Dyess Air Force Base, initially known as Abilene Army Airbase, came into existence in 1942 as a temporary war effort location during World War II. However, it wasn't until the Korean War that the local community successfully lobbied for its permanent presence. With Senator Lyndon B. Johnson's support, the community raised over $800,000 to purchase land for the base, which was subsequently renamed Dyess Air Force Base in honor of Lt. Colonel William Dyess. Dyess, hailing from nearby Albany, Texas, tragically died in a plane crash while refusing to abandon his aircraft to prevent civilian casualties.
Dyess Air Force Base is a source of pride for Abilene, housing the 7th Bomb Wing and the 317th Airlift Group. It is set to become the new home for the B-21 Raiders in the coming years. Visitors can explore the Dyess Memorial Museum and Dyess Linear Air Park, which offers a captivating journey into the history of Dyess Air Force Base and Abilene Army Airfield. The Air Park boasts an impressive collection of 34 U.S. Air Force and Army Air Corps historic aircraft on static display, providing insights into bombers, aerial refuelers, cargo planes, trainers, fighters, and more.