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CAMP JOHN WISE. Camp John Wise, a balloon training station on 261 acres of leased land four miles north of downtown San Antonio, was established on January 19, 1918. The United States Army Balloon School was transferred there from Fort Omaha, Nebraska. The personnel were quartered at Fort Sam Houston until March, when construction on their barracks was completed. The base reached a maximum strength of thirty-three officers and 1,800 enlisted men and was equipped with four balloons. The camp was named for John Wise of Philadelphia, a pioneer balloonist who constructed a balloon in which he set a world distance record in 1869. The base seems to have closed soon after World War I.


Robert E. Hays, Jr., Military Aviation Activities in Texas, World Wars I and II (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1963).

Art Leatherwood

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Art Leatherwood, "CAMP JOHN WISE," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.