Scrugham led congressional and navy investigation parties to Lake Mead in 1937 and ‘38, but congress rejected his plan. When war finally broke out in Europe in 1939, Scrugham felt congress might feel more urgently about his idea, and he led another survey party to the area in September. This time the response was favorableeven Franklin Roosevelt told Scrugham he supported the idea. When hearings on the naval appropriations bill were held in November 1939, Scrugham secured $70,000 to build a temporary hangar in Boulder City. Ground was broken for the hangar at the Boulder City airport on June 26, 1940, and it was finished in November. In March 1941, Scrugham earmarked $500,00 to enlarge and improve Boulder City’s airport to house a naval air base auxiliary to the base in San Diego. But in May, the House adopted a conference report that struck Scrugham’s proposal. Boulder City never became the site of a naval base and the hangar was never used by the navy. Instead, it was transferred to the Department of Interior in 1946, and eventually to Boulder City in 1959. The old military hangar still stands as the only reminder of Boulder City’s almost naval base.
Sponsored by the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum