Ellsworth Hangar
Photo courtesy of South Dakota State Historical Society

     Ellsworth Air Force Base began its life as the airport for Rapid City. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built a runway and hangar there. The year was 1939. Then the Second World War started; the airport became a United States Army Air Corps base. In 1947, the base was kept open to serve the United States Air Force. The Air Force used it for heavy bombers, atomic missiles, and training. The missiles were called Minuteman Missiles. After the Cold War, all missiles were removed from western South Dakota. One site has been kept so that we will not forget the history of the Cold War. Today, Ellsworth is the home of B-1B bombers.