Naval Air Station Rockaway

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Aerial view of NAS Rockaway in 1917

Naval Air Station Rockaway adjoined Fort Tilden on the western portion of the Rockaway Peninsula in the New York City borough of Queens. It was established on transferred municipal property in 1917 during American involvement in World War I, and was demolished in 1930 to make way for Jacob Riis Park. Operations were re-located across the inlet to a hangar in the municipal Floyd Bennett Field, which itself was sold to the federal government in 1941 and made Naval Air Station New York. NAS New York was decommissioned in 1972 and is now a part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, as are now Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park.

The station was the departure point for the first transatlantic flight in 1919, as executed by the crew of the NC-4. On November 27, 1918, the NC-1 took off from the station with 51 persons aboard, establishing a new world record for persons carried in flight.[1]

1921 Hangar Fire[edit]

Aerial view of NAS Rockaway in 1919 looking eastward with view of airship hangar.

The D-6[2] was built by the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but its design[3] was sufficiently different to separate it from the other five D-class airships. It featured a further improved control car (the "D-1 Enclosed Cabin Car) which had a water tight bottom for landings on water and internal fuel tanks. The D-6[2] was burned in the Naval Air Station Rockaway hangar fire[4] of 31 August 1921 along with two small dirigibles, the C-10 and the H-1 and the kite balloon A-P.


  1. ^ "The First Flight Across the Atlantic", Naval Historical Center. Accessed July 11, 2007. "Soon the NC-l would establish a record by carrying 51 men aloft, including the first deliberate stowaway in aviation history."
  2. ^ a b U.S. Navy Goodyear Airship D-6 1921
  3. ^ Kite Balloons to Airships...the Navy's Lighter-than-Air Experience
  4. ^ NY Times Sept. 1, 1921, Page 2, Biggest Navy Blimp Burns with 3 More

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°34′6″N 73°52′21″W / 40.56833°N 73.87250°W / 40.56833; -73.87250