Ellsworth AFB FAQ

Installation Info: Zip Code: 57706, Area Code: 605, DSN: 675

During a warm summer day in 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower landed at an Air Force Base in South Dakota to perform a heart-wrenching task. Eisenhower came to the base, 10 miles northeast of Rapid City, to dedicate it to a dead general. Usually bases are named after pilots or soldiers who die in wars or terrible accidents. Eisenhower dedicated Ellsworth to honor not merely a single soldier but also an entire crew of 23 people who died in a plane crash.

Brig. Gen. Richard E. Ellsworth, an officer at what is now Ellsworth, and his crew were killed in one of the worst peacetime tragedies in history when his plane fell from the sky over Newfoundland and killed all on board. It was to honor Ellsworth, his crew and the courage with which all soldiers face risks almost daily while serving their country that Eisenhower dedicated Ellsworth to the fallen general.

The Douglas School System runs all schools in the base area. The 28th Medical Group provides health care at its 15-bed hospital, which operates under the Tricare System. Those looking for fun or exercise can find it at the bowling lanes; fitness center; stables; pools; theater; auto and wood shops; and golf course. Off base, there are several national parks and forests around Rapid City; most prominent among them is the Black Hills National Forest. And anyone who visits the area should take time to see the Mount Rushmore National Monument.