In June of 1940, near the city of Corpus Christi, in South Texas, the Navy began building a fifty million dollar project which was to be the World's Largest Naval Air Station.
Today, nearing completion, this project costing more than one hundred million dollars, has expanded far beyond the dreams of its original planners.
From one Naval Air Station with several outlying fields, it has developed into a Naval Air Training Center consisting of a Naval Air Station and six Auxiliary Naval Air Stations; Rodd, Cabaniss, Cuddihy, Kingsville, Walderon, and Chase Fields, and all their outlying fields.
Commissioned in March of 1941, thousands of young men thoroughly trained as Naval and Marine Aviators, have passed through the gates of this vast center en route to important assignments throughout the world.
Upon arrival at this center, all cadets spend a few days checking in and being indoctrinated. Following this, they begin their basic flight training and ground school. After satisfactorily completing this phase of their training, they move on to the instrument squadrons and more ground school.
With the link trainers and hood flying of instrument training and all ground school behind them, they are ready for their specialized or advanced squadron.
Previously they had signified their choice, which may be either fighters, dive-bombers, torpedo bombers, scouting and observation, patrol planes, or land-based bombers.
Guy's assessment of Corpus shortly after his arrival:
"Everything is quite different down here. The food is much better and the living quarters are swell. Instead of living in a big barracks with about fifty men to a big room we have four men to a room here. The rooms are about 12 ft wide and about 24 ft long. There are four closets, four dressers, four medicine cabinets, etc. so that sort of stuff is definitely individual.
Another thing I like about it is the way they treat the Cadets. They're more strict on us here, but they do treat you as though you were a future officer and not the scum of the earth as it was in Dallas.
We also have a daily swim. We have two Physical Ed. classes each day and one of them is an hour of swimming. Imagine - November and still swimming. Of course, it's just as hot here now as it was in Dallas in August. They felt that being a good swimmer is just as important as anything else - and I guess it is - since we're in the Navy.
You should have been here yesterday. We had a big review. There were 8 companies (200 men in a company) on review yesterday afternoon. Just think - 1600 men dressed in blues (like the suit I wore) on review. Gee, it was beautiful. The company I'm in won first place in the competition. And we were all the 'new boys' here. We surely made some of the upper classmen feel funny. They had no idea the 'new boys' would or even could win. But we showed 'em how it was done."
Barely a week later, Guy had this to report:
"Well, we moved again yesterday. We're across at another field from where we were. We had to come over here to do our night flying. I think I'm going to like night flying just fine. It's so different from any of the flying I've done here-to-fore. I'll let you know more about it when I get farther along.
My class marched over to the pool today to take a 2 1/2 hour swimming lesson. They're teaching the fellows the different strokes, kicks, etc. After fifteen minutes, the swimming instructor told me I could leave because I could easily pass any swimming the Navy would give me. So, I went over to the gym and spent two hours of boxing, punching bag, etc. I've been boxing every day since I've been down here. It's quite an art - I'll tell you for sure. Outside of sore jaws, and scuffs now and then, I'm enjoying it to the utmost. Might be a good thing to know someday, too.
Mother sent me the picture of the fellows on one of our obstacle courses. There are some twenty such outfits in the whole course. When you get to the end of that outfit at breakneck speed, you know you've been somewhere. You're so dead, you don't know where, but you know you've been. That boxing, swimming, etc. will really put you in shape. And I'm not kiddin'!! Wow --!!"