Welcome! During 1942 the U.S. Navy established or relocated many naval air training activities to Norman, Oklahoma and other near-by communities. These activities included the Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC), Naval Air Staion (NAS), United States Naval Hospital, Naval Air Gunners School (NAGS) in Purcell and two auxillary naval air stations in Shawnee and Clinton. This action was necessitated by urgency of World War II where America was caught off guard and unprepared. The Navy didn't stay long in Oklahoma closing down most activities at the conclusion of WWII. But its impact on the local communities is still felt over 75 years later. This website will document those activities, explore day-to-day life on these bases, the fate of the bases and much more. While this website was officially launched on January 1, 2019 it will require some time to fully build it out with detail. You can follow the progress in the Site News section on the left menu.
This website is dedicated to the memory of my wife's grandparents, Thomas Minadeo and his wife Lavonne (Claunch) Minadeo. The photo on the left was taken of them in 1945. Thomas Minadeo enlisted in the Marine Corps on December 5, 1942. After bootcamp training he was sent to NATTC, Norman, Oklahoma, during the summer of 1943 for 16 weeks of aviation ordnance training. His principle military duty during his time at NATTC was Projectionist 35mm 206. In addition to his ordnance training he operated a 35mm movie projector at one of the station's movie theaters. It was during this time he met Lavonne (Nanny) Claunch, a local Norman girl, at one of the base dances. He fell in love with her and told her that he would come back and marry her. After serving in the Pacific Area from October 27, 1943 to January 9, 1945 as a radio gunner he did just that. Gramps and Nanny, as family and close friends referred to them, were married on January 19, 1945. Thomas would continue to serve in the Marine Corps until December 1, 1945 when he was honorably discharged.
Click Here to see more about Thomas and Lavonne!
Checkout this sister website, Pop-up Camper History. This website explores the origins of the pop-up camping trailer and documents the manufacturers of such campers throughout the 20th century. Included are brochures, advertisements, patents and more. This website is WAY larger and infinitely more interesting than you might think!
Copyright ? 2019 Oklahoma Naval Air History
Website created by Joel Silvey, 2019