CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The National Park Service recently posted on their website that Corpus Christi and the surrounding area has been designated as an American World War II Heritage City.
Scott Cross, director of Coastal Parks for Nueces county, had spearheaded the effort to get this designation in May 2022.
The idea of designating cities was signed into law by President Trump in 2019. In September 2020 Wilmington, N.C was the first community designated a World War II Heritage City.
According to their website, the National Park Service only awards this designation to one community in each state with a major contribution to the American war effort during World War II.
These communities must also actively work to preserve its military legacy to be considered for the designation.
The Corpus Christi area played many significant roles in the World War II effort.
The Naval Air Station (NAS-CC) was considered the "University of the Air" with six auxiliary stations around the Coastal Bend, including Kingsville, Beeville. NAS CC was the largest naval training facility in the world, graduating over 35,000 pilots during World War II. Notable pilots that trained here in the Coastal Bend are President George H. W. Bush, and astronaut and Senator John Glenn.
Beyond the great contributions of Naval Air Station, the people of Nueces County purchased over $50 million in war bonds between 1941 and 1945.
Since the war, Coastal Bend residents have taken great pride in the region's contributions. Landmarks such as the USS Lexington Museum, historical markers, parks, statues, archives, organizations, and public ceremonies honor the contributions of the men and women that made this region such an integral part of the war effort.
An official announcement will be made Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. at the Del Mar College Center for Economic Development, room 106.