Maxwell Air Force Base celebrates 100th birthday

(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Apr. 6, 2018 at 5:54 PM CDT
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Relatives of Lt. Maxwell attend Maxwell's 100th-year ceremony. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Relatives of Lt. Maxwell attend Maxwell's 100th-year ceremony. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Maxwell Air Force Base is celebrating a major milestone, its 100th birthday.

"There are not that many Air Force bases in the Air Force that actually reach their centennial, so the fact that we get to do this is pretty neat," Capt. Whitney Bertsch said.

Maxwell will celebrate its centennial all weekend long. The celebration began on Friday afternoon with the dedication of the Tuskegee Room, a place to honor the Tuskegee Airmen.

After that, guests were given a brief history of the Air Force base at a ceremony. Sitting in the front row were a few members of Lt. Maxwell's family, the man for whom it's all named.

"Our grandmother and William Maxwell's father were brother and sister," explained Linda Ellison.

"My grandfather and Lt. Maxwell's father were brothers," Paul Maxwell added.

Paul Maxwell never met Lt. Maxwell but said he was told stories of his relative while growing up.

"I remember the story of his plane crash and the fact that the base was named after him," the relative recalled. Recognition of Lt. Maxwell at the ceremony was a moment of honor.

"It's an important milestone in our family, of course, and even more so an important milestone in the base's history and the history of the Montgomery area and what an important part it plays in the Montgomery economy," Maxwell said.

The celebration will continue all weekend.

On Friday night, the Montgomery Biscuits will pay tribute to the base's 100-year celebration with a military-themed game against the Biloxi Shuckers, and on Saturday there will be a centennial bash from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Riverfront Park.

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