Surveying
Westover's buildings
and landmark
s

Some original buildings and
landmarks still exist at Westover,
while others have disappeared into
history.
As recently as 2006, two large
landmarks were removed. The old
fuel tanks near the railroad on
Westover Road were torn down. The
remaining portion of the fuel farm
still exists as you can see in the
photo I took on this page.      A "No
Smoking" sign is stiil visible on one
of the buildings.
In late April, 2006, a crew
dismantled the old base water
tower on Sheridan Street. It had
loomed over the former base since
1971. The city had used the tower
since 1974. One other tower still
remains in use on Westover Air
Reserve Base.
On this page are pictures of the
former "General's Row" housing
area. All five houses still stand but
are vacant. It is somewhat eerie to
drive to this area. step out of your
car, and see no one in these
houses. To remember just who
lived in them makes it all the more
intriguing.
The houses, which sit on a gentle
slope that overlooks the base, were
homes to the 8th Air Force
commander, the 8th AF vice
commander, and the commanders
of the 57th Air Division, 99th
Bombardment Wing, and 814th
Combat Support Group (which later
became the 99th CSG).
 Much of the old base is still intact
and can be seen by taking Sheridan
Road from Fuller Road. Landmarks
still visible include the mole hole,
KC-135 and B-52 nosedocks, the
fighter hangars near the approach
end of Runway 5, and the famous
"Christmas tree" alert area.
A closer look at Westover's past and present
The famous P-1900 building is pictured
here in May 1961.  Photo taken by Lisa
Szatkowski.  This building housed the 8th
Reconnaissance Technical Squadron,
shortened to "Recce Tecces."  Bldg. P-1900
was demolished in July 2004.  Click on the
About this site for more photos of the 8th
RTS.
ENTERING WESTOVER -- A security policeman with the 814th Air Police Squadron waves a motorist onto
Westover through the James Street gate, circa 1964. The James Street gate was the main gate for Westover
AFB. Central Avenue brought traffic through one of the housing areas, to the hospital, and then to the base
ellipse.  

(
photo from 1964 Boone Publications base guide provided by Wilton Curtis)
This 1969 base guide photo shows one of
the Westover chapels on Central Avenue.
The building is used today as a child
development center.  During a recent visit
there, I noticed the alert klaxons were still
installed!

A crew dismantles the old base
water tower near Sheridan
Street in Chicopee.  I shot this on
April 28, 2006.  A Chicopee
public works employee informed
me that the crew was
disassembling the tower for
shipment to Chicago. He said
plans called for the tower to be
reassembled and put back up
for continued usage. The tower
had stood at Westover since
1971.
The former SAC  "molehole" is still very
much intact and is being used by the
Massachusetts State Police. Still, one
can't help but think about the awesome
power of the Air Force while standing
here. During base alerts, SAC crews ran
out of the tubes built out from the
"molehole" and pictured here to the left.
The crews sprinted to their awaiting
B-52s which were armed with nuclear  
weapons.  In the upper right corner are
the former B-52 and KC-135 nosedocks.
I took this photo in February 2005.
These old supply shacks are still standing near where the old Westover Road gate was.
They are easily visible as you drive on to the former section of the base shortly after leaving
Memorial Drive. Note the old power station and fence behind the shack in the photo on the
right.  I took these photos in May 2006.
The old fuel farm complex, located off
Sheridan Street, is shown in this April 28,
2006 photo that I shot. The giant fuel
tanks used by SAC had actually been
removed from this area just a few weeks
before this photo was taken.
This is the Westover Officers Club shown
in 1964. It was located near the base
ellipse.
                                                             photo
provided by Wilton Curtis

This is one of five large houses believed to have been the former home of
one of Westover's SAC generals until about 1970. I took this photo Sept. 5,
2009. Below is a shot of "General's Row" which I took the same day. A
photo from a 1954 Westover yearbook shows that these houses were
already in place before SAC had arrived. I'm still trying to find out when
exactly they were built.   
This May 1961 photo shows the "Generals' Row" housing area. This is seen from near the base ellipse and where the
present James Street gate is. These five houses are widely believed to have been the homes of the 8th Air Force
commander, 8th AF vice commander, and the 57th Air Division, 99th Bombardment Wing, and Westover base
commanders.
                                                                          
  (photo taken by Lisa Szatkowski)
These are the old SAC airmen's dorms, still very much intact, that are now part of the Westover Job Corps. I took this photo in April 2009 from the playing
field of Bowie Elementary School, which has retained its name despite not being an Air Force school anymore. It is owned by the City of Chicopee.
Base Ellipse today