Camp John Wise - San Antonio, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member WayBetterFinder
N 29° 29.118 W 098° 29.493
14R E 549290 N 3261862
Quick Description: During WW1, a US Army garrison was built north of San Antonio as an Observation Balloon School to train balloon pilots and crews to fly these aerial observation posts.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 8/10/2013 4:58:48 PM
Waymark Code: WMHRXE
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 4

Long Description:
About four miles north of downtown San Antonio, in an area now covered by the City of Olmos Park, the US Army built a short-lived balloon aerostation to teach pilots to fly large observation balloons during World War 1. The Army Balloon Section was one of the smallest units of the American Expeditionary Forces sent to Europe to fight in WW1. Few balloon units finished training before the end of the war, with fewer actually going overseas. The 42nd Balloon Company was one of the few that actually saw action on the front lines. Camp John Wise was named after "John Wise of Philadelphia, a pioneer balloonist who constructed a balloon in which he set a world distance record in 1869." The camp lasted from January 1918 until March 1919. When the Army closed Camp John Wise, 15 of the balloon companies were transferred to the new base, Brooks Field, on the southwest part of San Antonio, with the rest of the companies mustered out of the Army.

The WW1 Memorial marker is a large gray granite stone slab mounted on a concrete base at the edge of several Town & Country Optimist Little League baseball fields that McCullough Ave. passes by. South of the stop lights at the intersection of Basse Road, McCullough Ave is part of a three-way intersection with El Monte Blvd on the west and E. Contour Drive on the east of McCullough Ave. The memorial stone is engraved on only one side, that facing toward McCullough. It has the logo of the Army Balloon Section engraved at the top of the marker, followed by the text that reads:

One mile south of this site
at Olmos Drive and N. McCullough Ave.
was located between 20 January 1918 and 30 March 1919.
The 261 acre observation balloon school served as a
training area for the 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42,
43, 44, 45, 58, 61, 67, 72, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 93, 94, 95, 96,
97, 98, and 99th balloon companies many of which served
in France with the American Expeditionary Forces
in World War 1

National Association
American Balloon Corps Veterans

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