Harvard Army Air Field, located two miles northeast, was one of eleven army air forces training fields in Nebraska during World War II. The 1,759-acre base included runways, hangars, barracks, and fuel and munitions storage. Construction began in September 1942, and the airfield was activated in December. The coming of several thousand military personnel and civilian workers caused an acute housing shortage and stressed other local services. The 447th Bombardment Group (B-17s) and the 484th Bombardment Group (B-24s) were the first to train at Harvard. Later, the 505th, 501st, 45th, 376th, and 476th Bombardment Groups trained here in B-29s. The first two groups from Harvard were sent to Europe. Two of the B-29 groups went to the Pacific. Harvard was proud to help win the war and support the brave young men who risked their lives defending the United States. Lifelong friendships developed, and several servicemen returned to marry local girls and raise families in Nebraska. On May 20, 1946, Harvard Army Air Field was declared surplus and later transferred to Nebraska for use as a state airfield and for agriculture.