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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  February 7, 2015 5:48pm-6:01pm EST

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they just hate these officers. it is not fair pretty well there. he's sending correspondence back to a german-american residents of lancaster and to a man named caleb with whom he had lodged in lancaster. quakers often took in british officers. other locals were afraid to. even just launching a british officer who was on parole, that could tar you with loyal listener. -- loyalists. the fed answer your question? -- does that answer your question? ok. thank you very much. [applause] >> here are some of our feature programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span2's booktv tonight at 10:00, toby harnden on the
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british efforts in 2009 to stop the taliban advance in afghanistan while awaiting u.s. marines reinforcement. sunday at 10:00, a senior editor at millville house books on why his company decided to publish the u.s. torture report. on c-span3 former korean war pow's. charles ross, an army sergeant captured by the chinese and held as a pow from 1950 to 1953. just after 9:00, a look back at selma with eleanor holmes norton and bill plante. find our complete television schedule at let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us. email us. or, send us a tweet.
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join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> all weekend american history tv is featuring corpus christi texas. corpus christi started out as a small trading post in the mid-19th century and has transformed into a modern city with the fifth largest seaport in america. posted by our time warner cable partners, c-span's cities tour staff recently visited many sites showcasing the city's history. learn more about corpus christi all weekend here on american history tv. >> the naval station has a chairman is history that it's back even before 1941 when it
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was commissioned. in 1938, the navy did an investigation on the best suitable location for a naval air station. when the authorization came from congress to establish a naval air station, there were 12 in all, including corpus christi. this was the biggest and the best and it remains over these 75 years so vitally, critically important in the defense of the united states. >> paris, undefended, fell like a ripe plumb into the basket of conquest. >> world war ii having already
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begun, it just made clear the urgency of getting a naval air station. the funding was authorized to be $24 million. by the time they finished, it was well over $100 million. andrew bigger and bigger, and thus the need for additional auxiliary fields. eventually there would be five of them for the primary or intermediate or advanced training, instrument training. eventually this became the largest naval air station not just in the united states, but in the world. by the time of the dedication in march of 1941 the main station was 70% completed by that time. they already were bringing and cadets also at that time for the
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training. even after they had airplanes, they had cadets doing the ground school training. ♪ the very first cadet graduates november 1 1941, and then we had just about a month later until the attack at pearl harb or. everything would be changed. the very fact that so much had been done in preparation for a war that that again, the timing of the base and the coming of the war was an incredible part of the story. the initial requirements were very rigorous, requiring two
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years of college before they would accept the cadet training and by 1942, it was only required to be a high school graduate. imagine 1943 18-year-old george h walker bush became one of the men to receive their wings at 18 years of age they say perhaps the youngest of any cadets during world war ii to actually be commissioned. there were so many others, for example, 1944 there was john glenn, and among the most advanced of the graduates they would be marine aviators. everybody knows about bob barker. he became a radio and tv host "the price is right."
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he received his wings here in 1944. other things and more that you would expect from a top grade naval air station, that describes the naval air station corpus christi. it was a scene with the photographs at all, showing cadets. we were on the map, corpus christi, which had been kind of downtown earlier now becomes the place for naval aviation. that's kind of a sad story with such a rapid demobilization and the layoffs. there was a brief period when the base was virtually closed,
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and then finally reopened with the cold war, especially with vietnam and the helicopter repair work that was so critical for that conflict and all that was conducted here. ever since the 1960's and earlier in korea, the space has remained critically important for the national defense. >> this building is the headquarters building for the naval air station corpus christi. it is so named as building two because building one is the building that houses the commander of naval air training here on the base. sinatra is a command that does all of naval aviation training here in corpus christi and also in the pensacola area. there's a lot of other bases kingsville meridian, whiting
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field and sinatra runs naval aviation training for all those bases. they are headquartered here. they are our primary tenants. the purpose of the space is naval aviation training. upon commissioning from numerous sources, student aviators will initially go through pensacola for some ground school training, and then they will either go to pensacola or whiting field for primary training, or come down here to corpus christi for primary training. the primary training is where they learn how to fly. this is the initial point where they are getting into an aircraft and learning their craft for the first time. upon conclusion of the primary training, they will then based on their grades and needs of the navy, determination will be made on where they will go next. will they do jet training, maritime training, multiengine training, or helicopter training.
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those are the three courses. here at corpus christi, we train -- the training wing does training for roughly about 450 students are graduated each year. there's about 900 at any one time that are here. of that time, during the year you will have 400 or so that will go through primary training. there's about the same number to go to the maritime training. the change in training over the years from over the history of the life of this air station is not a lot of change, except for the technology. we have more advanced aircraft. there are faster, more maneuverable. the avionics are more advanced. the techniques have been honed over the years to be more efficient. the safety record is by and large much, much more improved.
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it was not uncommon in the 40's and 50's to have mishaps on a routine basis here. it was just part of the training. it was chalked up to that's kind of what happens. naval aviation took a quick turn as years went by to figure out how to make things better and safer and more efficient. i would say the number of trainees that we have now compared to the early history of the space, it definitely makes a difference that when this base started, 1941, we're looking at world war two. even with afghanistan and iraq and as things have gone on here lately, this country even then was not in the scale of a conflict as world war ii in the amount of ships, in the amount of aircraft needed to conduct such a conflict. not as many pilots are needed. technology makes the weapons
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the weapons systems of the aircraft themselves. everything is more advanced. you can do more with less. you need less battle groups less aircraft, less pilots in order to do not just the same mission, but even more and more advanced missions. we don't need as many students here doing the training as you would back in the 1940's or 1950's. i have been in the navy 23 years, based many places, and there is no where else i have been that provides better support for the military than the city of corpus christi. in 2016, we will be celebrating our 75th anniversary and that is something -- that kind of synergy between the military and the community here is something that really makes all of this work so well. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, wh


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