The Millville Army Air Field (MAAF) was dedicated by the U.S. War Department as “America’s First Defense Airport” on August 2, 1941. It served as a gunnery school for fighter pilots, with training first conducted in the Curtiss P-40F Warhawk, then for most of the war, in the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. It was the Thunderbolt with which the MAAF ultimately came to be identified. It dominated the skies over the region and captured the imagination of all who lived and served here as a symbol of pride and victory. On the airfield alone, over 10,000 men and women served, with about 1,500 pilots receiving advanced training in the Thunderbolt.