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Kelly Field gets its wings

April
05
1917

On this day in 1917, the first planes landed at Kelly Field, San Antonio. The site was selected in 1916 to expand the facilities of the fledgling Aviation Section of the Army Signal Corps. It was initially called Aviation Camp, then Kelly Field, and finally Kelly Air Force Base. During World War I almost all American combat aviators earned their wings at Kelly, which expanded dramatically. In 1928 the movie Wings was filmed at the base. World War II brought further changes, and the base became a major logistical center for the separate United States Air Force in the postwar period. In 1993 came news that the base was to be closed. At the time, Kelly was the oldest continuously operating flying base in the United States, and was the largest employer in San Antonio. Subsequently, the massive Kelly Air Force Base Redevelopment project converted the base to a business and industrial park, a process to be completed in 2001.

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