It’s no secret that Amarillo played an important role during WW2, providing air bases, planes, and weapons to the United States during that time. But weapons were not our only contributions. One of the greatest contributions that Amarillo could give was brave men willing to contribute to the war effort. And turns out, that Amarillo actually contributed a notable figure, Brigadier General Odell M. Conoley who became a influential figures for the United States' millitery during WW2.

Conoley was born in Amarillo in 1913, growing up and spending most of his younger years in the city. In his years as a young adult, Conoley attended Texas A&M and became an active member of clubs and sports during this time. Around this time he joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps unit and in 1935 was commissioned reserve second lieutenant of infantry, starting off his official military career. After training to become an officer, Conoley was stationed at the 6th Marines Corps Base in San Diego before being on expeditionary duty, often going to and from China from 1937 to 1940. 

His military career came into full swing in 1940 after the attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the United States into the war. Between 1941 and 1942 Conoley had been promoted to captain and then to major before being put sent with the 1rst Marine Division to the South Pacific in 1942. It was during this time that Conoley had proven himself in combat. Conoley organized and launched a successful counterattack on the enemy, taking back territory while at a disadvantage of manpower. 

USMC Military History Division
USMC Military History Division

These actions earned Conoley a Navy cross, the 2nd highest honor one can earn in the military. Conoley did not stop here, however, being responsible for leading many more successful offensives in the future, greatly contributing to the United State’s ultimate success in the pacific theatre.

Later in his military career, Conoley worked his way up the military ladder instructing units, serving as chief of staff for the Marines and eventually being promoted to Brigadier General. After serving a long and successful military career Conoley finally retired in 1964 and settled in San Diego.

The Drive-In: Amarillo's Classic Drive-In Theaters, Past and Present

Any resident of Amarillo worth their salt knows about the Tascosa Drive-In movie theater.

But did you know about the other drive-in theaters?

LOOK: This "Amarillo Pictorial" is an Amazing Collection of Historical Photos!

Wow. Just wow.

Robbi McDaniel Rivers dug up this incredible magazine published in 1931. You'll find the many Amarillo buildings and landmarks that you know and love--they're brand new in these photos!


Ranchotel: The Forgotten Landmark of Old Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas

The Ranchotel, located at 2501 W. 6th St., is a product of Route 66's heyday.

When Americans first began long-distance automotive travel, they typically stayed in hotels or camped beside the road. In response, clever entrepreneurs began to build what were called tourist courts. The Ranchotel is one of these.

It was built in 1940 and until recently, it was considered one of the best preserved examples of Route 66's tourist facilities. It was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and was well maintained until 2020.

Even now, in spite of the building's fading beauty, there is still the nostalgic air held by many a historic landmark.

Look at How Amarillo's Old Route 66 Motels Looked Then & Now

The heyday of the Mother Road may be long gone, but would you believe that there's still plenty of the old motels where many a weary American family rested their heads during their interstate travels?

You won't believe some of these are still standing, much less still alive and (wait for it..) kickin'!


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