The Birth Pangs of Portland ANG Base – Part I: Origins

Colonel Joseph L. Stromme, US Army Air Corps, who declared Portland Army Air Base activated on Thursday, 13 March 1941, was the first commander of the base. A native of Volga, South Dakota, he graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, before joining the Army at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, in 1917. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lt., Infantry, and transferred to the Air Service at Kelly Field, Texas, in December, 1917. He served three tours in the Office of the Chief of the Air Corps, four years on staff in the War Department, graduated from the Army Industrial College and Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Stromme served three years as the Air Corps industrial planning officer on the west coast at March Field, California, before taking command at Portland. (142FW History Archives, Robert Hall Collection)

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