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Military Bases

Most military bases in the United States have always issued some form of identification to vehicles authorized to enter onto those installations. During the 1940s and ’50s the identification often took the form of special military license plates or license plate toppers unique to each base. Examples of such tags and toppers are known to survive from several, but not all, of the military bases which
existed within New Mexico at one time or another. Note: While the headquarters of the Ft. Bliss Anti-Aircraft Artillery and Guided Missile Center is in Texas, its missile firing range and most of its land area lies in New Mexico, so a tag from that base is included here as well.

Notes for Camp Luna plate: Located near Las Vegas, N.M., and formerly a New Mexico National Guard training camp, Camp Luna was used as a U.S. Army training camp during World War II. The letters ATC on the plate stand for Army Training Camp. Luna Army Air Field was co-located here.

Note for Holloman AFB plate: Holloman AFB was established in 1942 as Alamogordo Army Air Field. A Post Office was established there in 1944 with the name Monista, New Mexico, and carried that name until 1948 when both the base and the Post Office were renamed Holloman Air Force Base after the U.S. Air Force was created as a separate service branch.

The wrecked panel truck seen here is a U.S. Army vehicle from Hobbs Army Airfield. The wreck occurred off base in the late 1940s, in the town of Hobbs. Though the undated license plate is partially obscured by the taillight, the abbreviation at the top of it is believed to be U.S.H.A.A.F. Courtesy David L. Minton.
Photo Credits: Sandia Base, Carlsbad Army Air Field and Clovis Army Air Base courtesy Tom Allen. Roswell Army Air Field courtesy Walker Aviation Museum.  White Sands Proving Ground #884 courtesy White Sands Missile Range Museum. Fort Bayard courtesy Derek Heinzerling.  All others by Bill Johnston.


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