Whiteman Air Force Base is located in Johnson County, Missouri, 65 miles southeast of Kansas City. The base is two miles south of Knob Noster, just off U.S. Highway 50. Whiteman is about 10 miles east of Warrensburg and 20 miles west of Sedalia.
The base had it beginnings in 1942 during the U.S. mobilization following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was originally activated on Aug. 6, 1942, as Sedalia Glider Base.
In November 1942, the installation became Sedalia Army Air Field and was assigned to the 12th Troop Carrier Command of the Army Air Force. The field served as a training site for glider tactics and paratroopers.
Assigned aircraft included the Douglas C-46s, C-47s and the Waco CG-4A glider. During the massive demobilization in the mid 1940s, the base closed and most of the buildings were abandoned.
In August 1951, however, the base returned to life again and became a part of Strategic Air Command. SAC activated the 4224th Air Base Squadron to supervise the rehabilitation and construction of a new base, Sedalia AFB.
The 4224th continued its activities until Oct. 20, 1952, when it inactivated while turning over the base to the 340th Bombardment Wing. SAC scheduled the 340th to receive the command’s newest aircraft systems, the B-47 Stratojet and KC-97 tanker. Construction workers soon completed runway repairs and other projects in November 1953, paving the way for the arrival of the first B-47 in March 1954.
On Dec. 3, 1955, Sedalia AFB became Whiteman AFB in honor of 2nd Lt. George A. Whiteman. Lieutenant Whiteman, a native of Sedalia, was one of the first American airmen killed in World War II when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941.
Sedalia is the birthplace, childhood home, and final resting place for George A. Whiteman. For generations Sedalians have supported the men and women serving our country and consider our neighbors at Whiteman Air Force Base family.*
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