Air Force Academy Site Selection

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Air Force Academy Site Selection - / Fog Cleared Air Force Secretary-Talbott...
/ Fog Cleared Air Force Secretary-Talbott Saturday denied he'had ruled out Randolph AFB SLS a site for the air academy while reporting favorably on a second San \Antonio location. Upset over the interprettio given an off-the-record com ment he made Friday at" small gathering in Plaza note the air chief issued a statemen he had made no decision regarc ing Randolph as an academj site At the same time Talbott declared he was "favorably im pressed" with the San Antpnic area and told his special assist ant, Brig. Gen. Hubert Harmon he consider the military reser vation containing Camp Bulli a good location for the air school. Word Choice Harmon asserted: "The secretary wishes it known that he was speaking off the record and thence was not meticulous in his choice of words." Harmon, retired San Antonio reneral recalled to active* duty :o help .the air secretary select an academy location, coninued: "Tlie idea the secretary was trying to express was that if we started this academy from „ our master plan, with all ne\v and permanent buildings, then Randolph naturally wouldn't fit into that plan." The general added: "Secretary Talbot told me that, considering such construction, Camp Stanley looked like a favorable location v for it. It looked good as a virgin site." Lieon Springs (Harmon was referring to the -eon Springs military reserva- ion, a 30,588-acre tract of land northeast of San Antonio which ontains Camp Stanley and 3ullis. Both are subposts of the rmy's Ft. Sam Houston.) At the same time, Harmon ointed out, Talbott still consid- rs Randolph as a possible caclemy site, either as a permanent school if congress oesn't authorize funds for all- ew construction or a tempo- ary school while the permanent caclemy is a-building. Harmon declared: "Mr. Talbott said lie certainly did not mean., to ex- elude Randolph as a possible location for the academy as evidenced by the fact that he hadn't even been to Randolph when he spoke." Views Randolph Meantime, the air force boss Weave ^ * Sq, Yd. spent Saturday morning at Randolph with Brig., Gens. James H. Davies and Edward J. Kendricks and Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bonn. The secretary was reported to be "greatly upset" over the report he had ruled out Randolph as a possible academy site. Talbott was asked for confirmation or denial of the report and replied with a prepared statement. Noting the statement did not contain direct oniment from the secretary, Talbott's aide, Lt. .Col. Henry Hogan, quipped: "He's not making any direct quotes any more." The formal statement which Talbott approved for release to .he press read: "Secretary of the Air Force Harold E. Talbott spent the day Friday looking at air force installations in the San Antonio area. He visited Kelly and Lackland AFB's and viewed the entire area- surrounding the city from the air during- a helicopter tour. No Decision "Mr. Talbott spoke informally last night (Friday)' about the various locations in the San Antonio area which had been mentioned as possible air academy sites. With Gen. Harmon, he spent Saturday morning: inspecting Randolph AFB as a possible tern- porary or permanent site for the air force academy. "Mr. Talbott stated today that he had no intention of making a decision of any Io- cation until after the bill authorizing- an air force acad- emv is enacted Into law "He added that he had been favorably Impressed by the San Antonio area." Regarding the reported impression Talbott seemed to, avor a site in Indiana for the! icaclemy, Hogan shook his head ind asserted: ' 'They jnust have picked that one out of thin air." To Houston Talbott,-Hogan and Harmon eft Randolph Saturday noon or a private luncheon date in Houston. They were to be in Washington Monday. .Ep route they planned to isit the v air secretary's brother n St. Louis and to fly over another proposed academy site at Lake Texoma if weather permitted. Until Talbott's visit, San Anonio itself had ruled out the Springs military reserva- ion as a possible academy site. The' chamber of commerce°re- ently elected to forget the area nd to boom Randolph and a ract adjoining Lackland, in- tead. The air secretary first ex- ressed interest in the Leon •prings site Friday in a brief- ng by Ma]. Gen. Clements Mc- tfullen, Kelly commander, be- ore inspecting the San Anonio area by helicopter. Most Kemote The Leon Springs site, 24 niles northwest of San Anonio, is the largest and most emote of the three possible ocations originally ear-marked y the chamber for the air chool. Camp Stanley was used dur- ng World War/I as an officer raining camp. The entire reser- ation, generally termed Camp Bullis," is now used for ccasional army maneuvers and veapons research. - c -

Clipped from
  1. San Antonio Light,
  2. 14 Feb 1954, Sun,
  3. Page 12

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