The very beginning of a military base in Myrtle Beach can be traced to a meeting of the Myrtle Beach Town Council on October 16, 1939. At that meeting, the Council agreed to purchase 135 acres for a municipal airport, and at the next meeting, named the new airport the Harrelson Municipal Airport in recognition of Mayor W. L. Harrelson's efforts in promoting the construction of an airport. In 1940, federal funds, as part of the National Defense Program, were given to the Town of Myrtle Beach to help construct two runways. In 1941, the United States Army Air Corps expressed interest in the use of the airport for pilot training, and additional funds were made available to lengthen and pave two runways. In November 1941, the War Department, acting under the Second War Powers Act, acquired 6,707 acres to include the municipal airport. Many airfield improvements ensued, and a fighter-bomber group was activated and given the mission of supporting and training pilots and associated air crews.