 66 to 70 stayed airman 1c 3 yrs went army made E7 8years looking for any ap at this time zone

  52. Herman Velez says:

    I was at Chanute AFB in the winter of 1965 and left after graduation from the AGE course 421XX. I too have a few pictures. One of the old B-36 and the P-51H and a few others. Great but COLD memories. Being fresh out of Basic Trng (Lackland AFB, I stayed in the old WW1 barracks with the open latrines etc. I remember the “Roach Coach” and the pizzas. The training, though I should have been in Keesler AFB, was great.

  53. Karen Miller says:

    I am looking for James A. Rivers who was stationed during the 1990s. Please contact me at

  54. Karen Miller says:

    I am also looking for another old friend who was stationed at Chanute in the 1990s, his name is Charles Givens. I used to go to Chanute for the Friday/Saturday nite dances.

  55. I was on Chanute as a retrainee from air-to-air and air-to-ground conventional missiles in early 83 after I returned from Iceland and did my retraining as a TDY from my new assigned unit, the 380th MMS on the now closed Plattsburgh AFB in NY. I did EP again though I had EP originally at Lowry AFB CO in 1976 for my previous AFSC (why not it kept me TDY and allowed me to update my training). My roommate in the barracks was also TDY and a retrainee, previously a crew chief from Beale AFB CA named Ken Blake (who I’m also still looking for, lost contact with after Plattsburgh) and he was also assigned to the 380th at Plattsburgh. Left Chanute after graduating SETS for SRAM/ALCM on the opposite end of Grissom Hall in August 83. The last plane I know of to fly into Chanute, a camo with black belly B-52 from Davis Monthan landed while I was a student there as well. While at PAFB I applied for instructor duty back to Chanute and returned as permanent party technical instructor for the SRAM/ALCM course and EP in Jun 85 assigned to the 3360th TCHTG in Grissom Hall. During my stay as instructor on Chanute the SRAM/ALCM course gained the ACM, was blocked in and alarmed due to the sensitivity of the missile both visually and physically. I taught in the missile course area and I taught EP both in White Hall and when it moved to spare classrooms in Grissom Hall. I also “volunteered” (by no doing of my own) for both extra duty as an LE augmentor with the 3345 LES and I was on the CAMS mobile training team just long enough to go TDY after the Xmas holidays to Pope AFB NC with 3 other instructors to teach the Core Automated Maint System terminals. 2 of us on days, 2 of us on nights. Well anyway I had hoped to retire from Chanute in 96 but BRAC made that impossible. I was one of the last to leave after we all crated and shipped the course to a holding location as the new location was still up in the air since ATC became AETC and SAC and TAC merged into ACC but they also created Space Command and eventually the EP part was taught near Lackland then the students went onto the SETS course on Vandenburg AFB CA. Most of us went back to jobs in the field. I got orders to Barksdale AFB LA, traded with another instructor for his McConnell AFB KS orders. At McConnell I worked the WSA missile shop and many of the people there were previous students of mine from Chanute. When the AF offered early retirement through TERA I jumped on it taking a year early in mid 95 and moved to central KY. I have since reconnected with quite a few people from Chanute but still looking for other instructors from EP and air launched and Minuteman and those I worked with in CAMS and the time I was put active duty in the LES during Desert Shield. Ken Blake, Robert “Tiny” Freeman, Cleve Chavis, Bruce “Pete” Peterson, Rodney “Lambo” Lamberson, Gary Cook, Vern Kidd and many many more military and civil service instructors and students that remember me (not hard to forget an insane instructor).

    BTW retired CMSgt Donald Weckhorst, who worked the retiree affairs office voluntarily after he retired but Chanute was still open, is part of the volunteer staff at the museum in the former Grissom Hall. Also Ernie Podagrosi who was both a civilian instructor in Minuteman and the husband of the mayor at closure, Katy Podagrosi, has allegedly passed away and Katy and her son gone back to her hometown in GA. I obtained this from a person born and raised in Rantoul and still lives there and tells me it is dead both on base and in town, and that the old YMCA was bulldozed, and no replaced. He also tells me Amtrak no longer operates a stop there anymore.

    Click the reply link to email me, or post to rhb57 -at- (put in proper format for email, broken to curb the spambots).

    • Stephanie says:

      Amtrak still stops in Rantoul, just not the way it used to. :) I have lived here since 1978 – my dad was stationed here and an instructor. He retired here the year before I graduated HS (which was the year before the base closed). We all still live in the area, just not in Rantoul anymore.

  56. I was at Chanute from Aug 1979 to March 1980. Lost my virginity, played lots of pinball at a small pizza joint outside of base.(wish I could remember the place and the title of the machine). And had fun! I miss it!

  57. Nathan A Writesel Jr says:

    Was at Chanute Aug65 to Feb 66 3360 b flight AGE. Capt Dome raider. If anyone remembers please contact me at

  58. John R. Teeter says:

    I was there from Jun 83 to the end of the era in 1993; was NCOIC of 50th Group [dis]orderly room from 83 – 84; transferred to Civil Service. Still angry at the way the best training base in ATC was given the brown end of the stick by some congresscritters [the only reason they closed it was there wasn’t any real big things for the high mucky-mucks to do; such as skiing, golf, fancy clubs, etc]. They had more than enough space to move several training schools there [the AF had land rights for the fields east of the base; all the dorms had room for more people, etc].

    I apologize for my bitterness, but I joined the USAF to serve my country; only to see the erosion of the pride of service into nothing more than a course in brown-nosing [at least there at Chanute]. I guess that’s what you get when you deal with personnel whose ONLY assignment was Chanute, and turned a deaf ear to what other sections of the AF were like. I found out that within 6 months of the people I supervised left there, they were ALL DD’d out of the service — guess they couldn’t handle the real AF.

    As for me, I have no regrets about my time in the USAF. But I just could no longer deal with the political crap; even refused TWO promotions. I just wish the people who worked for me had listened; they were good troops, but just didn’t want the facts.

    • Scott Nordmoe says:

      Hi John:

      I imagine you remember shortly before they announced the closing that the base housing was rated 2nd best in the AF? It seemed with all the improvements that were being made that it turned out to be the kiss of death. I retired in 1990 and moved near Scott AFB. I was considering staying in Rantoul. Glad I didn’t make that choice. Chanute was a great place to raise a family. After 3 years as an STA I spent my last 6 years in the AF as NCOIC of Environmental Health. I look at those pictures of the hospital and how sad to see the decay. Many good memories. For all of us who served at Chanute during JD’s era, my hats off to you. One tough son of a gun wasn’t he?

  59. John R. Teeter says:

    One other thing —

    AMTRAK does stop at Rantoul! In fact four of the six trains stop at Rantoul [the “City of New Orleans” no longer stops there] Though it’s now a shelter; the old station is now an antique store.

  60. John you must still live in the area. The person that told me about the Amtrak doesn’t get out as he doesnt drive so he probably heard the one train stopped running at Rantoul but didnt know the others still did. I wish I could get Amtrak from here near Ft Knox KY but not a track anywhere close other than freight. I think anyone, even those that were glad to get off Chanute, are ticked about how an asset like Chanute was turned to garbage by some politician’s stupidity and greed. Amazing that te senior Bush was in office and the younger was gov of TX and that 90% of the TX bases stayed and are still in use other than Dyess and Carswell but those were excess once the USSR broke up. Well if anything maybe someone each of us knows from Chanute will find the site by a search and get back in contact with us, and also post some of their experiences at Chanute, and their disappointment as well. I started a Facebook page finally and I have found gobs of people from as far back as BMTS in 76 that I lost contact with years ago.

    • John R. Teeter says:

      Russell —

      Well, partially right. I live 15 miles south in Urbana now. I’ve now heard that Rantoul is drying up with more people moving away every year.

      You will be pleased to know that the base Bowling Alley has a new life — it’s now the Rantoul Public Library. Where the old library was [NW corner of 45 and 136] is now a Walgreen’s.

      To all you who happen to have been stationed there from 85 to 89; I may have even been one of the people who drove you down to Champaign/Urbana; since I was a taxi driver part time during that time.

      • Russell H. Blakeman says:

        John I worked the base gates days and nights as an augmentor for the LES till Desert Shield/Desert Storm started (when they pulled me full time into the LES for 16 months) and I remember only one taxi driver who was a middle aged black (African American) who would drop off coffee and a couple donuts to whomever was working the gate on his last run around 3am. He drove the big full sized van. Nice sight to see around 3am on a winter night when you’re the only person stuck at the main gate with snow and cold all around. I remember there were other drivers but none come to mind as regulars.

        Let’s face it though if Chanute Field/Chanute AFB was never established the town of Rantoul would either still be a stop on the railroad or non-existant. A lot of why the base closed is because of Rantoul fighting to shut down flying there in the 70’s which was one of the biggies on the BRACs list for reasons to keep others open instead and Chanute’s airfields had been abandoned too long for minor maintenance to put them back into service cheaply and quickly.

        Bowling alley is a library yet the one they had at the corner was a really decent building when I left in 93. I used to go there to look things up and bother Guy Cruzen who had opened a computer shop in the building next to it on 45.

        Maybe sometime in the near future the wife and I may be up that way for our anniversary. I took her to Jumer’s Castle for our 10th anniversary in 89 but we didnt stay in the hotel just had dinner in the restaurant but have always planed on a weekend or so in the hotel section. Hitting our 32nd this March but it probably will be our 35th before we could do it. I know a few instructors there that either retired or separated and stayed or retired elsewhere and moved back. Anyone that knows Lonnie Medlin or Robert “Tiny” Freeman knows the same people I do. Still a shame that a large well managed useful base nearly 100 yrs old had to be tossed aside and abandoned.

      • Connie Raadt says:

        Yes John and Russell my husband and I agree with you’ll 100%, but it’s not just Chanute it’s everything that’s being done to the military, and in alot of ways we the retirees have let this happen because we haven’t banded together and made efforts to stop it. We retired, so let someone else mind the store. We We have this stupid idea that we cast a vote at every election year and that should be enough, we don’t follow up on these people we put in office and because we don’t they think they can get away with whatever they do and we won’t say anything about it, and we don’t until it’s to late. Look at the cuts in our active duty military, guard units and resevers and to the retirees. What’s happened to our Commissarys, Bx, Housing? We would much rather shop at Walmart. Yes I’m just as bitter as the next guy but mostly at myself for allowing this to happen to our monumonts that define our great country.Progress is great until we start forgetting what got us here.
        Truth be known, I loved everyday I was in and given the chance would do it all over again.

        I came across this while looking for closed military bases home sales. It’s great to see so many of us try to get in touch with each other.
        Airframe school from Aug. 77 til Feb 78. my name Connie (Martinez) Raadt, my roomates were Joyce DeGroot a welder from Maine and Diane (can’t remember her last name or where she was from, but she married a fireman and went to England) have never forgotten you’ll would love to hear from you both, by the way I did marry that tall blonde guy from MN. We met in basic, went on one date at Chanute, married 7 months later and will celebrate our 34th anniversary on Mar.20,2012

  61. Tom Korzeniowski says:

    I was stationed at Chanute AFB and worked for the base newspaper, The Chanute WINGS, in 1958-59. Worked evenings at WDWS radio in Champaign as a DJ (Tom Conrad). A couple of WDWS engineers opened the Rantoul radio station I’ll be returning to the base (flying in my Cessna) on Saturday, 24 July 2010, for a military reunion of the 6921st Radio Squadron (Mobile) of Misawa, Japan. I’m looking forward to visiting the Chanute Air Museum and perhaps wandering over to the old HQ building. One memory is of a visit by then VP Nixon. I believe a full-dress parade was staged in his honor on the flight line, and the base put on an air show, which I was privileged to narrate. (Got out of standing in formation!)
    Tom Korzeniowski
    Elgin, IL

  62. Here’s a weird Chanute related thing, kinda. Got hold of an old B SciFi movie with Peter Graves (of Mission Impossible, the original and good version). Called “Beginning of the End” (1957) the very first frames are of a road sign that stated Ludlow 1, Rantoul 5 and Champaign 25. I had to do a double take. Evidentally it was some side of the road area off Rt 45 they were depicting. I noticed later in the movie when Ludlow, said then to be pop 150, was destroyed and all the people gone, had national guardsmen blocking the road to it and you could see mountains in the background. Wow when did IL get mountains? I grew up in Chicago from 57 on and I have never seen anything more than the bumps they call moraines leftover from the ice age glaciers. They mentioned Chanute, which in 1957 would have had an active airfield. You have to borrow, rent or download this movie if you have any familiarity with the area around Chanute. It’s a trip especially for those, like myself, that enjoy the old B rated scifi movies that now are put on for laughs in MST3000.

    • Come to think of it in real world Ludlow of 1957 the drive-in would have been open and showing movies, when I was there in 85-93 it was a salvage yard and the booth and snack bar building was the office and indoor storage and the screen was still standing facing west with the back to the east where you could see the back along US 45. Obviously the mountains were because they filmed in rural California with a script written by someone familiar with the Paxton/Ludlow/Rantoul and Chicago areas.

    • Joan (Perigo-)Smith says:

      Hadn’t heard of that one, til now…Sounds like a must-see! Chanuters, if you’re unable to “borrow, rent, or download” this movie, buy it online from I just ordered a cheap ‘used’ copy to watch from them […practically every film ever made can be found on their site, New/Used VHS/DVD, etc.]!

  63. Jerry Arel says:

    I recently found a few pictures of my time at Chanute AFB (1979-80) and it brought back some great memories. I completed the Autopilot school in Feb 1980, some of the names on the pictures are Tony Gills, Powell, Poplin, Holms, Connie Hayden, Linda Brinkley, Christie Tucker, Tony Renner and my roommate Charlie Brown. Do any of these names ring any bells? It would be great to hear from some of these friends from the past.

  64. Richard Smith says:

    I just spent a day looking at photos of Chanute. It’s very depressing. I was there spring to fall of 1985 in the 3361st for Autopilot training. I ended up graduating with the class we affectionately called the “washbacks”, as everybody had washed back at least once! I know this was still military but this was “college life” to me. I remember all kinds of things. The food at our chow hall was the best I was ever to sample in the Air Force. “Surf and Turf” every other Thursday! I remember missing the formation to class on several occasions and “sneaking” to White Hall through the base housing! A few times staying offbase because I would not make it back to the squadron by 9 pm. I remember spending most Sundays either at the Airman’s club if I had some money or at the USO in Rantoul watching movies if I was broke. The best times of course where the cab rides to Champain. All the hard and heavy rock clubs, and who could ever forget all the lovely college girls!!! I’m planning to spend a few days there real soon to get some pictures, and just visit the base before it’s completely gone! I have a few pictures of my time there I will post on my facebook pages soon. If anybody remembers me drop me a line!

  65. looking for anybody 3345th M&S GROUP 1961 to 1965 ronnie bratt richard custer ron flood base baseball [hardball] lt. tony tiska phil heisler randy duncan major stan and anybody on the team 1963 to 1965

    • Richard Bottrell says:

      Played 63-64, Eastern Illonios league and Danville twi-light league. Duncan was one of the best shortstops I have ever seen. Are there and rosters of the teams available? Assigned to Civil Engineering Group.

  66. Glena Herrington says:

    My husband attended school at Chanute in 1959. We lived in a small trailer house in Champain-Urbana and we had a baby at Rantoul while stationed there. So, of course, we took away some fond memories. That baby has now completed 19 years of service to our country also and spent two tours in Iraq. Life goes on, hopefully.

  67. Wayne Schwegel says:

    I was in weather observer school at Chanute in 1966.
    It has many pleasant memories for mw and I took my wife to see it this summer.
    Too bad it has fallen into such disrepair — it was a great place in its day.

  68. Sui Conrad says:

    I am looking for a copy of the Thanksgiving week issue of Life Magazine that featured the graduating class of November 1941 in the issue. My father is in the picture as he was a mechanic in the “Army Air Corp”.

    • Russell H. Blakeman says:

      Sui have you tried contacting Life Magazine’s archival people? They may not have the actual printed magazine but they should have images that can be reprinted with color laser printers. Another place you might check is eBay for people selling old magazines to collectors.

  69. Please remind everyone that the base has since been designated by the EPA as a Priority SuperFund site, with asbestos buildings, dioxins and furans, pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls, in the soil, ground water, and leachate in buried hidden dumps. Even the hospital there was PCB contaminated. Unusual health problems? see your doctor, then a lawyer, then write your congressman.

    Proof, see:

    • C. E. Fothergill says:

      bobbyb, I’m a member of the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) and have been a member since 1996. Chanute at one time was considered for a SuperFund candidacy, but didn’t quite make it. Three of the four former Landfill’s have been capped, and work is now in progress of capping the fourth and final Landfill. The RAB meets every quarter of the year where members are briefed on progress and any further developments discovered during clean up procedures.
      When cleaning up the Aircraft Fire Training area, Environmental Protection officials were particularly interested how far the aircraft fuel penetrated soil depth. Too their amazement the fuel went down to a thick clay membrane of soil and began to spread outwards. They chased this trail of fuel beyond the concrete barrier surrounding the fire trainng area. The concrete barrier didn’t extend deep enough to contain the aircraft fuel soil saturation. The saturated soil was excavated and hauled to an appropriate permited landfill in Illinois.

      • Russ Blakeman says:

        So CE – any plans on what is going to happen to the lankmark building of Chanute – White Hall? Everything I’ve seen of it is terrible abandonment letting it rot in place. I’m sure that the location doesn’t make for the best place to attract buyers or leasers for base properties but just even minor maint to keep the building dry and the roof from clogging would have been enough to keep it from falling apart. I was there for retraining in 83 then went back in mid 85 and stayed to the end and I knew the mayor Katy Podagrosi and her (now late) husband Ernie (I worked in Grissom Hall with him) and apparently no one had long range plans for reutilization or to maintain the buildings while trying to get buyers or occupants and much of the base has fallen into disrepair. I’ve spoken with many people that are still there and others that have gone through and visited and in general it’s a feeling of remorse that such a fine base was closed and possibly mismanaged through the reutilization. Of course the economic terrorism being levied on the US by China killing our economy and companies like Walmart being the angel of death helping them do so and market their junk isn’t helping places like Rantoul find businesses that desire inexpensive industrial property.

      • Rod Schwald says:

        C.E. Fothergill,
        Were you active duty and stationed at D-M in 1985?
        If so, then I know you.
        I worked in the SP Shop.

  70. I went to wx observer school there from 9/56 to 2/57 and really loved it. Bonded with many of the guys, some of whom I met at later assignments. Brought a tear to my eye to see the shape it is in now. Well, I guess you can’t go home again. The yellow line on the highway can take you back to a place but not back to a time. Can’t believe it’s been 54 years since I left there.


  72. Curtis Dodson says:

    I was stationed at Chenute from December 1967 to April 1968. I was the “Middle Weight Boxing Champion” for the 55th Squadrom. I was a “Jet Mac” I had friends like Beasley, Cunningham, Munoz, Jonesie and many others fine fellows. I was the lone Christian in the group but I wasnt shy about sharing my faith with my friends. Thanks U.S.A.F. for all you gave me. I was raised in Watts and Compton Ca. but I have a “Doctorate Degree” in Counseling today.

  73. colin kerr says:

    I attended the Metals Processing Tech School (welding & Heat Treating) upon graduation from basic training in Dec 1982 to March 1983. While searching the internet, I traveled down memory lane to my days at Chanute and the weekends spent in Rantoul at the YMCA / USO Building, I think that was what is was. They used to have movies with popcorn all weekend long. I spent many evenings walking down to the gym and a few weekend walking out to the pizza hut off base. A few guys that I remember were Pete Kull or Cull from Philadelphia, Danny Moore,. I do remember processing in at the old barracks and then moving into the big dorm. Looking back now it is all fond memories,but back then I do remember I couldn’t wait to get the heck out of there. After Chanute my orders were to Barksdale, then off to Kadena, Okinawa, then to Pease. Wow my first and last base assigments are forever gone. Would like to here from anyone, relating to this.

    • Russell H. Blakeman says:

      According to a lifelong resident I know that still lives in Rantoul – they recently bulldozed the YMCA in town and no plans on replacement. It’s almost like 70+ yrs of people’s lives and experiences have been erased with the closure of the base and the mismanagement of the property both of the base and the city. I know a few people that were instructors with me in the SRAM/ALCM/ACM course that have moved back there and I can’t figure out what they could see in going back the way things are now. Of course there are people that like abandoned industrial areas sos who knows what they see in it now. In the mid 90’s it was quite the place to live and even retire to but that was all wiped out with one BRAC decision.

      • Stephanie says:

        Hi Russ. I saw in another post you worked in Grissom Hall. You may know my father – Daniel Brown?

  74. Jim Reese says:

    Albert Lamoureux: Yes, I very much remember your name and believe that you were in my class. I have several graduation photos from that period. I tried to find your class, but really don’t remember faces all that well. Drop me a line at

  75. Jim Reese says:

    Dennis Brown. I think I remember you, I believe I have some class graduation photos with you in them. 3rd block. I believe Hendrik Rorige was an instructor there, Ken Barrack. Wasn’t there an instructor in 3rd block who was killed in a car accident on Rt. 45? Sad times. Drop me a line at

  76. Wow…Haven’t thought of Chanute in years!! What place that was, that huge triangle building with seven floors, the planes, the huge chow halls, tons of food, I still remember eating the chili with fritos and cheddar cheese crumbled in. We used to sneak sandwiches and coffee out for snack at school, the silly ass pompous “ropes…the way the “zebra stripes” old timers bossed around and put the fear of God in young officers.

    The ratio of girls to guys, what was it 1 to 20? A girl had to be careful she did not make a pig out of herself…..

    The SNOW!!!, marching to school in the dark with our starwars flashlights, then transferring to B shift, the huge airfields… school briefcases with F.O.A.D. writting on the sides. It meant Eff off and die but when one airman was confronted by a the sargent in charge what iit meant she quickly replied “FINALLY OVER AND DONE! meaning school. It was all a great experience, lots of fun!, the only part I hated was when they made us run. I used to lay down afterwards and cry and wish I dead, then go to the choiw hall and comfort myself with an ice cream bar. I eventually went on to college, got a bachelors in something completely unrelated, Fine Art, I am an artist now, near New York City. A far cry from my marchin’ days. I still remember how to march and call cadence. Still got my combat boots and a basic training year book. “Rainbows, rainbows, don’t be blue, our recruiter screwed us too!” “If I die in San Antoine, they will send my body home.” “In a coffin I will lie, grounded to inspection side.”

    I was in the Age School, there was a Major Seaton there, Sgt. Brissom (took me years to realize he was not Jesus) , Lt. Utah (Utoh?), so many other people I remember around 1982-83.. Lee Neff, Susan Parson Tillis, Kim Carnes

    Actually I have been looking for a friend of mine, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Weeks, would love to hear from her.

    That place is not haunted. It’s just messy. How could it be haunted, I used to live there. If anything you might hear a lot of giggling. It is strange to see it falling apart, they were so meticulous about everything…

    • Russell H. Blakeman says:

      If you mean White Hall it actually was 3 floors, 2 on the ends. I think the only thing 7 floors high may have been the Fire Training tower in the 900 area at the back of the base. The minerals are leaching out of the mortar between the bricks because the roof drains are blocked as no one is maintaining the most important part – the roof. I taught electronics principles there in the late 80’s when they reworked the whole roof and wall caps and put in new windows. It’s barely 20 yrs since the roof was reworked so it has to be bad drainage. I’m starting to think the AF and Rantoul are hoping the building will crumble due to the damage so they can bulldoze it as I think they need good reason to demolish rather than repair. It has historical value but I’m not sure it’s registered as a landmark. Really sucks that we had to keep that building in pristeen condition but one BRAC decision takes it from beauty to doodie.

    • Thomas peariso says:

      Hi my name is Tom Peariso I was at Chanute from late 1981 thru part of 1982 I see you have Susan Parson Tillis name down. Do you know how to contact her? I’m on facebook or you can get me on my email would be good to see how she’s been.

  77. Yah, you are right, it wasn’t seven stories probably, just seemed so giant, because I was a such a kid then.

    It just seems unbelievable it is all going to be let to go to waste…what about homeless people, relocating victims of floods…cat sanctuary, who knows, I dont know a lot about that but to just let it all collapse and go…

    However, I did read another post about the abestos and knowing that a lot of the buildings are old and built when there were no safety regulations or they were unaware of certain materials being hazardous…sometimes it just is not worth fixing or restoring, too dangerous…but some type of historical assessment and preservation should be maintained…When you think of all the youth coursing through there, the tears, laughter, shame, sadness, triumph, the endless sea of precise formations marching somewhere …when did the last echo of laughter and cadence fade away?

    I have a picture of myself and friends on the base, playing around the planes, pipes, breaks during school, one is a picture of me by a little plane that read “Bennie”. At the time I had a civilian boyfriend named “Bernie” back home, so I got some tape and paint (good thing I did not get caught, article 15 right there or at least a long weekend of toity scrubbing and changing light bulbs) and being the future artist I am today, I quickly changed it to read “Bernie”, posed and had a pic snapped.

    Anybody remember a staff instructor named Sgt. Twig? What a pip he was!!! He used to make people write 300 word essays for talking and for every squeak, whisper or peep he tacked on another 100 words. The man was obsessed!! I made him crazy, he only caught me once and I whipped out a perfect essay, because of course you can all see by now this lady loves to write.

  78. Hi. My name is Jim Reese and I have posted a couple of comments on this site. In addition to being an instructor from 1966 to 1968, I also had a part-time job making the pizzas that the “pizza/pop” guys sold. I did this for about 6 months, sometime in the 1966 time frame. I was teaching “D” shift (midnite to 6 am), and made pizzas in the early evening. There were three of us, all part-timeworkers. We made the pizzas in the kitchen at the officer’s club. The club had a regular chef and he gave us dinner as part of our pay. Better than eating at the chow hall. We would make between 400 to 600 pizzas every nite. We also made regular-sized pizzas for the officers. Took pizzas to the tech school until they got tired of them. The bartenders would give us drinks for free pizzas. I was just 19, so that was a great deal. I had burn scars on my arms for a long time, working around those pizza ovens. Maybe the pizzas just seem better in my memory, but I thought they were pretty good.

  79. Vincent lombardo says:

    I was stationed at Chanute in 66-68.I was in the 3345th AbGp.I worked in the base central pastry kitchen,bld.P-806.I remember every night we made 650 pies,110 sheet cakes,and 40 decorated layer cakes.It was my job to deliver all the pastry we made.There was a mini BX in back of the bakery,and there was a door inside by the ovens that led inside the BX.The clerk would let us come through there to get a beer without getting caught.The NCOIC was Msgt Geo. Allbritton,next was Ssgt.AC Dean Pennington.The never present night supervisor was Ssgt Harvey Heinz.I remember Chow halls-5,6,3. 3 was a really long chow hall-It fed 5000 men in 45min. The airman’s club was called the “Chevron Club” I really enjoyed being there,except for the winter.I froze my ears once,when I got into the heated barracks,they puffed up to the size of coffee mugs.I’m lucky they didn’t turn black and fall off!. There was a lack of women there.Back then,women had their own AF somewhere else.The only female military I ever saw,was the Food Service officer-Capt.Hall.She was as cold as an Illinois winter! I remember the “Sky cops” escorting the lady from the bank on pay days.We would all line up with our checks to get cashed.One winter night 3 other guys and myself,walked to the mail room to get our checks.It was dark,and the wind was howling.We were wearing parkas,we bent over and held onto the tail of the parka in front of you,and made our way to the mail room-about a half hour walk-nobody had a car that would start.I also remember Maj.Gen Marvin C.Demler.He was the base Commander. I have a picture of myself standing by the bakery truck,and a few inside the barracks.I’m sorry I didn’t take more. It’s a shame they had to tear it down,I would have liked to have seen it again.I was at Wheelus in Libya in 69,when Quadaffi kicked us out.I tried to get stationed at Stewart in NY,but they closed that too.It’s almost all gone too.I wonder if some day they will close the pentagon? Well,thanks for letting me reminice.

  80. Leonard B. Chapman says:

    My father was stationed at Chanute 1939-1940, and told me about the sub-zero temp., and how his eyes would freeze shut before he could get to the flightline. He joined the AACorps in 1928, and retired in 1959. Served, PI Island 1928-1930, then March Field, Ca., 1930-1940. Then the 6th Ferrying Comm., Long Beach, Ca. Then the CBI (China-Berma-India) Campaign during WWII. He was a aircraft flight-engineer during those days, then called for duty in the Berlin Airlift, flying out of Fossburg.
    I still have his 1938 March Field Airbase year book, in almost new condition!!

  81. Paul Taliaferro says:

    I was at Chanute from Aug 63 to Apr 64 in the Automatic Flight Control Systems (Autopilot) training. From there to Loring AFB Maine with B-52 & KC-135 aircraft. On to Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona in 66 and the U2.
    Anyone know of a site with pictures of graduating classes?

    • Curtis Culbertson says:

      Paul, I was at Chanute from Mid June 1963 and graduated 21 January 1964. Went to Castle AFB, Merced California, B-52’s and KC-135’s then to Beale AFB, Marysville California-
      SR-71 “Blackbird” 4200 AEMS then changed to the 9th AEMS. I enjoyed the four years in the USAF. Matured and received lots of education in the Air Force. Regards, Curtis

      • Ernie Jurgens says:

        Curtis, I didn’t know you back in the good ol’ days at Chanute, I was at Chanute from Oct. ’61 to Dec. ’63. You might remember a Bar in Rantoul called “Ryan’s Rio”. I worked there making Pizzas. Man, I’ve never had such good pizzas since. I worked for Jim Ryan P/T until I shipped out in Dec. ’63, and then went to Istanbul, Turkey. While at Chanute, I was an accountant in the accounting & finance building. There were a lot of good times back then, including going up to Chicago on the Illinois Central, and meeting the women at the USO, etc. It is sad to see some of the pictures now of Chanute. I loved being stationed there! I hope all is well with you. Regards, Ernie

    • Curtis Culbertson says:

      I had lots of good instructors. A couple I remember: Airman First Class Bongiovanni and
      Sgt. Seippel

  82. Robert Benning says:

    MWR 81-84, had a good time there, Went on to 83 worldwide talent comp. looking to see if there are any old photos from talent compitions back then. I did stop by there once on way to Chicago in 2001, Ghost town then

    • kevin byrnes says:

      Bob, I remember working at the gym with you.I remember wildfire that you sang.That was awsome. I hope life has been kind to you. I hope you respond to this message. Kevin Byrnes

      • kevin byrnes says:

        Does anyone know if they knocked down the rec center accross from the bx ? Is the gym annex hangar being used ?

  83. William Lambright says:

    I was stationed at Chanute from 1954to 1958 assigned to the Hospital Dental Clinic that was the coldest winters I’ve ever seen and I’m from northern Indiana even Germany was this cold. I’m looking looking for William (Beetle) Bailey If any one knows of him please let me know. Thanks

    • To William Lambright:

      You were at the base at the same time my birth father was there. His name was Robert Riley or Reilly. I was born in December 1954. I was adopted. I found my birth mother when I became an adult. She told me that my birth father was Robert. Do you recall anyone by this name?

    • William,
      Do you remember an Art Heaney stationed there around that time? Any info would be appreciated!


  84. Gordon Kearse says:

    I was there from October 76 until April 77. I thought my winter was the coldest. I guess they all must have been cold. One night it got down to 29 below. It stayed below zero for two weeks straight. Wow! I was sent from 315 Military Airlift Wing in Charleston, SC, to the Maintenance Officer School. I was a new 2nd Lt. And a SC native to boot!

  85. I was there in 1971 for Aircraft Maint School (Jet, over two). School was OK but I HATED Rantoul. All of the residents seemed to despise us, especially the younger ones. Maybe it was something to do with the ‘Nam war as it was fashionable in those times to piss on the military. I remember them calling us “PINGS” …..”The supersonic sound of their hair growing back”. Guess that was funny to those corn fed country boys. I was glad to leave the place.

    • Russell H. Blakeman says:

      Ken that wasn’t the Rantoul-ians. That was your fellow airmen and the locals picked it up. Rainbows was the term for new recruits in civies entering Lackland (and other boot bases like Samson and others when they existed) because of all the different colors they were dressed in rather than all blue or all olive (or in the case of 1505’s all tan). Pings, or pingers, was because their hair growing back would make a pinging sound as it grew out. I felt the same way when I went to Lowry in 76 right after basic and I felt the same about Rangoon when I went there TDY in 83 for retraining as an E5. Almost like they could sense you were a trainee rather than permanent party. Totally different when I went back in 85 to be a tech school instructor. I actually hated leaving the place when the base closed in 93. You were there when there was flying active. They shut that down later in the 70’s and the last plane I heard of or saw come in was a B-52 rebuid from the Davis Monthan boneyard and flown in when I was in tech school retraining in 83. Even now as a supposedly open airfield it’s not much. Had the runways stayed active and flying stayed at Chanute it might not have been closed.

      • PING was a military acronym meaning Personnel In Need of Graduation, meaning they were in school.

    • Cathy Young Wogomon says:

      I was an AF brat then and I remember other teens calling y’all that name. I always hated it. I grew up with such a respect for the military and I just couldn’t understand their total disrespect.I had one of the biggest crushes on one of the younger guys that worked with my Dad.The other girls just didn’t get why or how! Sorry your time there was so bad for you.

  86. Tom Korzeniowski says:

    I picked the hottest day of the year last July to fly from Chicago to my old Chanute AFB. It was a thrill to touch down in my little Cessna on Runway 9, where only military hardware used to land. The museum was a history book of memories for me, and I even visited my old office where the WINGS Newspaper was published every week. Chanute, Rantoul and Champaign-Urbana were my home in ’59 & ’60, half a century ago.

  87. Martin rael says:

    Hi I’m looking for information about 3 airmen stationed at Chanute AFB in 1983.
    The 4 of us became quick friends and went off base for a movie. After wards we drove down a dark, unlit, paved farm road. It was just after midnight when we pulled off the road to talk. Within 10 minutes we saw headlight coming our way from about a mile up ahead. The driver of this car veered to our truck and hit us head on at full speed. About 65-70 miles per hour. Two airmen were sitting in the bed of the truck when the collision occured. They were very badly hurt the driver, coming from her 1st wedding anniversary was badly injured and her passenger never regained conciousness in the hour and forty five minutes it took for police to finally arrive. Please email me if any one knows anything about the facts of this accident. Thank you.

  88. heeeeey does anyone know much about officers that lived in the senior officer houses?? ours seems to be a bit haunted but its sooo impossible to dig up any info on this place. thanks!!!

    • Elizabeth,

      I lived at 8A Senior Officers Row from ’72-’75. I was a kid in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Reading all these posts has jogged some memories of our house like the banging noise of the the radiator system pumping hot water through the house. Sounded like someone occasionally banging on the pipes with a wrench. It freaked me out sometimes if I thought about it too much. Those are some of the oldest quarters on Chanute. Lots of stories from lots of lives.

      • Tina Killeen says:

        Hi Eric, I also lived in 8a, from 1995 until last summer, and the pipes still bang! I loved that house and I loved making into the beauty it was.

  89. Terrie Blosser Lilly says:

    I was born in the hospital at Chanute Air Force Base in September 1962

  90. R.C. Evans says:

    My late father SSgt Carl H. Evans took training courses at Chanute during WWII and later in 1959 while with the USAF stationed at Columbus AFB, MS. His training in 1959 was required as the KC-135 Stratotankers were being assigned to Columbus to soon be followed by the B-52 bomber assignments.

    I would welcome information from anyone (fellow airmen trainees, barrack associates, or instructors) who knew him then. Class photos or general information of the refueling training classes would be helpful. Thanks!

  91. Tommy Olson says:

    I was born in Champaign, Illinois, on March 17.1938, while my dad was stationed at Chanute Army Air Force Base. At that time the Air Force was not separated from the Army. My dad, Edgar L. Olson was a doctor. He left there sometime in the summer of 1939 and we headed to Washington, D.C. Later in the Fall he and his family boarded an Army Troop Transport that would take us to Panama. After the War Word ii began the families were ordered to leave and we took another ship to New Orleans. The Germans had many submarines in the Caribbean and along the Eastern seaboard. They said that they had sunk over a 1,000 ships. My dad serve in Miami Beach, Wright-Patterson A.F.B., Parks A.F.B., Korea, Randolph A.F.B. and another tour of duty at Wright Patterson. I loved being an Air Force brat. I attended three high school in three different states!

  92. James Poe says:

    I had tech school at Chanute from July through the late
    part of September 1965. I remember the train ride from
    Lackland to Chanute…we even had a ride on flat car as
    we rode through the beautiful country side and a hive
    of bees rode along with us. This was no doubt the most
    pleasant trip I have ever taken in my life and I will cheerish
    it for ever!

  93. david jayne says:

    i was there dec 68 till i think apr 69 3355th jet engine mechanic

    • Jess E. Nopper says:

      I was at Chanute from 68 to april of 69 also. Went to school the B- 52, JET OVER TWO MAINT. Crew chief C141A at Dover AFB. and Kadena, Okinawa. 1973 to75.

      • Jimmy Rucks says:

        MY name is Jimmy Rucks i was at Chanute from Jan 69 to May 69 Went to school the B- 52, JET OVER TWO MAINT then went to Warner Robins AFB on C-141 until 1971 then went to Dover AFB on C-141 And C-5 until Nov. 1972 would love to hear from you guys that were there

      • Dave Schrick says:

        I was there at the same time and went to the same school. went to kadena apr. 69- oct.70. crew chief C141A travis afb. nov. 70 -sept.72.

  94. Michael Bell says:

    3345th M&S and 3346th CMS from early 1964 through mid-1966, permanent party on flightline, 43151A on C-123 and U-3A there.

  95. Richard Owen says:

    Arrived at Chanute April 13, 1960 and attended flight simulator training school in the 3358th. Was PATs about 6 weeks (personnell awaiting training) and worked in the bakery, golf course, cleaned base commander’s office, laundry and KP duty in chow hall 3. Graduated November 1, 1960. Would be great to hear from class mates. Don’t shot’em, Chanute’em. A fate worse then death. We just came from chow hall 3. Now we’re marching in misery!

  96. I have good memories of Chanute. I was there from January to October 1969 attending Minuteman Missile school. I remember getting up at 4am and marching to the chow hall. It was enormous and near our barracks. I went to electronics school first at White hall for 14 weeks and later missile school at Grissom hall. I remember the Pizza Pop sells that came around our barracks. Our main TI was Msgt Fear and he was a fearful leader. Our Commander was 2nd Lt Roberts and he was ok. I liked the hospility of the nearby USO in Rantoul and the movies they showed. Thank you volunteers of Rantoul for your support of us lonely troups. I was at Chanute when they first landed on the Moon. I went to Bloomington dances on the weekend and met some pretty girls. Some of the names I remember was Trudy Johnson and Louise Baker. Three cheers for Chanute and the 58th Missile squadron. Sorry they destroyed the base and our historic buildings.

  97. Gary Bucher says:

    Chanute..such fond memories. I was stationed there from Sep ’81 – Jun ’82 going to weather equipment maintenance school. We were in the older 3351st barracks, sharing the area with the weather observers, which was okay, since there were some really pretty girls in that program. The winter, as many have said, was brutal. I have pictures of that time where there is three feet of snow on the ground, at least. I remember mornings when the visibility was zero from the blowing snow being whipped up by that winter wind, that seemed to never end. I had thought about this, and this was as close to a college experience as I had. We would get drunk at the Gold Shield or Airman’s Club, order pizzas from Pizza World, and play pool all night in the day room. Sometimes on Payday we would get a room at the Holiday Inn and get trashed as well. My girlfriend and I explored every inch of that base, on foot and on the bicycles they rented at MWR. I have to shout out to some of those people, that I can remember. Although we moved on, I won’t ever forget you guys! : Louis Nelson, Timothy Ray, Bernie Saylors, Susan Crevier, Pam Dillon, and especially Barbara Lundberg.
    I’m on FB. Just search climate.gary AT

    • Scott Nordmoe says:

      Hi Gary:

      I was the Senior STA at the 3351st then. Did you do your initial electronics training at Great Lakes? I can remember how cold those mornings were and off to White Hall by 6. Do you remember Steve Payne?

  98. Elizabeth says:

    If anyone has an interest the former hospital and command center located on senior officers row is for sale

    • So how much? I really liked that building with the tunnel ambulance entrance. I used to look at the facade and the hospital emblems on it and wonder what it was like back when it was a hospital. By the way my dad was Col. William Knapp and we were stationed there from ’72-’75 when he and a whole mess of colonels retired. My dad worked in Grissom Hall and was in charge of a missile training squadron. The last year we were there he was the deputy base commander. A general who lived across from the tennis courts was the commader. Some of the Col’s that lived on Senior Officers Row were, Byrd (he was a chaplain), Rice, Micale, and Malone. Sorry, can’t remember anymore right now.

      • Terry Baum says:

        I was there until ’73, as an Instructor in the Basic Jet Engine Course, and although I do not remember your dad, Col. Knapp, I do remember a Major General Knapp, who was the Center Commander. He chewed my ass one day for speeding on my motorcycle on Hwy. 45.

  99. Looking for anyone who was with the 3350th for a friend. She was an instructor in the 80s.

  100. S Crawford Gannett says:

    My father George M. Crawford retired from Chanute in 1975. We lived on base for a few yuears and off base for a few years. I finished elementary school, jr. high school and three years of high school. My father passed away a few years ago, I would like to know if there is anyone out there that remembers “fish”. I am looking for stories and pictures. Thank you.

    • I’m think your dad and my dad were friends. I remember a Col. Crawford and he was probably one of the many Col.’s that retired when my father, Col. Willam A. Knapp retired. He passed away 6 years ago. Did you remember Mrs. Watts who taught english at J.W. Eater? I finished 8th grade in ’75. Sorry don’t remember “fish”.

      • I remember your sisters, my dad Col Schuering retired in fall of ’72, my senior year. I too recall the banging pipes . It became a comforting noise as winter was coming

    • S. Crawford, There was apparently another Crawford family there at the same time you were – did you know of them? I think the fathers name was Robert, and the kids were Keven, Kyle and Bobbie. Lived over on Cantonment Ave.


    My name is Alfred L Trautman, Jr. I was at Chanute AFB, in the 57th from 1964 to 1965 1/2. I took Automatic Flight Controls Systems (autopilot) and ended up in Albany, GA. I did some TDY in Asmara, Ethiopia and ended up at Forbes AFB. I now teach safety, compliance and mostly retired. Happy 4th of July to all our GIs.

  102. Julie Sharp Dorn says:

    wonderful post about the base….My dad was stationed there twice 72-73…then back again 9 months later from 74-78. I went through tech school at Chanute in early 83 for maintenance scheduling…an additional site on FB that some of you might enjoy in the Chanute AFB brat group….lots of pics of the base and Rantoul are posted there

  103. Russell H. Blakeman says:

    It was recently posted in the Rantoul Press that in the near future they would demolish White Hall, the steam plant and 3 of the 4 base water towers along with removal of all in-ground steam lines and the steam vaults. (BTW the steam rushing through lines is what many people mistook for howling ghosts over the years). No exact date but anyone that wants to visit and see White Hall again you’d better do it soon. Apparently the owners of White Hall in NJ and the city of Rantoul get off scott free on this as the funds come from AF funds from the US Treasury. 7.4 mil to demolish White Hall with 4.3 mil just for asbestos abatement (despite years of them spending money, blocking areas off and telling us the building was asbestos free.

    • Russell H. Blakeman says:

      Also by 2013 Rantoul expects to close Grissom Hall (hangar 4) which pushes the Octave Chanute Museum out to find a new location or close up and pushes a local theatrical group out that has been using the auditorium in the north end of the building (aircraft electrics end, many of us had Commander’s Calls in that auditorium). Right now the Minuteman trainer in the floor of the hangar is closed due to flooding. If the Museum can’t relocate to an appropriate place then likely the static display group in Dayton OH at Wright Patterson will pull all or most of the static displays back to WP or have them scrapped in place. Thanks Bill Clinton and your “commrades” for closing a near perfect base and moving the units on it to worn out bases that then required new construction to accommodate units that already had excellent facilities.

    • Howard Couch says:

      Russell, this is Couch (former NCOIC and CDC writer who worked with Bill Taylor, Dave Sundine and David Smythe) from the Missile Facilities course. Remember you from my access to Small Missile’s and your time as an alt security cop (along with T. Michaud and D. Quinones). Came out here to VAFB with Vivian Garabay, Greg Brown, Thomas Michaud, Terry Dockery and Mark Postema. Retired in California and at times still refer to locations in Champaign. Teal Cross is in Hawaii, Billy is in Gifford, IL. My old supervisor, George P. Kavajecz is gone (2003) as is my former boss, Ernie Podagrosi. Wild Bill (Taylor) is still living in Gifford, IL and Gary Cook (saw him at Randolph AFB in 96 with Mike Heafner on a test rewrite) was an instructor at Goodfellow.

  104. david l. trimmer says:

    i went to basic electronics traning fron jan. of ’65’ thru june. at that time there was a b-52 on the line and also a b-58 which was one strange looking plane. our class was sent to biloxi, miss. for radar school . remember the cold march accross flight line to school especially if the wind was blowing.

    • AL TRAUTMAN says:

      I WAS WITH THE 57TH AND went to the Automatic Flight Controls School. This was in 1964. I joined Nov 22, 1963 . I played music (piano) and played in front of the chow hall several times. I ended up in Turner AFB after I passed the automatic pilot school. I marched past the B-58 many times.

      I also enjoyed the girl band who played at the USO club, they were very talented.

      Nov 22, 1967 I went home, I was stationed at Topeka, KS. and did some TDY in Asmara, Ethiopia.

      It was a FAST 4 years…

  105. Michael Kessinger says:

    I was stationed at Chanute from June 1966 to Jan 1970. I was in Hq Sq CTTC and I worked in Building P4 directly across from senior officer (colonels) housing. I have many great memories of Chanute and the people there. I also worked partime at the base theatres, selling tickets and ushering. I probably sold all you tech school airmen tickets when you went to the movie.

    I considered it my home and still enjoy going back to visit but it is really difficult and dpressing to see how the base has deteriorated. It was always so neat, trimmed and polished. I would love to hear from anyone that was in Headquarters Squadron and especially those that worked in personnel (Bldg P4).

  106. Alice Guilford says:

    Left Basic in Jan of 1979 on the way to Chanute with the 3371st Student Squadron and AGE school. After a few years, I went back to Chanute as an STA from June of 1982 to Dec of 1983 with the 3336th In-Proccessing Squadron in the Korean War barracks to the south of the base. Have a ton of wonderful memories and am so grateful that I had everyone of those experiences….both the good and the bad. Best was the Monthly Awards ceremony where I received my NCO status, my STA “rope” (that light blue aiguillette)) and a commendation award. The worst was having a former enlisted Army turned commissioned 1st Lt as a squadron commander. Would love to catch up with anyone that was there during those times.

    • Scott Nordmoe says:

      Hi Alice:

      I was the Senior STA at 335st Student Squadron from 81-84. How did you end up with such a short STA tour? I ended up spending my last 9 years in the AF at Chanute. Sorry about you OIC.

      • Scott-in the middle of 1983, I had malignant melanoma. They put me on physical profile, wouldn’t let me PCS, TDY, or even go on leave without special approval from the AF Surgeon General. So, with limited room for advancement without being able to get points for rotating overseas or something like that, I felt like it was time to leave. I got out after mt first full enlistment. I still have very great memories and believe that where I am and what happened was just the way it should have. I am very grateful.

  107. Joel Harris says:

    I was at Chanute for Minuteman Maint training from Aug 1979 til October 1979 before heading to Malmstrom AFB, MT. My wife joined me there and we lived in base housing for that short period. I’m trying to remember the street name. I think it was Circle Drive. Does anyone know?

  108. There was a Circle Drive.

  109. Loren Freking says:

    Hello all. Great to read some of the comments. I was at Chanute 9/61 – 3/62 in AGE school. Stayed in the old WWII barracks and got quite chilly in the winter. 58C shift school from 6 pm to midnight.Went to NAHA AFB in Okinawa with a TDY to Korea and then to Randolph AFB in San Antonio.

  110. My husband Tom Compo attended weather observer school at Chanute in 1963. He returned in 1971 to attend weather forecasting school there. Our two sons and I accompanied him and we lived in Wherry on Circle Drive …I believe it was Faith Dr….while he was in school. In 1979 we returned to Chanute when my husband was assigned to teach weather forecasting. Once again we lived on base and I worked as a stocker at the commissary. Later I took my Red Cross training and became a dental assistant at the base dental clinic. Chanute was a large part of our lives for many years and we had hoped to retire there if my husband could get a civilian position in the weather school. Sadly, the school was moved to Mississippi and Chanute is no more. Of all the bases to which we were assigned, Chanute was the best and we loved being there.

  111. Di Pritchard says:

    My father-in-law told me a story the other night and I’m trying to find some information.

    He was stationed at Chanute AFB during the summer of 1947 either in July or August. He said he and his brother were driving between Chicago and Chanute when they both saw what he says was a UFO. It was about 80-100′ in length and about 20′ in diameter….no windows or visible power source were evident and it was quiet when it was traveling by them. He said he thought it might’ve been a dirigible, but there was no gondola.

    He’s been wondering for 64 years what they might’ve seen. Any help would be appreciated.


  112. Richard Buckmaster says:

    I was at Chanute from Dec 72 through June 78 attending Basic Electronics and Autopilot school. I was assigned to the 69th and remember the cold treks to class on A shift. The march to school was a bit more bareable as a “drag man”, calling in the road guards at the various streets we crossed. From Chanute I went to McChord AFB and spent the remainder of my 6 year enlistment there.

  113. I want to wish all Veterans a wonderful “Happy Veterans Day”!!! Thank you for your service! My dad was stationed at Chanute from 1968 until he retired in 1977. We stayed in Rantoul. After my divorce, I returned to Rantoul. My dad, brother, husband, son,nephews and a niece have all served their time. I can’t be any prouder of each of them.

  114. AL TRAUTMAN says:

    I was in Chanute AFB taking auto-matic flight controls training in 64-65. I was in the 57th. I also played piano for some events on base. I am now 70 years old, got out Nov 22, 1967 and later stationed in Turner AFB, and did some TDY in Asmara, Ethiopia, and finally stationed in Forbes AFB.

    I continued playing the piano and definately enjoyed playinf at Joes Cellar in Albany, GA.

    Even though I worked the Gulf Of Mexico for 35 years, I am now retired but not TIRED.

    I even heard Jimmy Smith in Old Town, IL. and sometimes played keyboard in some of the “eateries there”.
    My name is Al Trautman, just wondering if anyone out rhere even remembers me…HAve a great Thanksgiving…AL

  115. Hello!!!! In your picture we live in the home on the left. Was that one yours?? We were from gifford and managed to purchase this home as a foreclosure for 50 thousand. When I walked in the first time it felt like coming home. A friend and I lay out on the sunro roof as well in the summer :)

    • Joan (Perigo-)Smith says:

      If that’s “Sr. Officers’ Row” (a few other units look nearly identical) our side was on the RIGHT. For just $50K, you got a great deal (here in southern California we’re envious of those low real estate prices in the Midwest)! What are they using that huge building (former Chanute HQ/headquarters) across the street for now? (..I thought they could turn it into a Trade School or some such campus). Did you also find jobs right there in Rantoul (commute elsewhere? retired?). Hey, did the downtown ‘Home Theatre’ ever re-open, or did it get turned into something else? The web has several vintage photos of it over the years […zillions of nostalgic ‘date nite’ memories there!]. I may be on the wrong side of 60, yet still have fond memories of my formative Jr./Sr. High School years in Rantoul. Say, if I ever get to pass thru there again, may I knock on your door? : )

  116. The building across is not being used for anything but is for sale right now. My husband works in dewey and I’m a stay at home mom. The theater never reopened. Rantoul is a bit run down now a days. If you ever are in the area please come by!

  117. I have a 50th anniversary one dollar souvenir coin from Chanute Air Force Base if anyone is interested. Contact me at :

    • Jimmy Greene says:

      How funny. I just found one of those in an nold junk drawer. Wonder if it’s worth more than a buck yet? Was there 70-71 in AGE. What a joy to find out what a chill factor of -80 was like.

  118. Al Trautman says:

    My name is Al Trautman. I am from Louisiana. I took automatic flight controls systems in 64-65. I ended up in Albany, GA, did some TDY in Asmara, Ethiopia and ended up later at Forbes AFB.

    I joined the day JFK was assassinated.

    Time goes TOO FAST!

  119. Although I was not seeking info. about the paranormal, I stumbled upon this site looking for info. regarding a photo I took of Chanute’s “Enola Gay” while attending Aircraft Electrical Repair school in ’62-’63. I really appreciated the clarification about it’s fake identity while reading almost all of the other general interest posts, too!

    A great site! Does anyone remember the words of caution not to rub your ears in the winter, because Airmen had been known to rub the skin off their ears in the cold? :-)

    Wish I had photos of us in those navy blue felt face masks!

    I have many photos (now digitized) that I took while there – open bay barracks, chow hall, BX, hangars, air show, static displays including the infamous RB-36, etc. I also have my graduating class photo, 09013B, 21May63 with all the instructors. If anone is interested, just let me know.

  120. john greenhalgh says:

    I, for one, would love to see your photos. I now live in old base housing on the base, was a dependent here69-72, stationed active duty finance 80-84, love all the old pics of when this place was active!

  121. Don Stone says:

    Want to tell everyone about the Chanute AFB Facebook page that has many photos and comments from past airmen stationed there!

    PS Stationed at Chanute 26 Jan 82 to 14 Apr 82 Jet Mechanic School!

  122. Curtis Culbertson says:

    RRD… Yes I would like a copy of your photos of Chanute AFB in 1963.
    I arrived at Chanute in June 1963 and graduated January 1964. Lot of memories, But I have no photos. I enjoy looking and recalling the Past. Pizza Pop man – Student squadron cookie button. Mine was light blue with 57 on it. I went to school on “C” shift… four to midnight, so ate midnight chow. The “All Season” store by a railroad track. Like a sporting good store and milk and bread etc.. My regard, Curtis

  123. Al Trautman 1964-1965 (Stationed in the 57th).

    I was in Automatic Flight Controls Systems Specialist (in the 57th), and ended up in Turner AFB, GA. I also played piano while in Chanute AFB.

    Anyone out there remember, just let me know. I am now 70 and retired but still doing SOME work.

    I remember the USO club in Rantoul, and loved Old Town. Have a great day…Al (from Louisiana)

  124. Joseph McLoughlin says:

    I was stationed at SHITNUTE (as we called it,LOL)from oct,1977-feb,1978. Still remember a pizza place off base that we all loved.think it was called Garcia’s a sloppy,but delicious pizza,and they delivered on base! anyone remember it?

  125. MARTIN BLESS says:


  126. How about summer 1965? What squadron? Honor squadron!!! The 60th, (3360th) student squadron. Wasn’t much prettier than the 60th counting cadence marching down the mall leaving class on Friday at 6pm, with those starched fatigues and shined shoes. Hats off literally to you Airman Brockman, Capt Dome and our red rope at the time, last name Herman, from Muskegon, Mich, sharp troop! Barracks 188, right across from the post office. Would like to hear from any fellow members of the 60th. I visited the base or former base a couple of years ago: for those who haven’t the AGE training building is gone, the long building with all of the garage bays as is our barracks, the huge mess hall. Remember the ‘officers swimming pool’? Sure do remember the cookie buttons. How about road guards, Lackland lasers and chow hall runners at Lackland? 47 years and counting……I am Jim and at…… Would like to hear from you!

    • Jack Moskowitz says:

      Hell Jim, I was stationed at Chanute from 10/65 to 5/66 in the 3360th. I still have my class picture and of us marching. Yes, Capt Dome was still there with his Ford Thunderbird. He was a pain in the butt. He use to come around during study hour and sometimes in the middle of the night to check on us. The winter of 65 was real bad. I did have to take a rotation on the mobile heaters we had on the oil tanks. Chill factor was way below zero. Never guessed I would end up working on them later in the field. I did end up at pope in N.C with 2 TDY’s to England and a TDY to Japan/Viet Nam (Cam Ron Bay)

  127. For Jim Gagnon,
    Arrived at Chanute in November of 65, so must have missed the Mighty 60th in its “prime”.
    Was with the 54th. Who could forget the “Easy-On” spray starch and the black “Kiwi” and cotton balls?

    BTW, an interesting link for old AF types is up now at Lackland if you haven’t seen, yet:


  128. Tony Butkovich says:

    I was at Chanute in the 3363rd as an avionic instrument system spec. student afsc 32331 from nov 81 until apr 82 classmates were Bob Brewster, Earl T. Labriola, Kimberly Rodenieser, Joyce Palish, Connie Goldwater, Jennifer Clarck, Tim Mcgill and Keith Tucker I am amazed I remember these names. it was a very memorable time of my life. one of my instructors was a ssgt Turner also had a grumpy civilian instructor who was a WW II vet. remember him telling stories about being a B-17 gunner, cant remember his name, also remember fire fighting training squadron having a fire in thier barracks just before holiday break, and coming back from break to find an extra bed in my barracks room because the fire fighting clowns burnt out the second floor of their dorm. At least no one got hurt. those were some fun days. I hope to come down for a visit this summer, it would be a good excuse for weekend trip on the scooter.

  129. Kay Fitzsimmons Weber says:

    I was a USO hostess from Mattoon from 1955 to 1957. Are there any others out there?

  130. HT Whitehurst says:

    Lived in Rantoul 1950-51; 1956-1959, 1964-1971, and from 1986-1993. Graduated from RTHS 1967, retired at Chanute 1991. Watched the B-36 fly around the base to burn off fuel before it landed in the late 50s (I was in fourth grade at Myna Thompson). Took a tour through the aircraft later that day and again in the late 80s before it was moved to Castle. Can’t see living in Rantoul today – too small, but great memories.

  131. I was stationed at Chanute from January 1969-September 69 for Electronics EP and Minuteman Missile maintenance schools. We marched by the B-36 bomber ever school day. I liked Chanute and sorry they closed the base. It was as near to going to a University as I got. I think moving troups back and forth to school with marching was a good idea. The discipline we had was good for all of us and it’s too bad that more young people are lacking that. As for the B-36, I’ve visited it many times at the Castle AFB museum. The museum is near Merced, Ca and has lots of old military aircraft. I was in the 58th squardon at Chanute and spend some time in the old hospital barracks. Good old memories…

  132. Gordon L. Genty says:

    I am a native Texan and after basic training at Lackland AFB San Antonio,Tx. I was stationed at Chanute AFB from Oct.62′ to April 62′ for ground support equipment maintenance training. Then after tech school, I though now I get to see some of the world. Wrong… I was then stationed in Big Spring,Texas at Webb AFB. The next three and a half years I got to see all of Big Spring. I too can remember the pizza/pop man and the week of KP before tech school. O yes the starched fatigues, spit shined brogans,clean fatigue cap and T-shirt. I spent one of the coldest winters of my life there. We were told to wear two pair of socks,two pairs of pants,T-shirt,fatigue blouse,field jacket with liner,heavy blue overcoat,facemask.cap and hood,brogans and rubber boots. Then you also had a book bag over your shoulder and a flashlight to carry. The march too school was before daylight and usually about a foot of snow was on the ground. What fun it was trying to stay in step and keep a mirror shine on those brogans with the rubber boots worn over them. We were also required to polish those rubber boots.

  133. Gordon L. Genty says:

    Oops that Oct.62′ to April 63′. I almost forgot about having to keep a couple of static display planes polished that were displayed at the corners of some streets around the front gate. I believe one was a B-25 and the other was a T-33. I remember the B-25 was being polished and some airman crawled up on the nose to polish a hard to reach spot and the plexa-glass cracked and part of the nose fell off. It had to be repaired right away because that following weekend there was an open house for the public was invited to come in and tour the base.

  134. I would like to see your pictures of Chanute, I grew up there it was a great place to be a kid.

  135. My daughter Tracy who will be 50 years old next Monday was born at 12:28 P.M on April 30th 1962 in the Chanute A.F.B. hospital. What we always thought was a tornado hit about the same exact time as her birth. My four year enlistment was up in June 1962 but I will never forget that day. It seems according to the National Weather records it was actually straight line winds over 100 MPH sadly it killed two people in what was a Piggly Wiggly super market when the roof fell. Still have a couple of Air Force buddies from back then. I can say I grew up there 17 when I got there 21 when I left, I still remember the old saying “Don’t shoot him, Chanute him”

  136. Tom Kaminski says:

    I was an airman in aircraft maintenance school there in 1971-72

  137. Jimmy Greene says:

    It’s been really interesting reading aoubt all you folks who were at CAFB. I was in AGE school Sep ’70 – Feb ’71 & this So Cal boy experienced the coldest cold ever. The day I processed out, the wind-chill was at -80 degrees. We really weren’nt even supposed to be outside, but it was DEROS time & nothing was stopping me.

    It was off to George AFB from there for 18 months, then Udorn Thailand, Castle, and finally Zweibrucken Germany. What a ride.

  138. Paul Hoiland says:

    I served there back in 1980 out of the processing squadron. I also knew George Lovell who taught at the Avionics Instrument System specialists school there.

  139. glenn lijewski says:

    stationed at chanute aug 69 to dec 69. sheet metal repair course. anyone else remember.

  140. Hi all,

    I know this is a bit of a long shot, but I’m hoping to connect with people who were (or know of anyone who had been) at Chanute during the 1930s and 1940s, and knew/knew of, my grandfather, Robert Ingersoll Colin. He initially taught at Air Force Technical School then became head of The Department of Aircraft Electrical Systems there. This link will tell you more about my grandfather (he’s the guy in the top left corner):

    I look forward to hearing about your experiences. Thanks!

  141. Thanks for any other informative site. The place else may I am getting that kind of information written in such a perfect manner? I’ve a undertaking that I’m simply now running on, and I’ve been at the look out for such info.

  142. Kevin Waterman says:

    I was stationed at Chanute in 74-75 as an instructor for the 3362 Instructor Sq, Missile Facilities Specialist. My supervisor was Jerry Adair(TSGT). Anyone know what happened to him or a Sgt.Miller?

  143. thad morgan says:

    I arrived at chanult in Feb 1954 was assigned to3361st. student sq. Attended aircraft electrician class c1 10024 graduated in Aug 54 . from there to asheia japan , to brady afb , to tachikawa , to kempo afb in korea . looking for class photo.I have all my orders ,with the names of all the people that were on orders with me .

    • Did you know Robert Riley (or maybe Reilly)? I would love to know about him. He is my birth father. I was conceived in March 1954, so he had to be there then.

  144. Hi my names jordan thomas im from paxton, illinois bout 10 miles north on route 45 from rantoul. My grandfather who passed away back in 2005 was stationed at chanute. he is from rantoul originally too. his name was John Arnold. i dont know his rank nor do i know what years he was in the service. but i know he had to do with some of the training that went on at grissom hall? any ideas i would love to hear some old stories about him. oh and also my grandma on my dads side of the family also worked at chanute. her name was Wanza Lane. Thank you

  145. glenn lijewski says:

    Stationed at chanute Sept 69 to dec69. Sheet metal repair. Still looking for anyone that remembers. Looking for bob Shiedler from Indiana. I think his hometown was Lake Wawasee Indiana. If anyone remembers email me.

  146. AL TRAUTMAN says:

    I joined Nov 22, 1963, JFK died that day. I was in the 3357th and took Automatic Flight Controls Systems Specialist. That was from 64-65 (roughly). God bless our vets and all who served. Al Trautman, in Louisiana

  147. When I initially cmmented I clicked thee “Notify me when new comments are added”
    checkboxand now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the
    same comment.Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

  148. Bob Bercher says:

    I was stationed at Chanute July 1963 to March 1964 to attend the Automatic Flight Control School. Had to finish up basic training in the 3350th squadron, lived in the old, dilapidated, open-bay barracks south of the parade field, then in the 3357th squadron. I remember marching to school in the dead of winter, wearing the big, blue “horse blanket” coats and face masks! We marched to the chow hall and then up to and past the B-36.
    Went back in April 1971 to July 1971 for the “7” level school. That was a lot different!

  149. I now know Lynn, if you are still alive what happened to all of us back then on Chanute. We were part of a test program on Psychological manipulation, mind control, and intergration via mind altering drugs in our food supply, people who could channel both energy and thoughts(Part of the Remote Viewing Program under such as Col. Daines. In essence, Lynn, they turned us all into lab rats in a program with a history prior to that time, and a program that was adopted in 82 by the CIA. The exact program that effected all of us has never been declassified, even though via the declassified CIA records one can trace down some of the information. Every last one of us at that school has suffered in part from symptoms like PTSD, even though we never fought in a real war, except the mind screw type. The CIA’s adaption of this program was Called Project Star Gate. One of their heads is a friend of mine now. The program and what they developed has been carried on through both the combined Services Psychological Operations, and other Government Agencies and outside Agencies since those days.

    I also now know what those images where all about that flashed in our minds at Lovell’s house that day. I can also tell you if you manage to break them down into smaller fragments you will learn something about you and I, you may or may not already know. If the name Keira means something to you then you do.

    Lynn one reason I am doing this is I was told three years after the last time I saw you that you had died. The other reason is I need your help. The third reason, is I sometimes, for about two years now, have sensed your presence which makes me question what I was told back then. Put it this way, they went to enough trouble to cover all this up to remove our marriage record from the Champaign Country records that goes back to the 1800’s. We never won that war we fought, in fact, a majority of those we tried to help including our close friends have suffered because of that fact. I don’t know what to do. I just know we are outgunned and out number and that something needs to be done. Look Keira, eventually if I am right they will hunt the one’s of us left down for what we know. If you know the meaning behind that name you know I am right. If you know what that Elder said through you that night about the two worlds means you know I am right.

    I need your help Lynn, badly. If you really look around and study the world and here with all those killings going on, the media take over, etc you will know my Green Rope was right and we woke up with the Body Snatchers taking over as he once said.

    In fact, the most interesting thing about this story is that it is a perfect example of how the brain fills in details and looks for “evidence” of what the viewer wants to be true. This phenomenon is also known as “confirmation bias.” According to The Skeptic’s Dictionary, confirmation bias is a scientific, psychological term that “refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one’s beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one’s beliefs.”

    This was one of the biggest methods both the DOD and the CIA had at one time focused on to get people to act the way they wanted them too. It is a major tool of mind control and while it to some extent works on all people, it works the best on those on mind altering drugs. The object was to figure out the fears and natural beliefs people had. To then manipulate a situation to look like a case of something that person or group of people believed in. By such, they utilized selective think to manipulate people into doing or saying anything they wanted them too. We all have beliefs and fears. Even those who do not believe in God often have certain pre-concieved ideas that if confronted by something that backs such up will respond to this even if such is a fabricated reality. They will also over and over again ignore something that does not back up their belief system no matter the reality of the evidence.

    Think of it this way. Let’s say you are a believer in Ghosts. If, unknown to you I placed you in a place that not only fit the haunted idea, and at the same time generated every last effect that you expected, including an out of thin air voice, and appearance of a misty person, etc. Your mind would begin to believe all that was faked was in fact reality. It can even reach the height of belief that it can bring on cardiac arrest, that mind painted reality can make you fight something that is not real. Prime examples of this people often react with a punch or fight move against something after them in a dream that can be viewed and witnessed by others awake. The mind translates what it sees as reality. We see, and this has been proven over and over, what we believe.

    Now take such a case as this, add in mind altering drugs of varying doses(One of their favorites was PCP and LSD) fed to you via food without your knowledge. Add in people planted amongst the whole group, to act certain parts out, to make suggestions, etc. Add in at least one who can channel. Add in the rest and try to imagine yourself stuck in someone’s else created image of demons and hell come alive. How would you respond? How would your mind be after months of that, especially if you could watch others being effected the same way? Let’s say, your an isolation case, one of those blind test subjects not being fed the same drugs all the time, yet you watch all your friends acting crazy, you come from a belief system that tends towards seeing such as demonic, people speaking in really strange languages, say Latin, only it is a reversed version of a Latin Mass they are reciting, same person try’s to kill someone you know. All people you worked around every day prior to this. Let’s add in the outside testers managing to get about 150 people to act like brain dead Zombies. Try being a ranking enlisted person working for the Base General and watching all this when you came from a Christian background, you and say four other friends. What would you after even two days of this begin to think was going on, especially if the Base has a long history of strange spiritual like events on it?

    I can answer that as one who was there. Your mind sees what it believes. You get to the point you have no idea when you look back what was reality, and what was all fake. What was your choice and what was a forced choice. Let’s say, thirty years later you start for once asking what really happened. However, almost all the evidence has by purpose been destroyed or buried away. You cannot even find a single record on those friends you knew and fought back against this with. The tracks were covered almost perfectly, except for the memories in your mind. You hear some of them died, none of them remained in the Service. Yet, all these years later certain vital records that could prove that have for some reason been removed from certain record banks.

    While a recent girl’s death in a water tank in California is a tragedy with a bit of a mystery to it based upon simular seeing what is not there, the above is a real case example of what our Government was capable of doing when it came to spy methods, to battle field test conditions, to trying to alter the mind of large groups of people for population control and giving them an advantage over an enemy. These 150 of what I call Lab Rats were people who had enlisted in the Military to serve their Country. Citizens of this Country, who were treated to a trip down the rabbit hole to Alice’s worst Nightmare nearly thirty years ago with no consent on their part, no later mention of sorry, we did it for a reason, no mention Hey you might all suffer some long term side effects, no nothing. Try believing one thing for thirty years, something you tried to forget every way possible, and then learn 30 years later it was all a fabricated lie used to see what they could do.

    Trying to figure out what was real and what was a lie all those years later is having to look at the worst nightmare you have ever dreamed and trying to make sense of it and your life after that point. And worst part, you as a ranking person where responsible for all those under you, and of all their lives that got ruined, you also lost someone you loved very much along the way. Not much difference at all from those Viet Nam vets, who lost buddies on the Battle Field that served under them. If you have ever watched Forest Gump I can say I totally understand LT. Dale, and all those real Vet’s who have come back from wars with scars that never really go away.

    On some nights when I am driving across this Country one of the few radio shows that almost always shows up on the dial is Coast to Coast AM. One often guest on that show is a certain Col. who once ran for the Air Force part of that program. Hardly a show goes by with him on that he does not brag about how much that expanded man’s knowledge. The guy reminds me in his words of the NAZI Doctor who experimented on the Jews under Hitler. He said those same words to his dying day. I don’t know how many times I have wanted to knock that worthless Col. out since I learned the truth. There were other things the Military was involved testing that may have been used on our group. The list is so long I am not sure exactly all they used.

    That is just but one example of what an unchecked Government is capable of. There exists records of whole cities in this Country our Government dropped radioactive material on, chemicals on, whole groups of people given test drugs that deformed and killed them. Middle of American town of Saint Lewis is just one example, LA in California is another. The list is actually very long. From Coast to Coast in this Country one finds a trail of Lab Rats all in the name of progress. The list expands as one searches around the globe. Not only our Government, but many of the so called free world Government’s and even the Communist ones. The Russian KGB had such a test program way ahead of us at one time. In fact, the program I got a front row seat on was designed to catch up with them. This is what those in power think of our Constitution when no checks and balances exist. This is what greedy power hungry human’s can do to their fellow human beings. That is the type of darkness that lurks in the hearts of man. If they can do it to 150, to a whole city, doing it to a whole Country becomes possible. In fact, over time I have gathered some indirect evidence they are using some of this on the whole Country.

    About fifty military members decades back were sit in the desert of New Mexico to witness and describe the test of our first Atom bomb. The real purpose they were ordered there was to test the effects of radiation on a population. Most of them died over time from Cancer and radiation exposure all because of Government Orders from those they trusted to lead them.

    That is not conspiracy theory. That, and the rest, is historic fact one can even by a simple search find actual declassified Government records on as evidence. The RV program was adopted by the CIA, who’s records are declassified now, MKULTRA, a program prior to the 80’s has records on it out there. That is the part of history they fail to teach you in our schools, or one hardly even sees the Media mention. Only in a very few of these cases has the Government ever bothered to admit their fault on, or pay for the lives they have ruined. In fact, most of the time they waited till everyone was dead to even declassify the documents on this. Moral of this is if you think you can trust those we elect into office, those who sit in the White House, those who we serve under as Commanding Officers you really need to wake up to reality.

    I more than likely will never find out the whole truth. Too many years, too many records lost by purpose and due to time. Too many witnesses vanished and gone through the years, If background checks and records are any indication, too many friends lost to time and effects of that whole experiment. One of the biggest messing people, the one I am searching for here, had aspects in her memory about certain people that could have helped. In short, almost too many years after the fact to even follow that trail down the Rabbit hole. I know I’d like to solve this. I have always hated a mystery with no solution. I know I’d like to see someone answer up for the damage they did. I know a part of me, especially knowing their methods now, would love a rematch. I also know, deep in my heart, the voices of many who got hurt in all that will not rest till Karma comes and bites those who did all that in the butt.

    Thirty years later, for me it is like being haunted by many ghost from the past. All restless spirits who cry out for answers almost worse than my soul does. It is a wound upon my mind and heart that will never go away till I have some honest closure.

    The evidence was there before our eyes from that first night in that skating center in Champaign. Evidence that our beliefs prevented us from seeing. The evidence was there at Lovell’s house that next day. All the evidence was there that this was people doing all that to other people. Sure, looking back, one can say that it was demonic in nature and scope, demonic inspired. Only the Origin of all evil could ever dream up such. However, all the forces of Darkness, all those Principalities in High Places, still, in the end run, depend upon the minds and hearts of men to accomplish their tasks. It takes willing people to carry out their work. It was those same willing people who set up that whole experiment. It is those same willing people that one day, some where, if only in time, will have to face the harshest Judge in the Universe for what they did. I can go through that evidence till I am blue in the face. However, the oldest scientific principle in the World rather applies: If you eliminate all the possibilities, whatever remains, no matter how out there, must be the truth.

    If anybody reads this that was there in 81 on Chanute that remembers, the sorry fact remains that we were unwilling victims of the worst screwing one can imagine. We offered ourselves up for the Service of our Country and they bent us over and threw us to the Wolves. To the rest who read this the next time you hear someone brag about spy programs like this, and, what benefit they provide for our Country, you might do well to remember all that great benefit came with a cost in human hearts and minds, a cost of lives ruined, lives that should have been and were never allowed to be. If an average person out there pulled this off on someone else they would be brought up on changes and face a life in jail for such actions. However, when our Government does such there is no honest judge or jury that awaits them on this Planet. Thirty years later there is no closure, the wounds in our hearts and minds will remain with us for the rest of our lives. The only closure we will ever have on this is that day when every knee shall bow before the ultimate Judge of our lives.

    To any of you left who stood up and fought against that evil, from the bottom of my heart, as a fellow service man, I say thank you. I wish I could offer you more peace, God only knows, I wish I could find such myself. However, we can find some peace that we at least tried, even if none of what we did helped.

    I kind of realize that what I was told nearly thirty years ago about Lynn must be true. I can find no evidence anywhere that she is alive. God only knows I’ve been through the records, checked out 800 leads. However, what I said in my book about all this, that no one deserves to not be remembered, I, at least via our modern web,. have made sure her life counted and that she is remembered by others besides myself. Her High School in Tucson, on their alumni page, lists her kind of ironically as messing. She is one of those honest American unsung hero’s that got left behind all those years ago. Though we never fought in any real battle field across the Globe, she is no different than all those who have been left behind in the past of this Nation. If no one else out there Lynn does, I still remember you. For most of us in that mental war so long ago you were our inspiration, and, for me you were someone dear to my heart that I will never forget.

    My Daughter at her recent Marriage had a friend there that in many ways reminded me of you, from her general looks, to that can do attitude of one in the Military, to even adjusting all the ties of us guys at that wedding. It was kind of nice to see that spirit you had carried onward in the Service by someone else close to one of my children.

    I can be contacted at 4695710786 or on facebook at:

    or at

  150. Steve Morgan says:

    I was stationed at Chanute Aug thru Dec 1965. (48th school squadron) We were housed in the two story brick buildings by the airmans club. Used to enjoy the marching etc. Did not enjoy the Mickey Mouse inspections, although I had the best room in the best barracks on the best shift. Learned how to get by working within the system and opportunities provided. I was stationed at US Embassy in Manila, PI and then McGuire AFB. Went back 2 years ago with one of my sons. Very sad to see what is left of Chanute.

    Now, to my question. I seem to remember flying from Chicago to Champaign in a Ford Tri Motor. At this point, I am wondering if it was a dream. I do know an airline flying Tri Motors operated in the area during the 60s. Any help would be appreciated.

  151. I was at Chanute from July 76 thru Jan 77 in electronics and SRAM school. Met many people and I’m wondering if anybody knows where a couple of them are. Carson Payett who came from Ohio. We went thru basic then to Chanute and then to Robins AFB. Also I’d like to know if anybody knows what ever happened to Sue Boucher. She was cross training at Chanute from 76 into 77 for AWAKS flight sim. Email me at

  152. I was stationed at Chanute AFB from Jan 1969-Oct 1969. I was in the 58th squadron and went to Minuteman Missile school 3abr316xoG, any way I just read a post about a person hating Rantoul. I had just the opposite and like Rantoul. When I was there they had a USO club in Rantoul and the locals supported it. Many time I enjoyed the free food and entertainment at the club. Sometimes they had dances and brought in college Girls to attend. Years later after my air force time, I visited Chanute and the base wouldn’t let me enter. The Rantoul USO helped me out and took my son and I on a visit to Chanute and the areas I knew. My hats off to the supportive people of Rantoul for caring for Airman that were from all over the United States. I didn’t like the decision to close Chanute but I’m glad I got to spend time there. — Darrell Douglass former SSGT at Warren AFB and Malmstrom AFB (Minuteman EMT teams)

    • Doug, I went through the same training 2 years after you. We were 316x0h however, for the minuteman 3 system. One of my favorite instructors was a SSgt Midkiff, he had been stationed at Mamlstrom AFB before coming to Chanute. Of the 7 graduates from our class, 6 of us went to Grand Forks AFB and the 7th lucky guy went to Malmstrom AFB. I consider you fortunate in your assignment at Warren and Malmstrom as Grand Forks sucked. The 7th guy that went to Malmstorm was Doug Washburn. All 6 of us that went to Grand Forks were assigned to Combat Targeting Teams rather than EMT teams which seemed to make our tech school training seem such a waste.

  153. Closed her down; 1990-1993, base fire dept.

  154. does anyone remember Prairie Lands Night Club outside Thomasboro, IL, which was about 5 miles from Chanute??

  155. Fran McDowell says:

    Yes I remember Prairielands! It is now a manufacturing plant! Also the Beacon was down the road south of Prairielands. I was sorry to see the base close!

  156. Ernie Jurgens says:

    I was stationed at Chanute from Oct.1961 – Dec. 1963, and worked in the accounting department. I had a good friend who was a bartender at the Beacon. I worked part time in Rantoul, at Ryan’s Rio. I loved being stationed at Chanute! If anyone out there was stationed at Chanute during that time I was ther, I would love to hear about it.

  157. I was in training there from January to July of 1962. I will never forget my first night there. I came in on the train at dusk and was assigned to a WWII barracks in the 48th School Squadron. I hardly got to sleep and they woke me up for barracks guard. I was told to go to each bunk every half hour and check to see if anyone had slashed their wrists. I was told two airmen on base had committed suicide, one who had cut his wrists. After guard duty I hardly got to sleep and was awakened at 3 am to go the base chow hall for KP duty. It was snowing and there was lightning at the same time… I thought I had been assigned to Hell. Our barracks were in such bad shape we were always looking for better mattresses or whatever we could scrounge. One evening I looked out the window and saw dozens of guys carrying mattresses and beds down the street. They had abandoned a barracks and everyone was raiding it for better bedding and such. It reminded me of ants in a line carrying foodstuffs. I always remember a saying from an old friend who had been there in 1953; “Don’t shoot ’em , Chanute ’em.”. I can remember a lot of stories from that time. I went back to visit 50 years to the week from when I left there. What a sad sight it was.

  158. I was at Chanute from 83-87…we lived on Spaatz Road in officer housing. I remember going to Broadmeadow Elementary School and JW Eater Junior High School. I had a lot of fun on that base…watched Haley’s Comet go by, standing on the top of Rabbit Hill.

    • We lived on White Drive, but I spent most of my time bicycling on Spaatz and Twining because that’s where my friends lived. I have fond memories of Broadmeadow, and waiting for the school bus at White and Spaatz. Good people, good times.

      • monica walton says:

        That was my front yard, the bus stop, at White and Spaatz! I went to Broadmeadow as well. My dad was stationed there 77-81. Was a great place to be a free range kid. I loved sledding down rabbit hill in the winter, and “hiking” through the bushes in the summer.

  159. Justin Parry says:

    I was born at the base in 1979. My father was enlisted at the time, later retired as a Major. Tried to find the address of where we lived when I was a baby. Can anyone help?

  160. I was stationed at Chanute from Sept 66-Apr 67. 58 student squadron. 31650Q Hounddog Missile Systems Analyst. Remember dances at the Trade Winds. All shifts A B C. Early out Apr 1970 went to Pitt then OTS at Lackland 1972 to be a navigator

  161. Visit for photos of Chanute hounddog missile analyst 1966-67 at chanute

  162. Does anyone know the name of a base Commander, perhaps a General or Colonel that was in charge at Chanute in 1963? I was born there that year, but I am writing a fictional book that I would like to have a real name for at that time. I could just fake a name, but it would be nice to include a real man’s name just for the hell of it. The use is really not for any purpose but for a reference. The character has minor interactions, specifically “having coffee in my office” with him and him checking on the character’s progress. My father was Lauren E. Storla whom was based there. It would be best if he was somewhere involved with the hospital, perhaps in charge of doctors there. I would have asked my dad, but he died in January this year and I didn’t think to ask him for this story as it is still evolving.

  163. Where do you live now?

  164. To the Iranian Officer: Small world. A couple years after I left Chanute in 1971, I worked in Iran for 3 years. Sherkete Sanaye Hava Pema Irani. As you remember your time at Chanute, I will always remember with a happy heart my time daar Tehran John Meyer.

  165. Went to Saturday night dances at the Tradewinds. Met a girl from Illinois State March 1967.

  166. Robert Lockridge Jr says:

    I Stationed on Chanute AFB 1973-1975 manage a band call Creation 2000. Worked in the base reprographics. Would like to know are there still people there that I knew?

  167. Stationed at Chanute Sept 66-Apr 67 58th student squadron. Missile Systems Analyst (hounddogs) SAC 4 years then OTS 72 to NAV school MatherAFB.

  168. I was stationed at Chanute AFB as a student in the Environmental Control Systems (ECS) Course from May – September 1969. I returned to Chanute as a technical instructor, teaching ECS from January 1974 through October 1979. I don’t remember anyone except Mr. Bill Basehart.

    Does anyone remember Giavani’s or the Italian Patio #1 in Champaign?

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