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Runaway Bay in Wise County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Lake Bridgeport World War II Training Site

 
 
Lake Bridgeport World War II Training Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, August 10, 2019
1. Lake Bridgeport World War II Training Site Marker
Inscription.  When the U.S. was drawn into World War II in 1941 the federal government increased the number of training facilities across the nation. The area around Lake Bridgeport (built in 1931) made for an ideal site to train airmen and test equipment without undue impact on local residents. Lake Bridgeport served as an important military training site, designated as a bombing target area and auxiliary sea plane base for Eagle Mountain Lake Marine Corps Air Station (Tarrant County). Construction occurred generally in the northeast corner of the lake’s main body in September 1942, with an administration building, boathouse, seaplane ramp and parking, the ‘east hill stone target,’ and various floating targets. The site also hosted training and research activities including: amphibious troop gliders, night and day fighter-machine gun strafing, skip and dive bombing, and test area for the TDR (an early U.S. Navy radio controlled assault drone.)

Hundreds of U.S. Navy and Marine Aviation Pilots and Crewmen trained here. In tragic accidents during training in 1944, two Marine aviators, Lt. T. S. Wharton, Jr. and Cpl. A. J. Paleszewski, and later, a
Lake Bridgeport World War II Training Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, August 10, 2019
2. Lake Bridgeport World War II Training Site Marker
local guard, Thomas Troy Mitchum, died. Bombing runs were conducted daily at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:55 p.m., while night bombings could occur at any hour. Area-lit by magnesium flares suspended under parachutes, these flares would occasionally ignite a landowner’s pasture, which brought out neighbors to help extinguish the flames. Lake Bridgeport, as an auxiliary training site for Eagle Mountain Lake Air Station, provided valuable maneuvering room for aviators during the war. Both sites ceased operations after the war.
 
Erected 2015 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18227.)
 
Location. 33° 10.336′ N, 97° 51.642′ W. Marker is in Runaway Bay, Texas, in Wise County. Marker is on U.S. 380 0.3 miles east of Runaway Bay Drive, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 250 US-380, Bridgeport TX 76426, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Poolville United Methodist Church (approx. 13.6 miles away).
 
Categories. War, World II
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on August 14, 2019. This page originally submitted on August 14, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas. This page has been viewed 51 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 14, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas.
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