In 1917, the citizens of Pierce County, Washington approved a bond measure for $2,000,000 (equivalent to $42,301,299 in 2021) to buy 70,000 acres (283.28 km2) of land to be donated to the Federal Government for use as a military reservation. This land became Camp Lewis (and later Fort Lewis). Ten years later, in 1927, another bond measure was passed to establish an airfield just north of the military reservation. The airfield, named Tacoma Field, officially opened 14 March 1930.
On 28 February 1938 the airfield was officially transferred to the federal government. Three years after the transfer, on 3 July 1940, the airfield was renamed McChord Field, in honor of Colonel William Caldwell McChord, who had been killed in an accident near Richmond, Virginia on 18 August 1937.
According to the United States Census Bureau, it has a total area of 15.0 km2 (5.8 sq mi).
It is located adjacent to Lakewood, about 1 mi (1.6 km) south of Tacoma and 40 mi (64 km) south of Seattle. It was named in honor of Colonel William Caldwell McChord, former Chief of the Training and Operations Division in HQ Army Air Corps. Much of the base is a census-designated place (CDP), which had a population of 4,096 at the 2000 census.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,096 people, 1,004 households, and 978 families residing on the base. The population density was 272.7/km2 (706.5/mi2). There were 1,010 housing units, with an average density of 67.2/km2 (174.2/mi2).
There were 1,004 households, out of which 77.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 89.9% were married couples living together, 4.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 2.5% were non-families. 2.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 3.46 and the average family size was 3.49.
On the base the population was spread out, with 36.3% under the age of 18, 22.2% from 18 to 24, 39.5% from 25 to 44, 1.8% from 45 to 64, and 0.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females, there were 127.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 137.1 males.
The median income for a household was $35,319, and the median income for a family was $35,205. Males had a median income of $23,004 versus $22,216 for females. The per capita income for the base was $12,454. About 5.5% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under the age of 18 and none of those 65 and older. Source: (Wikipedia)