Congress authorized Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point on July 9, 1941, with an initial appropriation of $14,990,000 for construction and clearing of an 8,000-acre tract of swamps, farms and timberland.
Actual clearing of the site began on August 6, 1941, with extensive drainage and malaria control work. Construction began in November just 17 days before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The December attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese lent urgency to the completion of the complex, located in Craven County between New Bern and Morehead City.
On May 20, 1942, the facility was commissioned Cunningham Field, named in honor of the Marine Corps' first aviator, LtCol Alfred A. Cunningham. The completed facility was later renamed Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, after a local post office situated among cherry trees.
Cherry Point's primary World War II mission was to train units and individual Marines for service to the Pacific theater. The air station also served as a base for anti-submarine operations, with an Army Air Corps and Navy unit each being responsible for the sinking of a German U-boat just off the North Carolina coast during 1943.The Below Photos are from a booklet, dated September, 1944. The booklet was rescued from a thrift shop in San Bernardino California.
Assembly and Repair Hangar
Brigadier General L. G. Merrit
Base Officer's Quarters
Colonel P. E. Conradt (September 1944)
Control Tower Base Operations
Officer's Club Boating
Women's Marine Reservists, F6F Hellcat
Women's Marine Reservists, Mess Hall
Women's Marine Reservists, 1944
Women's Marine Reservists, Recreation Building