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Andersen AFB is located on the island of Guam, at the northwestern point, and has two runways, each over three kilometers/two miles long. It was originally built as North Field after the liberation of Guam from Japanese forces in 1944, and had facilities for 200 B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers and their support personnel. The bombers of the 314th Bombardment Wing initially conducted high-altitude daylight bombing missions against strategic targets, but in March 1945 changed to nighttime low-level incendiary missions against Japanese cities. This in turn was replaced by attacks on Japanese kamikaze bases during the Battle of Okinawa, which lasted from April through mid-June of 1945.

After the war, the B-29s took part in supply drops to Allied prisoners of war and shows of force over Japan. Most of the 314th was deactivated Stateside or transferred to Johnson Air Base in Japan. Training, rescue, and reconnaissance missions continued until the outbreak of the Korean War, and in 1949 North Field was renamed in memory of Brigadier General James Ray Anderson, who was declared dead after an accident near Kwajalein Island. Andersen AFB's role in the Korean War was mainly as a logistics base; the 19th Bomber Group's missions against targets in Korea were mostly flown out of Kadena AB on Okinawa. After the war, Andersen became a forward base for Strategic Air Command B-36 and B-47 bombers deployed from Stateside bases on rotation.

Rotations stopped in 1964 when the B-47 was phased out and replaced by the B-52 Stratofortress, and the following year Andersen went to war again as its B-52s began Arc Light strikes in support of Allied troops during the Vietnam War. The high point of the base's operations was Operation Linebacker II in 1972, which saw bombers launched in quantities not seen since the end of World War II. Bombing missions continued into Laos and Cambodia after the cease-fire in Vietnam until August of 1973. The final chapter in the Vietnam War for Andersen AFB was its role as temporary home for hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese "boat people" refugees fleeing the Communists after the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Currently, the base is home to B-2 and B-52 bombers deployed on rotation from Stateside bases.


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