Three years before the United States entered World War II, Congress found that a lack of aviation training facilities constituted a grave situation for our nation. It recommended the establishment of a second air training station, and that it be located on Corpus Christi Bay.
As a result of their foresight, NAS Corpus Christi was commissioned on March 12, 1941, and flight training began in the Coastal Bend area on May 5, 1941, just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In its first year, 800 instructors provided training for more than 300 cadets a month. The training rate nearly doubled after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and, by the end of World War II, more than 35,000 aviators had earned their wings at Corpus Christi, contributing significantly to the success of America’s naval operations.
Air training continued to be the primary mission for the base after the war with Naval Air Training Command headquarters moving to Corpus Christi in 1972; but the base also began gaining other critical missions. In 1961, the Army established what is now the largest helicopter repair depot in the world.
Today there are more than 40 tenant commands and activities located on NAS Corpus Christi. The air training program is much longer than when it was established in 1941 - approximately 18 months due to the increased complexity of today’s aircraft - and far fewer pilots here receive their Wings of Gold - about 600 newly qualified aviators each year.
Today the base is the major hub of military activity in South Texas. More than 8,300 employees from all parts of the country - military from all branches of the service, civil service employees and contractors - now work at NAS Corpus Christi. All work together to support our national defense.