Naval Air Station Melbourne

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Naval Air Station Melbourne
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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

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

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

Notes

  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. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 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. 3.0 3.1 Melbourne International Airport. “Melbourne International Airport History”. Melbourne International Airport website. Retrieved on October 21, 2007.

External links

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