Coco Solo was a United States Navy facility, which operated a submarine base and a naval air station, that was established 6 May 1918. The site corresponds with modern-day Cativá in Panama. It was on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Panama Canal Zone, near Colón, Panama and five C-class submarines were based there during 1914-1919. US Senator John McCain was born in 1936 at a small Navy hospital at Coco Solo Naval Air Station. The larger Coco Solo Hospital was constructed in the summer of 1941. The area containing it was transferred from the civil part of the Panama Canal Zone to the naval part when Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8981 on December 17, 1941. During World War II, Coco Solo also served as a Naval Aviation Facility, housing a squadron of P-38 Lightning aircraft. By the 1960s, no US Navy vessels remained, only some support staff and housing. At the far end of Randolph Road was Fort Randolph, unused except for military training exercises, and where the Fort Randolph Riding Club was located as used by the Canal Zone Horsemen's Association. Until the mid-1990s, the town site of Coco Solo was used by the civilian employees of the Panama Canal as a residential area. Navy communications operations at the nearby Galeta Island facility were conducted as well. After the turnover of the Panama Canal to Panamanians in 1999, US military activity ceased at both Coco Solo and Galeta Island. Coco Solo is now the site of two container terminals: Colon Container Terminal and Manzanillo International Terminal, which is the busiest container port in Latin America.
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