Kelly AFB Space Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

On 5 April 1917, four aircraft took off from Fort Sam Houston, flew across San Antonio and landed on the new airfield, which at the time was a cleared cotton field. Tents had been erected as hangars, however a permanent presence at the airfield was not established until 7 May when 700 men arrived. A week later, the population had grown to 4,000. Construction of the facility was rapid, with the United States now at war and the mission of the new airfield was to train aviators to be sent to the Western Front in France. The ground was cleared and scores of buildings – hangars, barracks, mess halls, a street system, electrical and plumbing systems, warehouses, machine shops were all constructed during the summer.