Vandenberg celebrates 48th birthday
By Airman 1st Class Erica Stewart, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 06, 2006
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Wednesday marked the 48th anniversary of this base actually being known as Vandenberg AFB.
Vandenberg was originally an Army post named Camp Cooke, in honor of Army Major General Philip St. George Cooke, and was activated in 1941 as an armored and infantry division training installation.
Although the construction of Camp Cooke continued well into 1942, troop training did not wait. The 5th Armored Division rolled into camp in February and March.
From August 1950 to February 1953, Camp Cooke was used as a training installation for units slated for combat in Korea, and as a summer training base for many other reserve units.
On October 4, 1958, Cooke AFB was redesignated Vandenberg AFB, honoring the late General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, the Air Force's second Chief of Staff.
The transition from Army camp to missile base solidified on December 16, 1958 when Vandenberg successfully launched its first missile, a Thor Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile.
Vandenberg set another record on February 28, 1959, when it launched the world's first polar orbiting satellite, Discoverer I. The launch vehicle for this mission consisted of a Thor/Agena combination.
Vandenberg has since continued to push forward, making leaps and bounds in the name of space and will continue to be a sterling example of excellence for Air Force Space Command.