Merry Christmas from Este
The Este Ripples - December 1941
RAPID CITY GETS $8,500,000 AIR BASE
Something new has been added to the Rapid City Christmas. That city, approximately 23 miles south and east of our camp, has been selected as the site for an $8,500,000 air base.
It is one of the seven cities in the United States chosen for this purpose.
It will be a training center for Army's bomber pilots.
At least 4,000 men be stationed there and there will be an annual payroll of approximately $2,000,000.
The municipal airport will be used as a nucleus. The base will cover 1,400 acres, in addition to a 750 square mile gunnery range and bombing range to be located south of the Badlands National Monument.
Contracts are expected to be let in January for construction of the base. A huge concrete apron will be laid for a width of 150 feet & a length of 6,000 feet. That will be a take-off over a mile long, such for long run being necessary for bombers.
A central apron will also be laid. A group of 200 buildings will be erected.
The base is expected to be completed in six months.
This is a matter of vital interest not only to this general area but also to a group of CCC camps about here. If the arrangements can be made thru liaison with the employment agencies and the contractors, it may be possible for both junior and veteran enrollees to secure employment.
There are some skilled carpenters in the company. Other men know plumbing, or roofing work. Other unskilled, but of dependable character, might secure jobs as watchmen, tool checkers, timekeepers, or laborers. Truck drivers, too, should be able to get work.
It is very gratifying to see that the state of South Dakota is getting some of the defense projects. The Bad Lands is an ideal spot for a gunnery range and a bombing field. In this connection, it is possible that guards may be needed to be alert for autoists and truckers who might inadvertently et on the range. Such guards may be of a civilian status; more chances for a job.
Congratulations, Rapid City – it was a fine Xmas present for you all.