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First class of army aerial navigators arrives in San Marcos


On this day in 1943, the first class of military aerial navigators arrived at San Marcos Army Air Field. Texas was at the forefront of aviation training during World War II, and some ten thousand navigators were eventually trained in the state. During the Korean War, SMAAF was the largest helicopter training base in the United States. In 1953 the installation was renamed Gary Air Force Base, in honor of 2d Lt. Arthur Edward Gary, the first San Marcos resident killed in World War II. The base was transferred to the army in 1956 and renamed Camp Gary. It was closed in 1963. The site is now used as the Gary Job Corps Center and San Marcos airport.

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