Spence Air Base Today

Pictures and comments below contributed by Ray Sack of Class 60-E       

UNICOM: 123.00
RUNWAY: 14/32 concrete
                  4500 X 75ft.

For many years, I have wanted to re-visit Spence Field.  There was always a compelling feeling to return.  The opportunity never arose until March 2005.  My wife and I were returning from a trip to Florida.  I found myself driving north on I-75 (eventually heading for the Augusta, GA area) and realized that I would pass within a few miles of Moultrie, GA and Spence Field.  With tongue in cheek, I like to say that as I approached the exit to Moultrie the car went into automatic pilot and headed for Spence.  As we approached the old airbase, I spotted the water tower from the highway and knew exactly where I was.  A turn from highway 133 put me through the main gate.  …and after forty-six years, this is what I saw.  My descriptions reflect the base layout as I remember it from 1959 (Class 60-E).  I also have a copy of the Base Layout that greatly enhanced my memory for street names, buildings, and directions.
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(Left) The water tower and control tower are two prominent landmarks that remain.  The water tower no longer sports it's distinctive red and white checkerboard pattern. 

(Above) The view is from the T-28 ramp area that is now cluttered with light poles that are used for agricultural equipment shows.  I couldn’t help being amused by the thought that as cadets we thought the big radial engines in the T-28s sounded like John Deere tractors.  I suppose that sound lingers on.

(Right) The large hangars also remain as prominent landmarks.  This one has found new life as a facility for a specialty aircraft company.  Buildings and fences limit access to many areas on the old aircraft tie-down area.  This view is from the T-28 ramp area looking towards the east hangar (Hanger 3).  What is most striking is the empty ramp area where dozens of aircraft were once parked.

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(Left) - The way it was --
View from the Control Tower looking east.  The east hanger (Hangar 3) is farthest building on right.  

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This view is looking east from the T-34 ramp area towards the middle hangar (Hanger 2).  I believe that Bevo Howard’s Buecher Jungmeister was frequently parked in front of this hangar.
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Two small control towers are located at either end of open runway 14/32.  Since Spence is now the auxiliary field for Moody AFB, I suppose this is today’s version of Runway Control.
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This is the one remaining open runway (14/32) looking southeast.  As I recall, this runway saw a lot of use during our training days with take-off and landing often from the southeast to the northwest.  I remember many touch and go landings on this runway.
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This is the intersection of Carter Avenue and West Yount Street.  You are looking north up Carter Avenue towards the flight line.  Two buildings for academics were located to the right side of the photo.  The Aviation Cadet Quarters were located to the left side of the photo.  All the structures are gone now and the tree population has increased.

(Below) The way it was --
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You are looking south from Harper Blvd.  Carter Avenue is  to the right.  The area beyond the trees on this side of Carter Avenue was the site of the Aviation Cadet Club and Academic Buildings.
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In this view you are looking northeast across Harper Blvd. towards the flight line.  Water Tower and Control Tower can be seen through the trees.  This view has probably not changed much.