The summer of 1942 work was begun on an air base in the Casper area. In four months, four thousand workers constructed two hundred buildings, laid utility lines, built streets and laid out runways heavy enough for the largest military planes. On August 15, 1942, the first plane landed at the base. The official opening was on September 1, 1942. Major James A. Moore, a World War I veteran, was commanding officer. The base was built to handle four thousand military personnel. It became a training area for B-24 Liberators. A massive range was created to the west of the base for bombing practice. The air base was officially designated as the Casper Army Air Base. The base served as a training center until it was closed on March 7, 1945. The field became the Natrona County International Airport. This replaced the first airport, Wardwell Field. Many former base personnel stayed in the Casper area helping the city to prosper in the post-war years.