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Staff Sergeant A. McGurdy - WWII Walker Field
Posted by: Joy Shivar (ID *****5251) Date: March 30, 2009 at 08:04:30
  of 11

I am an antique dealer and collector and just this past weekend acquired a very interesting item that has a McGurdy family connection. It is a table constructed out of a wooden plaque measuring about 18" by 16". The plaque apparently was originally displayed at Walker Army Air Field. It is entitled "Walker Army Air Field Athletic Events". It lists champions in voleyball, badminton, basketball, softball, and touch football for the years 1944 and 1945. Under "Touch-Football 1944 Bushers" is the name of Staff Sergeant A. McGurdy. I am interested in corresponding with persons who would have an interest in Sergeant A. McGurdy. I am glad to offer pictures of the table or any other information of value that I have concerning it. Please e-mail me directly at Below is compiled information (from Wikipedia) that I have found on Walker Field.

Joy Shivar
JustaJoy Historical Treasures

Walker Army Airfield (Kansas)

Walker Army Airfield (also known as Victoria-Pratt Airfield or Walker-Hayes Airfield is an abandoned airfield located north of Interstate 70 in Ellis County, 4 miles northeast of Victoria, KS..

During WWII, the facility was used as to train bomber crews. Walker consisted of three runways (each approximately 8,800 ft long), taxiways and a large paved ramp area. Contracts were negotiated on August 26, 1942, and construction got under way on September 14. The cantonment, originally designed for about 1,000 men but later much expanded, was of minimum cost (theater of operation) construction, save for the dispensary and one mess hall which were of mobilization type construction. As an example of subsequent expansion, originally only one hangar was built, but by the time of the field's inactivation five hangars were in use. Completion to the point of limited occupancy was accomplished within 79 days after negotiation of the contracts.

Bomber training
The first military personnel at the base were members of a Quartermaster Corps detachment, which arrived November 11, 1942. The first commanding officer of the yet incomplete base was Capt. James E. Altman, who assumed command on December 12, 1942. However, he was quickly replace by Lt. Col. William A. Cahill on December 18.
The new field acquired its headquarters unit with the activation of the 500th Base Headquarters and Air Base Squadron on February 8, 1943. Real base activity began when the 852d Signal Corps Detachment, the 3d Weather Squadron, the 23d Airways Communications Squadron, the 2064th Ordnance Corps Detachment and a medical detachment were attached to the 500th Base Headquarters and Air Base Squadron for administration, rations, and quarters. Early in 1943 the 502d Bombardment Squadron also arrived, along with a guard squadron, a quartermaster company, and an airdrome squadron. The field was in good enough condition by July 4, 1943 to enable the commanding officer to hold "Open House."

Postwar use
With victory over Japan in August 1945, Walker was relieved from assignment to the 17th Bombardment Operational Training Wing and reassigned to the Air Technical Service Command, effective September 30, 1945, and further assigned to the Oklahoma City Air Material Area. The latter then moved into the 4180th AAF Base Unit to maintain the field on a housekeeping basis. On January 31, 1946 Walker was put on inactive status, and disposition of property became the major activity at the field. The inactive status continued until the War Department placed the installation in a surplus category in the middle of 1946. Portions of the base were leased to a citizen in 1946. In 1949 the air field was returned to the Air Force and became known as Victoria Auxiliary Field until 1959 although apparently no Air Force personnel were ever assigned there. The site was sold to the same private citizen in 1959 and was held by him until 1991. Former structures included hangars, maintenance buildings, aboveground storage tanks, warehouses, laboratories, machine shop, hospital, garage, motor pool, paint and dope shop, ordnance storage, chemical weapons storage, and various other structures.
From 19481952, crop-dusting planes were stored in the old Maintenance hangar. The airfield was apparently abandoned at some point between 196568. The site is presently used for agricultural purposes.

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