Walker AFB was closed June 30, 1967. The reason: nobody seems to know for sure; most seem to suspect that Senator Joseph Montoya had something to do with it because Chaves County had registered Democrats 2-1 over Republicans, but they always voted for the Republican candidates. Another theory is that the officers at WAFB were tired of being harassed in town by members of the local John Birch Society, a radical anti-communist outfit.
When WAFB closed, the federal gov't. gave it to the city, which renamed it "Roswell Industrial Air Center." It became the city airport, plus the home of Eastern New Mexico University - Roswell, Nova BUS bus factory, some airplane re-conditioning firms, and several other businesses and industries. The federal International Law Enforcement Academy and the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe boot camp for high school dropouts are now located there.
The housing there has been sold to private individuals; many of the houses have fallen into ruin.
I hope this will be helpful.
Elvis E. Fleming
Roswell City Historian
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