Marine Corps Air Station activated 1941 as Cunningham Field for first
USMC aviator A.A. Cunningham. MCAS Cherry Point since May 1942.
During the summer of 1940 the Marine Corps conducted a
search along the U.S. East Coast for a suitable site for an air station.
The search brought them to an area in Craven County on the Neuse River
between Hancock and Slocumb Creeks. There they created, in a matter of
months, a self-contained city of 20,000. Rep. Graham Barden
was the project's leading advocate in the Congress, which appropriated
forty million dollars in 1941 for construction purposes. On September
4, 1941, the facility was designated “Cunningham Field at Cherry Point,
North Carolina,” in honor of Lt. Col. Alfred A. Cunningham, the first
Marine officer to become an aviator.