Whiteman Air Force Base – Knob Noster, Missouri
A joint-service base with Air Force, Army and Navy units, Whiteman Air Force Base is located about 2 miles south of Knob Noster, Missouri. Whiteman can launch combat sorties directly from Missouri to any part of the globe.
Whiteman’s host unit is the Air Force’s 509th Bomb Wing and it is the only permanent base for the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber. The B-2 was designed to strike high-value targets that are out of range of conventional aircraft or too heavily defended for a conventional aircraft strike.
The 509th first flew the B-2 in combat against Serbia in March 1999. In 2001, they led the way for America’s military response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC. B-2 bombers were also the first US aircraft to enter Afghanistan airspace in October 2001, paving the way for other coalition aircraft to engage Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. During these operations, the aircraft flew round-trip from Missouri, logging combat missions in excess of 40 hours – the longest on record.
Other aircraft assigned to Whiteman include the A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack fighter; the T-38 Talon jet trainer and the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.
2nd Lieutenant George Whiteman
Originally established in 1942 as Sedalia Glider Base, the based was renamed in 1955 in tribute to 2nd Lieutenant George Allison Whiteman. On December 7, 1941, Lieutenant Whiteman attempted to take off from Bellows Field during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hit by enemy fire, his P-40B aircraft crashed and burned at the end of the runway. Lieutenant Whiteman became the first member of the US armed forces to die in aerial combat in World War II. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the American Defense Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
FLASH PRODUCT USED AT WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE
Whiteman AFB employs the FTS 800 voltage driven airport lighting system to ensure B-2 stealth bombers and other aircraft safely acquire the runway.