|Vultee SNV-1 tail number 12947 gets ready to taxi. Note the jaunty angle|
to the marshaller's cap....
A congressional study in 1938 found that the lack of training capacity in the Navy constituted an emergency, and so additional funds were allocated to establish additional Naval Air Stations that were focused on pilot training. The first class of pilots started their instruction at NAS Corpus Christi on May 5, 1941. One of the members of the third graduating class was a young aviator who would go on to garner fame as a torpedo bomber pilot, George H. W. Bush. Oh, and he became the Commander-in-Chief, too.
In the third stage of training, the pilots transitioned to the North American SNJ, the Naval version of the AT-6 Texan. The ones in our photo are SNJ-5s, which is what the Navy called the 1,573 AT-6Ds that were transferred from the Army.
To put the first two photos in perspective, check out this aerial view of the same hangars.