Life at Chanute

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These exhibits describe life at Chanute over the years and the roles of various military and civilian organizations on base:

                 

This exhibit depicts a typical barracks scene on base. The left-hand side of the diorama contains artifacts from the 1940s and the right-hand side contains ones from the 1950s. The windows used in the exhibit are from original barracks buildings built at Chanute Field in the 1940s.

 

 

 

 

 

During the late 1930s and early 1940s, a major expansion and reconstruction program was undertaken at Chanute Field. Construction included a new Headquarters building, complete with new furnishings for the Commander's office. Those furnishings remained in use by succeeding commanders until base closure in September 1993. As the Air Force ended activities and departed, the Commander's office was allowed to remain in place as a part of the rich heritage that was Chanute Air Force Base. This exhibit recreates the Commander's Office using the authentic furnishings used by commanders for more than five decades prior to base closure. We gratefully acknowledge the many personal mementos provided to us by some of the former commanders and their families for this exhibit.

This exhibit depicts the role of the YMCA and American Red Cross in maintaining morale at Chanute. Artifacts displayed include a Red Cross female volunteer's uniform, a base pass issued to a civilian for a dance at Chanute during the war, and Red Cross rules and membership card from World War II.

 

 

 

 

 

     
The first hospital at Chanute Field opened in 1917. The hospital was composed of: one x-ray room, forty cots, one operating room, and one kitchen. Services in the hospital consisted of: basic care, care for the common cold, delivery of newborns, and dental work--filling and extracting teeth. Airmen and their dependents received medical care from the Chanute Field Medical Staff. Retired servicemen also received medical care at the Chanute Field Hospital.
This exhibit describes the history of Chanute's medical care from 1917-1993. Artifacts include: a nursing uniform from Chanute in 1942, a dental chair from Chanute's last dental clinic, and various surgical tools and equipment from Chanute's hospital and dental clinic.

This exhibit displays the history of food service at Chanute. The room features the original chow line from Mathias Hall, mess tins used in 1941, menus, and a 1946 U.S. Army recipe book.
At the time of Chanute's closure in 1993, base mess halls were serving 181,000 meals per month. During World War II Chanute's mess halls were serving 75,000 meals per day.

 

 

 

During Chanute's history several military and civilian groups were formed to aid in the morale of the many people who were stationed here. Whether it was going to the base theater or spending time during the holidays with a local Rantoul family, Chanute provided its personnel with all the comforts of family life.

 

 

 

 

     
In this exhibit visitors are shown the role of the base Chaplain at Chanute and elsewhere in the U.S. armed forces. It also describes the history of chapels at Chanute from 1938 to 1993. Artifacts in the exhibit include a USAF Chaplain's uniform, prayer books, and a church newspaper. Chanute AFB offered religious services and guidance for airmen of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish religious denominations.

The Timeline Hallway covers the history of Chanute from 1917 through closure in 1993. Various significant events and people are highlighted down through the years.

 

 

This exhibit shows examples of many of the uniforms worn by the men and women of the Army Air Service, Army Air Corps, Army Air Forces, and United States Air Force from 1917 to 1993.