Earn Your Wings: Army Aviators  LbNA # 31427

Placed DateMay 20 2007
CountyPalo Pinto
LocationMineral Wells, TX
Planted ByTracy and Gil    
Found By
Last Found
Hike Distance?

The Earn Your Wings: Army Aviator Letterbox is a stamp carved as a memorial to all the soldiers trained at Camp Wolters/Fort Wolters during the 1940’s for World War II deployment.

In 1921 the 56th Calvary Brigade of the Texas National Guard was organized and used the Rock Creek-Mineral Wells areas as field training areas.
On October 13, 1940, the Department of Defense announced that Mineral Wells had been selected for location of an Infantry Replacement Center large enough to house 17,000 men. Officially on March 22, 1941, the camp was turned over to the Army and was named after General Wolters. The first trainees arrived on March 1, 1941. Training began on March 24 and the first rifle was fired on the 100 meter firing range. During the war years Camp Wolters was noted as being the nation's largest IRTC which at its peak housed 30,000 men at one time. From 1942-1945 a German prisoner of War Camp with about 300 soldiers was located in the center of the camp.
Camp Wolters Enterprises sold Camp Wolters property to the Air Force in 1950. The camp was reactivated and redesignated Wolters Air Force Base to house the newly formed Aviation Engineer Force which was established in April. The first contingent of Aviation Engineer trainees arrived in May and these SCARWAF (Special Category Army with Air Force) personnel were in training here until their mission function reverted to Army control. On July 1, 1956, Wolters Air Force was reverted to Army control with the mission to train helicopter pilots. In 1963 Camp Wolters was redesignated Fort Wolters. Five hundred to 550 helicopters were in the air at any given time. There were two thousand take-offs and landings daily, Monday through Friday. The training program for Warrant Officer Candidates was 4 weeks in pre-flight training, 16 weeks in primary training at Ft. Wolters and 16 weeks of advance training at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. Foreign nationals from more than 20 allied countries were trained at Fort Wolters along with 30 police officers from Washington, D.C. and Chicago. 40,000 helicopter pilots were trained from 1956 through 1974. In February 1, 1973, the helicopter school was transferred to the Army Aviation School at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.

We choose the Penitentiary Hollow area of Lake Mineral Wells State Park to hide this box for its significance in preparing our men for the war.

Lat: 32.820239 Long:-98.0271
Boulder Wall.
Top of 56.
4 bolts.
Turn around.
Parallellogram rock.
Look underneath backside of rock.
Large box.
Rehide well.
Be careful!

Locate the other 2 boxes located in this great state park.