Sampson Army Airfield
Sampson Army Airfield: The Air Force spent about $6 million on renovations and beginning mid Feb 1951 started traing what
would be 16,000 Air Force recruits. The base employed about 700 civilians and had 600 permanent party troops. The Base was
closed in June 1955. Starting in 1957 to 1960 the Air Field and some Officer Housing on the lake shore (449 acres) were
transferred to the Seneca Army Depot, the hospital, now listed as 1,000-beds was transferred to Willard State Hospital
(dated 9 Sep 1958 and filed 24 June 67), and 1265 acres of the Station were sold to NYS for park use 7 June 1960 (two
parcels totaling 355 acres were auctioned to private individuals). One of the old rifle ranges is still used by the Town Police.
The Station was used by NYS for use as a temporary college for 15,000 GI Bill students in July 1946. (5 barracks
were moved to Hobart in Geneva, 7 were moved to Syracuse University) Sampson College operated from September 1946 to
June 1949 and had matriculated 7,500 students of which 950 received two-year degrees.
In March 1950 Sampson was proposed to be a State Park, but by October it was determined that the Air Force
wanted it for training. The Center was transferred to the Air Force, for use as an indoctination center similar to
Lackland AFB in San Antonio. Willard vacated the hospital area.
Sampson State School. The former hospital area was operated as a State School by Willard. In 1971 the State
closed the School due to budget cuts. While empty a fire destroyed most of the main hospital complex. Contaminated
by asbestos the site was cleaned and is still owned by the Department of mental Hygiene but remains vacant.
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military
February 21, 2006