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Hanscom Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: BED, ICAO: KBED, FAA LID: BED) is a United States Air Force base located predominantly within Bedford, Massachusetts, with portions extending into the adjoining towns of Concord and Lincoln. The facility is adjacent to Hanscom Field which provides general aviation and charter service.


Hanscom Air Force Base began its existence while the United States was considering its entry into World War II. In May 1941, the Massachusetts Legislature authorized the purchase of a large tract of farmland spanning the borders of the towns of Bedford, Lincoln, Concord and Lexington for a Boston Auxiliary Airport. Funds to build the new airport were contributed by the federal government, which had appropriated $40 million to build 250 new civil airports across the United States that could serve for future national defense. In mid-1942, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts leased the Bedford airport to the War Department for use by the Army Air Forces. Fighter squadrons trained there in 1942 through 1943. The 85th Fighter Squadron and the 318th Fighter Squadron, who trained at Bedford on the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, went on to combat in North Africa and Europe.

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