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Chron.com / Houston Chronicle July 26, 2017

Vintage World War II photos show Texas military base preparing for war

By Craig Hlavaty

A collection of photos from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi during World War II shows the American and Texas war effort at full speed.

Construction of the base was completed on June 30, 1941 and by 1945, as the war wound down across the globe, its cost had exceeded $100 million.

The base had 977 buildings and bridges that connected it to Corpus Christi proper. A railway was also constructed. All this was done with nearly 10,000 employees from the area, meaning it also provided a boom for the Corpus Christi economy.

The base was just one of the military marvels that popped up when WWII began to take shape and the United States edged closer to entering the fray. Within months of the base's June completion, Pearl Harbor was attacked and the country was plunged into war.

Future President of the United States George H.W. Bush earned his wings at the base in June 1943.

According to the Texas State Historical Association, by 1950 the base would contain a United States Naval Hospital, the United States Naval School of All-Weather Flight, the Fleet Logistic Air Wing, Acceptance, Test and Transfer Unit.

In the years after the war, action at the base began to be moved east to Florida. It was briefly the home of the Blue Angels in the 1950s as well.

According to GlobalSecurity.org, NAS Corpus Christi's tenants include the Corpus Christi Army Depot, Chief of Naval Air Training, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Drug Enforcement Agency, a Medical Naval Hospital, Mine Warfare Command, and a Defense Distribution Depot.

To this day it is an active military base and a source of pride for Corpus natives who have either served on the base or have family members who were a part of the base family over the years.

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