Filed Under Cut Bank

Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base

Nestled in the rolling hills and coulees within the boundaries of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, the Cut Bank Airport recalls a layered history. Cut Bank already had several private pilots when civil aviation laws began to appear in Montana in the late 1920s. With the local oil industry booming, Cut Bank dentist C. H. Minette realized a future need for private and commercial aviation. He began a tough battle to win services for Cut Bank. In 1930, officials selected this site and the land was leased as a private airfield. The Blackfeet allowed the city and Glacier County to purchase the land in 1941 and Western Airlines made its inaugural flight to Cut Bank. At the start of World War II, Cut Bank offered the airfield for government use. Cut Bank, Glasgow, and Lewistown became satellite airbases of the Great Falls Army Air Base. The first troops arrived in November 1942 and trained here through 1943. Two runways accommodated the B-17 Flying Fortresses on which the pilots and crews trained. Squadrons learned navigation, bombing techniques, and all aspects of the B-17 Flying Fortress before directly joining forces on the European front. Causalities were high and the need for crews unrelenting. Throughout the war, Western Airlines continued domestic service. In 1948, the army conveyed much of its property to Cut Bank and Glacier County. The structures and runways remain to tell the story of early aviation in Montana and of the young servicemen, warmly adopted into the community, who trained at Cut Bank.

Images

Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base. Front view of the Terminal Building, facing south to southwest from the hangar yard. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Apr. 2007
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base. Front view of the Hangar building, facing east to southeast from within the hangar yard near the Terminal building. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Apr. 2007
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base. Front to side view of the Hangar building, facing east to northeast from the edge of the hangar yard near the front lot of the Terminal building. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Apr. 2007
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base. Front/side view of the Recreation Hall, facing northeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Apr. 2007
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base. Front to side view of the Wash Stand facing the northeast on the airport grounds. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Apr. 2007
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base. Front to side view of the Dope House facing north to northeast. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Apr. 2007
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base. Front view of the Air Corps Warehouse facing west. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Apr. 2007
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base. Front view of the Quarter Master Warehouse facing northwest near the Air Corps Warehouse. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Apr. 2007
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base. Front to side view of the Post Engineer's Office facing northwest near the Quarter Master Warehouse. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Apr. 2007
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Corps
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Corps Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Corps. Front view of the Armament Building facing west. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Apr. 2007
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base
Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base. Front to side view of the Concrete Block Hangar facing the northwest near the Hangar. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Apr. 2007

Location

2625 Valier Highway, Cut Bank, Montana | Public

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Cut Bank Municipal Airport and Army Air Base,” Historic Montana, accessed May 20, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/616.