was conceived during the late 1930s, and congress appropriated funds
in 1940 for the acquisition of land for bombing and gunnery ranges.
Wendover was selected because the Great Salt Lake desert with its shimmering
salt flats and other vast uninhabited terrain.
The Army Air
Corps received 1,822,200 acres and Wendover was established as a sub-post
of Fort Douglas on 12 August 1941, when a bombing and gunnery range
detachment arrived. Construction began in November 1940 and was completed
in 1943; it included a pipeline to a spring at Pilot's Peak, thus ending
a water shortage. Wendover Army Air Base was activated on 28 March 1942
as a B-17 and B-24 heavy bombardment training base.
were completed and training facilities were scarce when the 306th Bombardment
Group arrived on 6 April 1942. A city of salt and other targets were
built on the Bonneville Salt Flats by the range detachment. They also
installed an electrical system for night illumination and built a machine
gun range north of town.