Loring Series Part 2

Published: Aug. 17, 2016 at 10:33 AM EDT
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- One of the most recognized structures at Loring Air Force Base is the arch hanger. The arch hanger was one of the first buildings constructed at Loring. It was also once one of the largest arch structures in the world. When the base was open it was the major inspection area for the tankers and bombers on the base. One B52 and two KC 135's could fit inside the hanger at one time. Bill Ossenfort was the overall manager and supervisor in the hanger for the two phase docks. "We had two teams. We had a bomber phase and a tanker phase and they specifically worked on their aircraft here. Ossenfort said people loved working in the arch hanger. When it was sixty below outside the building was one of the warmest on the base. It made it very enjoyable in the cold northern Maine winters.

Not everyone on the base was able to escape the northern Maine winters. Bernard Lagasse worked on the flight line. He remembers it getting so cold some winters that they had to work in a buddy system. "It would be like twenty below and you would go out five, ten minutes, I don't remember what the time was but you got so cold you would run back in the truck and someone else would take your spot." Lagasse also remembers the hours it took to remove the snow from the planes. He says it was hard work but rewarding work.

Looking at the flight line today it is hard to picture what it looked like with airplanes taxiing in and out. "This was just a moving place, If people could see it now the people that were here from years ago and I am sure there are a lot of veterans that haven't seen it what it looks like now. You need to come up here. Take a look at it now. The memories. It will bring back a lot of memories for a lot of people."

Ossenfort also talked about memories in the arch hanger. "It always does. I see things and remember things we used to do in here and the people and how close everybody was up in this area. While the veterans that lived and served here at Loring might not always remember the days, they will always remember the moments.