Sampson - Major Events

Highlights of Period 1942 - 1950


May 14: United States enters W W II, US Navy selects Lake Seneca site as naval training facility. 2,597 acres of farmlands and vineyards were designated for construction of the facility. Construction was completed in 270 days at a cost of approximately $56 million.


February 27: 1500 bed hospital commissioned. This facility served as a medical complex for a variety of organizations for the next twenty years.


September: New York State authorizes two year junior-community colleges. Sampson selected as a ready made facility as one of three sites in addition to Plattsburg and Utica.


July 1: Sampson Naval Training Center decommissioned. More than 411,429 “boots” were trained at this facility
December: Hospital transferred to the Veterans Administration. Due to low number of patients, it was returned to the Navy.


December: New York State with the transfer of 1000 elderly patients took over the hospital and named it the
Willard State Hospital Sampson Annex.


July 30: The U.S. Department of Agriculture utilizes various drill halls and warehouses as granaries. More than 110,000 bushels of wheat and 15,000 sacks of beans were stored at Sampson until the Air force took over the base.


New York State appropriates $50,000 for the creation of a state park at Sampson. With the start of the Korean War, the need arose for the opening of an additional military training center. With the Air Force establishing Sampson AFB, the park project was cancelled.

Highlights of Period 1957 - 2006


August: New York State Legislature authorizes the Federal Government to transfer Sampson Air Force Base to the State for use as a public park.


Airstrip deeded to the Army to be known as Seneca Army Air Field.


New York State purchases and assumes ownership of all tracts of land at a cost of $500,000. Buildings were dismantled and materials were sold for re-usage throughout the Finger Lakes Region. One of the Drill Halls is now in use at Middlebury College, Vermont . Major roads and identification signs remain today.


Sampson WW- 2 Navy Veterans Association Inc. is established


The State of New York grants usage of the old brig to the Navy Vets for the establishment of a museum.
The Navy Vet’s first annual reunion is held.


September: The Sampson Veterans Association was incorporated.


March: The Association became tenants of the facility.
June: Association members meet with Sampson State Park Manager to evaluate the condition of the stockade for use as a museum.


The Association begins renovation of the stockade for use as a museum.


The Association contributed a plaque to the Memorial Park, U. S. Air Force Museum, Dayton, Ohio to commemorate the Sampson Air Force Base era.


The Air Force Museum approves the loan of a T 33 aircraft to the Association for use as a museum static display.
September: The Falcon Memorial Statue in memory of deceased SAFBVets is dedicated.


November: The State of New York as committed $500.000 in an effort to create a Veterans Cemetery on 100 acres at Sampson State Park.

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SAFB Highlights 1950 - 1956

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