Naval Air Station Melbourne

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Naval Air Station Melbourne
Naval Air Station Melbourne insignia.jpg
Active 1942-1946
Country United States
Allegiance United States of America
Branch United States Navy
Type Naval Air Station
Role Pilot Training
Size Airfield & 129 Buildings
Commanders
Current
commander
Inactive
NAS Melbourne Flight 143
NAS Melbourne Historical marker

Naval Air Station (NAS) Melbourne was a United States Naval Base in Melbourne, Florida. The Navy used NAS Melbourne for gunnery training and as a base for WAVES during World War II.[1] While operational, over 2,200 pilots trained in Grumman F4F Wildcats and F6F Hellcats.[2]

History[edit]

The Navy constructed NAS Melbourne at the Melbourne Municipal Airport at the beginning of World War II and commissioned it on October 20, 1942 as Operational Training Unit No. 2.[2] The Navy closed the site on February 12, 1946[2] and returned it to the City of Melbourne as surplus property in 1947.[3] Currently, the City of Melbourne Airport Authority operates the site as the Melbourne International Airport.[3]

As an active military base, NAS Melbourne contained 129 buildings and served more than 310 officers and 1,355 enlisted personnel of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.[2] During the station's operation, 63 personnel died in aerial accidents and two enlisted men died in ground-related accidents.[2] The stationed published two newspapers, starting with the Melbourne Wildcat from 1943-44, which was replaced by the Melbourne Hellcat from 1944-?.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Institute on World War II and the Human Experience, Florida State University. "Florida Military Bases". Department of History, Florida State University website. Retrieved on October 21, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e Melbourne Airport Authority Property Manager and the Florida Department of State. Naval Air Station Melbourne Florida Historical Marker located at the former site of NAS Melbourne.
  3. ^ a b Melbourne International Airport. “Melbourne International Airport History”. Melbourne International Airport website. Retrieved on October 21, 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°06′04″N 80°37′56″W / 28.10111°N 80.63222°W / 28.10111; -80.63222