I was wondering around downtown Tampa yesterday, as I had some spare time and it was a lovely day. I happened upon MacDill Park on the Riverside. It seems that Tampa was selected in 1939 to be an Army Air Corps Base.
It was to be known as the Southeastern Air Base. While theyt were constructing the base, the came upon so many rattlesnakes (shudder) that they established a rattlesnake cannery-the first of it's kind int he world.
The base was officially deciated as MacDill Field in 1941. It was named after Colonel Leslie MacDill who was a distinguished member of the U.S. Army Air Corp in World War I. He was killed in an untimely airplane crash (Aren't they all untimely?). The Army honored his memory by naming the base after him.
The first commander at MacDill Field was Colonel Clarence Tinker-who also has a base nmed after him-Tinker Air FOr Base in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The base has been in continuous operation since opening. Currently there are voer 50 mission partners utilizing the base for various issions and portions of missions undertaken by our armed forces.
The park downtown is dedicated to all those who have and still do serve.