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Hoover Terminal: 1942

Hoover Terminal: 1942

Arlington, Virginia, 1942. "Washington-Hoover Airport terminal and Eastern Air Lines sign prior to demolition for construction of the Pentagon." Nitrate negative by Harold Lang. View full size.


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Location and name

In a horrible irony, this unsafe airport was at the exact location where a Boeing 757 was flown into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

The airport was named for Herbert Hoover when he was Secretary of Commerce prior to being elected President. It's not surprising that when President Roosevelt announced plans for Washington National Airport in 1938, the Hoover name was not transferred to the new facility two miles away.

After the Airport Closed

This page says that the building shown is in a configuration from an era after the airport closed and the building was used for the construction of the Pentagon.

New York, Chicago, and ... Brownsville?

The sign lists ten major or almost-major U.S. cities, along with Brownsville, which had a population of 22,083 in 1940.

Brownsville may have made the cut because it was the main connection for air traffic between and U.S. and Mexico. It was also a hub for pilot training during World War II.

Fright Plan

This airport had to be one of the worst situated in American aviation history -- between two (burning) landfills, the Potomac River, an amusement park with a tall roller coaster and a busy military road actually cutting through one of its later runways. Oh, and a pair of 600-foot radio towers. Famed pioneer aviator Wiley Post deemed it the worst and most dangerous in the nation during the 1930s. Which was saying something at the time. After decommissioning it gave way to what is now Reagan National Airport a short distance south.

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