Digging into 5 little known facts about Wright-Patt

There are many historically significant areas on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that few people know about. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Isabel Velez)
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There are many historically significant areas on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that few people know about. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Isabel Velez)

Aviation history is rich here, but Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is also home to interesting historical landmarks of which few people are aware.

Area A contains five of these landmarks explored by Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Historian Kenneth Sloat and Cultural Resource Manager Paul Woodruff.

The Fire Station, Bldg. 163

This building located on Pearson Road used to be a fire station but now houses the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team. The former station is memorialized in honor of two firemen who were killed fighting a fire in Bldg. 162 (Area A) in 1963. The building still has its original fire house doors and brick from the original architecture.

Pearson Road and Skeel Avenue

In October 1924, an international air race called the Pulitzer Race took place on Wright-Patterson AFB. The road near the flight line is named after Lt. Alexander Pearson who was killed in an accident while practicing for this air race.

Nearby, Skeel Avenue is named after Capt. Burt Skeel who died when his R-6 racer crashed during the Race. Both Capt. Skeel and Lt. Pearson were a part of what would become later the Army Air Corps.

The Green Devils

In 1943, German prisoners of war illustrated a mural on the walls of what was originally a cafeteria in Bldg. 280. The murals depict large green and devilish goblin-like creatures in a sea of flames against the original cement brick that lines the walls today. The building is set to be demolished in upcoming years, but the eerie murals will be preserved to ensure future generations can gawk at the giant green devils.

Gate 15 landfill

Gate 15 is located on McClerron Memorial Skyway in Area A, but what most people don’t know is that this gate used to be a landfill. During the conversion and the building of the gate original German World War II technology documents were unearthed after being discarded into the landfill. Many of these documents were returned to the German government.

“Hangar 18”

The infamous hangar 18 is known for its association with conspiracy theorists around the country for housing what could be objects from the unidentified object crash in Roswell New Mexico in 1947. There is a theory that debris was shipped to Hanger 18 from Roswell, the only problem is, it never existed. There has never actually been a “Hangar 18” anywhere on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.