This image is from The Savannah Morning News of October 3, 1940. It shows the tent city that was in place before the major construction of what was to become Savannah Army Air Base.

Military Housing ( Splinter City )  Savannah Army Air Base    Early 1941

 A-18s of the 8th Attack Squadron in flight


"Jimbo" Chastain was a professional photographer with the Air Force during the 1930s and has donated several of his photos, along with the negative, to the Association. In future issues you will see more of his fine photos. The photo below of Savannah Army Air Base in Savannah, Georgia provides one of the pleasures of being Association "Historian". It was taken from the observation floor of the Hunter Field Terminal. At first glance it seems to be a rather ordinary photo of Hunter Field, then under construction in 1940. The photo was taken with a good camera in perfect focus and printed on fine grain paper.

Take a look at the photo below and examine it closely. The original photo had the dimensions of 5 3/4 " x 3 1/4 ".

Charles Hinton

Ramp Scene at Hunter Field  1941 

It is mostly of an empty airfield, with some buildings off in the distance. There is a far off airplane in the upper left area and a couple of far off airplanes in the middle upper right. In the middle right you can see some some tents and a jumble of objects, which upon close inspection appears to be a twin engined airplane. In the lower right are a couple of vehicles. I put the photo in my scanner and did a high resolution scan and "fixed" some of the aging defects.

Now I see many pictures within the original photo. In the upper left area of the picture I see some large buildings clearly under construction and an A-20 aircraft (below left) received by the 3rd Attack Group. The 3rd Attack Group was the first organization to be equipped with the A-20, and from other sources I know this to be the first A-20 received by the 3rd Attack Group. 

To the right on the dirt field (below right) you now see 3 B-18As, one with a blue cowling identifying it as a 13th bomber. Previously not noticeable and beyond the B-18s is another A-20. Well, maybe this is the first A-20 delivered to the 3rd Attack Group and not the other.


3rd Attack Group A-20 

B-18As at Hunter Field 

In mid picture on the right are a series of tents, likely maintenance tents. Between the viewer and tents is a twin engined aircraft - an A-18. The story in the past was that the A-18 was assigned to the 8th Attack Squadron but not the 13th . Due to the fine skill of the photographer and the excellence of the printing, we see that OSCAR is clearly visible on the right rear fuselage and therefore a 13th Attack squadron aircraft. Now we see, just to the right of the A-18, a light, single engine aircraft, top wing with an air cooled engine. I don't recognize this type of aircraft. Finally in the lower right corner we see the ambulance and the fire truck in great detail. Do you remember when the ambulance and the fire truck stood by on the flight line? You can read the USA lettering on the nose of the fire truck and with a little imagination the serial number.

 13th Attack Squadron A-18

 Light Utility Aircraft

Fire Truck & Ambulance


The photo above is of the first A-20 delivered to the 3rd Attack Group and the first A-20 delivered to an operational unit.  The men you see in the photo above are examining the first example of an airplane they have never seen.  You see that it has no serial number on the vertical  stabilizer and no insignia markings. Note the large crowd of men gathered around it, looking up at the engines, gathered around the glass nose, and men on the wing with the canopy open looking for the first time at the interior of the new aircraft.  Beyond the aircraft you see men on the roof of the terminal looking down at this new prize.  

Another A-20 of the 3rd Attack Group in the early days of Hunter Municipal Airfield prior to being dedicated as Savannah Army Air Base

Thanks to James "Jimbo" Chastain & Charles Hinton - Historian for the 13th Bomb Squadron Association for all their help in making this page possible.