MacDill Army AirfieldApprox. Time: 1 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

One of six super air bases authorized by the National Defense Act of 1935, construction on then Southeast Air Base began in September 1939. Formal dedication to honor Army aviator and World War I veteran Colonel Leslie MacDill occurred on April 16, 1941. To encourage the military to choose this site, the Hillsborough County Commission purchased and then donated the 3,500 acre parcel to the Federal government.

Designated Third Air Force Headquarters, the first troops arrived in March 1940. Transitional training began using B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft in April 1941. The expression, “One a day in Tampa Bay,” originated here during training on B-26 Marauders. Sixty-three B-26s crashed in Tampa Bay in 1943. Training of B-29 Superfortress crews began at MacDill in late 1944.