On June 25, 1950, four years after the Navy left the Sampson Training Center and while it was home to Sampson College, Communist North Korea invaded its neighbor to the south, the Republic of Korea. At the time Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, was the only Air Force basic training facility and was not equipped to handle the influx of enlistees. On November 14, 1950, the Navy officially turned over Sampson Training Center to the Air Force to serve as an additional training facility to prepare Americans for the Korean conflict.
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· Many of the abandoned buildings required rehabilitation to receive the new Air Force recruits. The Air Force sent 268 officers and airmen to Sampson on December 10, 1950, to work with the civilian contractors.
· The first group of recruits, Flight #1, began its eight weeks of basic training on February 1, 1951. During its peak period, Sampson Air Force Base was one of the largest basic training centers, housing 21,000 military and civilian personnel. Over the five years Sampson served as an air force base, 300,000 airmen received training here.
· At Chapel One (Royce Chapel in the Navy days) there was a rotating altar with three different faces to accommodate the Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish faiths during worship.
Prior to the Air Force's residence, the facilities at Sampson were briefly used to educate the overwhelming number of World War II veterans utilizing the newly established "GI Bill." From 1946 to 1949, Sampson College was a two-year, junior college jointly operated by Associated Colleges of Upstate New York.
· After the Korean War armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, the need to use Sampson Air Force Base as a recruit training center diminished. The base officially closed on April 12, 1956, and by October, there was no longer a distinct military presence here. Before New York State acquired the land in 1960 for a state park, most of the barracks and drill halls were sold, demolished, or salvaged for usable fixtures.