Luke Air Force Base, located 20 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix, Ariz., was named for 2nd Lt. Frank Luke, Jr., a Phoenix native and World War I   pilot.

Construction of an Army Air Corps advanced training facility for fighter pilots began in March 1941.

The facility officially became Luke Field in June 1941, when 45 students of class 41F arrived for training in the AT-6. The class graduated Aug. 15, 1941.

During WWII, Luke produced 17,231 graduates from advanced single-engine and fighter- training programs.

Student pilots progressed from the AT‑6 trainer to the P-40, practicing aerial combat over the Ajo Auxiliary Airfield, later known as the Gila Bend Gunnery Range and renamed in March 1987 as the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range. By the time the base closed Nov. 30, 1946, pilot production had dropped to only 299 pilots that year.

Reactivated as Luke Air Force Base under Air Training Command Feb. 1, 1951, the base became home to the 127th Pilot Training Wing, which flew F-84 jet fighters. The 127th PTW was defederalized and the 3600th Flying Training Wing was activated as the Luke host wing Nov. 1, 1952.  When Luke was transferred to Tactical Air Command on July 1, 1958, the parent wing became the 4510th Combat Crew Training Wing.

Between 1969 and 1980, Luke saw many changes in designation of the host unit, although the primary mission of training fighter pilots for the combat Air Force remained. Overseeing the mission were the 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing, 405th Tactical Training Wing and the 832nd Air Division.

Under a major Air Force reorganization program, the 832nd AD and the 405th TTW were inactivated Oct. 1, 1991, and the redesignated 58th Fighter Wing once again became Luke’s host unit,

 In order to preserve the most historic units and maintain Air Force legacy during the draw- down, the 58th FW was reassigned to Kirtland AFB, N.M., and the 56th Fighter Wing transferred to Luke from MacDill AFB, Florida., on April 1, 1994. During World War II, the 56th destroyed more enemy aircraft and produced more aces than any other unit in the 8th Air Force.

The 56th FW trains pilots in the F‑35A Lightning II and the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Since 1941, Luke has produced over 59,000 graduates from fighter training programs for the US and its allies and is truly: “Fighter Country.”

Tenant units at Luke include the Air Force Reserve’s 944th Fighter Wing, which provides F-16 and F-35 qualification training.


Air Park Map

The Air Park is located directly south of Club Five Six.
The Club has room for bus parking.


Medal of Honor Memorial