New Book Spotlights Offutt Air Force Base

Top Quote Local author Ben Justman celebrates those who served through over 200 vintage images. End Quote
  • Omaha, NE-IA (1888PressRelease) October 27, 2014 - On October 27, Arcadia Publishing will release Offutt Air Force Base by Ben Justman, the latest addition in the Images of America Series. The Offutt Air Force Base has a rich and distinguishable history going back to a time before the Air Force was an established branch of the U.S. Military. Justman researched this history and honors the men and women who served here by displaying these historic images.

    With plans for a military post in Nebraska beginning as early as 1888, the Fort Crook Base was officially named in 1891. On January 13, 1948, Fort Crook became Offutt Air Force Base, named for American Pilot Jarvis Offutt, who lost his life in France during World War I. The change from Army to Air Force seemed natural for the base since there was already a strong presence of aeronautics.

    During World War II, Enola Gay and Bock's Car, the bombers that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, were constructed at Offutt. Also, 2116 Bombers were produced at the affiliated bomber plant. During the Cold War, Offutt grew in size and scope to become home to the Strategic Air Command, the nerve center of America's Cold War Defense. Justman celebrates the stories of Fort Crook and Offutt Air Force Base through over 200 black and white images.

    Highlights of Offutt Air Force Base include:
    - The Queen of England, Tom Clancy, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Margaret Thatcher, and several Presidents of the United States are among those pictured visiting the AFB.
    - Due to its importance to national security, President Bush flew to Offutt after learning of the events of September 11, 2001.
    - The first air units at Offutt were balloon observation corps.

    Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.

    Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America's people and places.

    Meet Ben Justman
    Author of Offutt Air Force Base
    As far back as he can remember Ben Justman has always had a passion for history. It is through the pursuit of that passion that he obtained a B.A. in History from Central College in Pella, IA and an M.A. in History from Western Illinois University. Turning his passion into a profession, Justman, has previously been involved with The Churchill War Rooms, a branch of the Imperial War Museum and the U-505 German Submarine exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, as well as several local history museums.

    Currently, he serves as the Executive Director of the Sarpy County Museum. Sarpy County provides a unique location, offering a blend of both local public history and military history. The museum serves as the "Smithsonian for Sarpy County," keeping the past alive through preservation and education for the county, its communities and their people.

    He hopes that this book will serve to reignite a proud nostalgia for Offutt's past. Finally, Justman would like the book to serve as a spark of encouragement for the public to share their connections, objects, and photographs that are intertwined in the nearly 120 year history of Fort Crook and Offutt AFB.

    What lasting impact do you hope your book will leave?
    I hope this book will continue to keep the past alive and offer a glimpse into the rich history of Offutt Air Force Base.

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