MacDill Air Force Base
6801 S. Dale Mabry Highway
MacDill Air Force Base is among the twenty-one military bases in Florida. Located near the Hillsborough Bay approximately seven miles south of Downtown Tampa, MacDill is home to around 15,000 Airmen, staff, and other service members. It was named for Colonel Leslie MacDill, an Army Air Corps pilot who died during World War I. First known as Southeast Air Base, the facility opened in 1939 and was the larger of two constructed prior to World War II. Bomber Groups from MacDill played a significant role across the Atlantic, sinking German warships and supply vessels. After the war, The United States Air Force took control of the base.
MacDill was the site of military preparations to invade Cuba during the Missile Crisis of 1962. The base nearly closed in 2005 following a long series of noise complaints, but remained open and now serves U.S. military efforts against terrorism.
Florida postcards featuring MacDill often show servicemen loading bomber planes like the B-17 Flying Fortress or boasting its status as the largest military field in the southeast. The famous image of the three bombers flying over Lafayette Street Bridge must be dated between 1941 (when flying began in Tampa) and 1946, the approximate date of this card. The Air Force was separated from the Army in 1947. The Flying Fortress B17 is drawn incorrectly in the flyover Lafayette bridge; compare this with the more accurate image from “Loading Bombs on Flying Fortress at Macdill Field," which is an airbrushed photograph.