The Ramey Air Force Base covered 3,796 acres in the northwest corner of Puerto Rico, near the town of Aguadilla. Construction started in 1937-38, and the base was finally closed in 1973.
For 35 years it was a Strategic Air Command (SAC) bomber base. It housed the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing with a two-mile runway, seventeen airplane hangars, and servicemen’s barracks.
July 4th, 1940 celebration at the Ramey Air Base
The base had its own elementary and high schools, hospital, officer’s club, swimming pool, and golf course.
The base was rumored to contain several underground missile silos for the “Truman atomic bomb.”
Ramey also housed a number of B-36 Peacemaker intercontinental bombers and KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling aircraft. Due to the size and weight of the B-36, the runway was large: 11,702 feet long and 200 feet wide, with an 870-foot “blast pad” at each end.
Throughout the Cold War era, and especially after the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Ramey was the staging ground for numerous clandestine military interdictions throughout Latin America.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Ramey Air Base was placed on the highest possible alert.
The base was de-activated in 1973, and converted into the Rafael Hernandez International Airport: a low-key facility with roughly 50 commercial flights per week.
Benicio Del Toro, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and other “celebrities” use Rafael Hernandez Airport to visit Puerto Rico on a low-key basis, and recreate themselves in the Rincón area of the island.
A nostalgic Ramey web site, with many historic photos, is maintained by the Ramey Air Force Base Historical Association.
It can be found here: http://rameyafb.net/
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
Si prefiere ver la página web en español por favor visite: http://www.guerracontratodoslospuertorriquenos.com