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History of Selfridge ANGB

Selfridge Air Nation Guard Base (ANG) was founded on July 19, 1917, as Selfridge Field, named after Lt. Thomas Etholen Selfridge (1883-1908). Lt. Selfridge was a graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, class of 1903. After receiving his commission, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Signal Corps. During this time, he had an opportunity to explore the potential of military aviation as an assistant of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell for his experiments with kites of great lifting capacity. During his time with Dr. Bell, Lt. Thomas Selfridge was the first person in Canada to successfully pilot a powered aircraft with the completion of his flight in Nova Scotia. Under the Army Signal Corps, he also became involved in designing and building early aircraft for the United States Armed Forces.

Orville Wright, Thomas Selfridge, Fort Myer, Military Test Flight
Thomas Selfridge Alexander Graham Bell

Under the Army Signal Corps, he also became involved in designing and building early aircraft for the United States Armed Forces. On September 17, 1908, while conducting trials of the Wright Brothers airplane, he went aloft with Orville Wright. Flying about 150 feet from the ground over Fort Meyer, Virginia, after four circuits around the city, the propellor broke and the engine failed. The subsequent crash hospitalized Orville Wright, yet proved fatal for Lt. Selfridge. He was America's first military casualty of powered flight.

Selfridge Air National Guard Base is often referred to as "The Home of Generals" because over 150 generals have spent parts of their careers here over the last 100 years. Over the years, personnel assigned to Selfridge have answered the call time and time again. During World War I, more than 750 pilots and 1,000 aerial gunners trained here and fought. During World War II, the based served as the training base for the Tuskegee Airman. The Michigan Air National Guard trained new pilots for combat in the Korean War. During the Cold War, Selfrige served as the command center for air-to-ground missile defense systems. On July 1, 1971 the base was transferred to the control of the Air National Guard and renamed Selfridge Air National Guard Base. From then on the base continued to serve the needs of this great country by protecting the skys on 9/11, to operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and most recently operation Odessy Dawn in Libya.

Tuskegee Airmen
KC-135 Stratotanker refueling A-10 Thunderbolt II

The base is the home of the 127th Wing of the Air National Guard and currently has over 5,000 assigned personnel including: 419 active duty military, 3,359 guard/reserve military, and 1,537 civilians. The 127th Wing flies the A-10 Thunderbolt II as well as the KC-135 Stratotanker for aeriel refueling of aircraft, Selfridge ANG is the last remaining base in Michigan and includes units from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard. Being the only base in the United States where all five services work together, this partnership has saved millions of dollars and our military organizations and families have experienced a richer quality of life. This level of commitment and teamwork has a saying around here, "We are Team Selfridge".

For more information please visit the 127th Wing website.

History of Selfridge Community Council

The Base Community Council came into existence in the 1940s with meetings among the supervisors of Harrison, Clinton, and Chesterfield townships, the mayor and city manager of Mount Clemens, and Selfridge personnel. The meetings were designed to solve potential problems that might arise between the military and civilian communities, to foster friendship, and to familiarize the base personnel with the services the communities had to offer.


In 1977, the Base Community Council became involved with the Selfridge Air National Guard Base Open House & Air Show and has assisted at every base air show since. The Open House and Air Show on August 19-20, 2017, marked 100 years of service for Selfridge Air National Guard Base and 70 years of successful cooperation between the base and the community council.


In 1983, the Base Community Council and the Base jointly sponsored what has become an annual fundraising dinner for the Special Olympics, raising as much as $30,000 in a given year. Together as a group, the base and the council are one of the largest single contributors to the Michigan Special Olympics program year after year.


The Community Council has been a contributor to numerous other needs such as Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs, the Freedom Academy, the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall, the Michigan Air Guard Historical Association, the Young Heroes Award Program, STARBASE and Save Our Selfridge (SOS). The Selfridge ANG Base Community Council has grown to over 240 members, making it one of the "biggest and best" in the country.

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