The Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum will open a new exhibit dedicated to the World War II era Casper Army Air Base this month. The new exhibition, titled “Bucking for Victory: the Casper Army Air Base, 1942-1968,” explores the history and legacy of the old base. It will be a long-term addition to the Museum’s exhibition gallery, replacing an earlier air base exhibit that opened in 2020. “Bucking for Victory” will open to the public during a special event at the WVMM on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m.
The Casper Army Air Base was one of several Army Air Force bases and fields built during the Second World War. Its mission was to train combat crews for the Army’s heavy bomber fleet, including B-17 “Flying Fortresses” and B-24 “Liberators.” Between 1942 and 1945, approximately 16,000 crew members trained in Casper for service over Europe and the Pacific. The base closed in early 1945 and remained largely inactive until the Federal Government transferred it to Natrona County.
CAAB was a small city with approximately 5,000 people living and working there. Construction began in May 1942, wrapping up in late August and opening in September. Base personnel spent most of their time training, sometimes around the clock. Facilities, both on and off base, provided activities during their off-duty hours, including a theater, two-story gymnasium, bowling alley, chapel, and service clubs.
“Bucking for Victory” expands on earlier projects and exhibits the base’s history and impact. Its themes include the base’s history and a focus on the daily lives of the men and women stationed in Casper. It will be a long-term exhibit, freeing up space in the WVMM’s Kading Gallery for upcoming temporary exhibitions and programs.
The exhibit’s opening reception is open to the public. It will include a brief presentation by museum staff about the base’s history and impact. For additional information about “Bucking for Victory” or the opening reception, please don’t hesitate to contact the Museum at 307-472-1857.