On June of 1944, Lt. Col Leon Robert Vance Jr. heroically flew a severely-damaged bomber into British waters after a botched bomb attack on German strongholds in France.
While pinned inside the bloodied cockpit of the plane, Vance miraculously escaped after an explosion blew him away from the sinking wreckage. Despite his injuries, he was able to swim to the shore and was picked up by British rescue personnel. On the way back to the US for additional treatment, Vance, including the plane and all on board, disappeared without a trace. The airbase in his hometown Enid was named Vance AFB in honor of his gallant service to the military.
Since Vance Air Force Base is a pilot training facility, most of its residents are students. On any given occasion, there are roughly 400 students studying at the facility. The total population inside the camp can easily reach 1500 when including contracted services that are comprised mostly of retired military personnel,. Recreation inside Vance Air Force Base consists of bowling, arts and crafts, theater, camping, golf, tennis, swimming, fishing, and stables. There is a medium-sized commissary, one shoppette, and a small exchange.
Children who live inside the base can walk a short distance to Eisenhower Elementary while junior high and high school students can ride the bus to school. There is an after-school hours Youth Activity Center which provides supervised activities for children. It is also open on summer vacation and during school holidays. There is also Vance Teen Center which is affiliated with the Boys and Girls clubs of America and the Youth of the Year.
For medical needs, the 71st Medical Group can provide immediate medical assistance. There are two downtown civilian hospitals which offer a full range of health services: St Mary’s Mercy Hospital and Bass Integris Hospital. These two hospitals accept military patients.
Managed by Pinnacle Hunt, family housing at Vance AFB has been privatized. All commissioned officers and enlisted personnel who are E-1 and above can apply for government housing.
The applicant should be eligible for Basic Allowance for Housing and must be on active duty. Permanent enlisted personnel can stay at the air-conditioned dormitories which have just recently been renovated. For temporary lodging, Vance Cherokee Lodge is right in the heart of the Air Force Base. The lodging has 10 family units, a laundry facility, playground, five VIP rooms, and the usual room amenities such as TV, remote, and DVD players.
The atmosphere in Vance AFB is family friendly and is designed to promote community cooperation through amenities including pools, playgrounds, parks, and the community centers. All the simple comforts needed by a family is available at Vance making it a great place to live, work, and play for families of various sizes.