Air Training Base Project

The Naval Reserve Air Base opened in July 1941 on the Lakefront at the area now occupied by the University of New Orleans. The next year, the base was designated a Naval Air Station and took on the task of training naval avaitors destined for active service in World War II. The base was built partly by the WPA and partly by the Navy, and its construction is well documented in the WPA Photograph Collection.

The caption for this photograph notes that WPA employed a crew of 1,000 workers in a rush to complete the base's runways and landing areas by June 1, 1941. The caption reads, "The two runways will be 3,000 feet long and 150 feet wide, and will be paved with a four-inch slab of asphalt. At each end will be an arch-shaped concrete turning area 100x200 feet in size." This photograph was taken on April 11, 1941.

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