The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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El Centro (115.559W 32.787N) is located in the Imperial Valley, one of the United States' premier truck crop farming regions. Cotton is also grown in the area. The Imperial Valley was the ancient delta of the Colorado River, which now drains into the Gulf of California further south. The Salton Basin in the northern part of the Imperial Valley has been periodically flooded by the Colorado River for millennia, but in 1901 mismanagement of irrigation canals lead to extensive flooding that produced the present Salton Sea. The Salton Sea has since been maintained by agricultural runoff, ironically supplying nutrients for a rich community of wildlife.
By 1941, there was a small civilian airstrip here. In
March 1942 the Marine Corps
announced its intention to convert the strip to a major training center here for
Marine aviators bound
for the Pacific, with facilitie for 80 aircraft. This was formally
activated on 23 July 1943 and had about 2500 Marine and Navy
personnel by war's end.
"Building the Navy's Bases" (accessed 2016-3-29)
and Shaw (1968; accessed 2016-3-29)
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