37th Training Wing History

The history and honors of the 37th Training Wing extended prior to World War II, well before its 1953 establishment. In a major restructuring of the Air Force in 1948, wings generally replaced groups as the principal establishment commanding combat squadrons. However, the U.S. Air Force's principal combat heritage resided in the Army Air Forces combat groups active during World War II. Therefore, the Air Force extended temporary bestowal of combat group histories and honors to wings with the same numerical designations. As a consequence, the wing had bestowed upon it the history and honors of the 37th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) that was constituted on 22 Dec 1939. On 1 Feb 1940, the 37th activated at Albrook Field in the Panama Canal Zone flying P-26 "Peashooters" and P-40 "Warhawks" in defense of the zone. For more, click here.

The primary mission of the Office of History and Research is the preparation and publication of an annual historical report of the 37th Training Wing for the wing commander. The office also responds to requests for information from the wing commander, members of the staff, other offices and units within the 37th Training Wing, tenant units, other DoD and government agencies, and the public. As we are the largest wing level history office in the Air Force we oversee and preserve the Lackland Gateway Archive Collection consisting of the published histories of the 37th Training Wing and its predecessor organizations and those of Kelly Field. We have more than 80K+ photographs along with 100K+ documents in the collection.

Researchers: the current collection index can be accessed via the following links; the information is topical in nature - please contact us for more information:


The Lackland Historian Podcast

Lineage, Honors and Emblems

The unit lineage and honors statement is based on the historical facts most affecting a unit. These are found in letters from the Department of the Air Force and orders published by Major Commands directing organizational actions or awarding of unit decorations. The unit emblem is registered with the US Army Institute of Heraldry to insure the historic representation of the unit is maintained. The Organizational History Branch of the Air Force Historical Research Agency provided narrative information, Lineage and Honors Statements, and emblems included within. The wing's Chief, History and Research updated these to include the most recent actions or awards according to orders issued since the publication date of the official statement. For more, click here. 

JBSA-Lackland History

The Former Lackland Air Force Base, now Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, dates from July 4, 1942, when the War Department separated the part of Kelly Field lying west of Leon Creek and made it an independent installation, naming it the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center (SAACC). From its acronym many people called the base Sack, Sack-C, or, less affectionately, Sad Sack. Even with its own name, townspeople and most military leaders continued to think of it as a part of Kelly Field. The base bore three awkward and innocuous designations in the first two years after World War II, adding to the confusion. The War Department finally resolved the identity crisis on 11 July 1947, by naming the base for Brig. General Frank D. Lackland. Lackland had originated the idea of an aviation cadet reception and training center for Kelly. For more, click here.

HIstory material

Contact Information

History Office Welcome Video!


37th Training Wing
Office of History & Research

37TRW Historian Office
2320 Ste 2 Carswell Ave
Lackland AFB, TX 78236
(210) 671-2217
DSN 473-2217


37th Training Wing Archivist

(210) 671-8481
DSN 473-8481

lackland historian YouTube Channel

BMT Flight Photo Project

 The USAF BMT Flight Photograph Project is a concentrated effort to collect approximately 119,000 of USAF Basic Training flight photographs from the inception of the USAF in 1947 to the present. The collection includes photos from all bases that conducted Air Force basic training including Lackland AFB, Texas; Sampson AFB, N.Y.; Parks AFB, Calif.; Keesler Field, Miss.; Amarillo and Sheppard AFBs, Texas, and overseas.

Enlisted Art Gallery

The history of the United States military aviation has been thoroughly recorded over the past century, but the predominant focus has been on pilots and planners, commanders and contingencies, leaders and luminaries. The stories and contributions made by Air Force enlisted men and women have remained in relative obscurity until recently. Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, is changing this by exhibiting paintings telling the story of our enlisted men and women.

Air Force Enlisted Art Gallery Video

Lackland Officer Class Photo Project


A collection of officer training class photos from Lackland AFB.

These will include Aviation Cadets, Officer Candidate School and Officer Training School class photos from 1941 through 1993 (when the OTS mission left Lackland for Maxwell AFB, Alabama).