City (pop., 2000: 277,454) and port on Corpus Christi Bay, southern Texas, U.S. Founded in 1839 as a trading post, it was the scene of Mexican War operations and American Civil War skirmishes. The arrival of the railroad in 1881 stimulated a land boom. The exploitation of gas (1923), development of a deepwater port (1926), and discovery of the Saxtet oil field (1939) laid the city's economic foundation. Resort facilities are based on the bay and the coastal barrier islands, including Padre Island. It is also the site of the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station.