Author Topic: Naval Air Station. Pensacola, Florida.  (Read 1466 times)

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Naval Air Station. Pensacola, Florida.
« on: June 07, 2009, 03:41:01 PM »

The Pensacola area is truly the "Cradle of Naval Aviation". The site of the current Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola opened as the Navy’s first flying school in 1913, only two years after the Navy purchased its first aircraft, the A1 Triad, from Glenn Curtis. The Navy’s first presence at Pensacola was in the form of the Pensacola Navy Yard, established in 1826 and closed in 1911 after a devastating hurricane in 1906 followed by a severe Yellow Fever epidemic two years later. After two years of lying fallow, the old Navy Yard location was chosen as the site of the Navy’s flying school. The location, lying on the shore of Pensacola Bay, was a nearly perfect fit to the Navy’s needs, since early Naval Aviation was devoted almost entirely to seaplanes. The bayshore was lined with seaplane ramps, some of which remain today. In 1917, in the middle of American involvement in World War I, the Pensacola site was officially designated as a Naval Air Station.

When the Navy’s first aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV1), was commissioned in 1922, the future of Naval Aviation as a sea-based air arm was well established. Training requirements shifted to include land-based aircraft, and an airfield was established and initially called Station Field. In addition, an auxiliary field was established north of Pensacola and later named Corry Field. In 1927, Corry Field was relocated to a site just north of the Naval Air Station, the current site of the Naval Technical Training Center, Corry Station, the Navy’s electronic warfare training center.

Training slowed dramatically during the Great Depression, but in 1935 the Navy inaugurated its Aviation Cadet training program. To accommodate the increased training requirements, Station Field was enlarged, its runways paved, and the field itself renamed Chevalier Field in honor of LCDR Godfrey Chevalier, who lost his life in an aircraft accident. Chevalier Field had five asphalt runways, the longest of which was 3100 feet.

In 1938, federal legislation authorized a 3,000 aircraft ceiling for Naval Aviation, which in turn brought additional growth to The Pensacola Naval Air Station. Auxiliary airfields were added in and around Pensacola. Saufley Field was commissioned in 1940, and Ellyson Field in 1941. Three more auxiliary fields were added as the America entered World War II—Bronson and Barin Fields in 1942, and Whiting Field in 1943.

Various types of training took place in Pensacola during World War II in both land-planes and seaplanes. Seaplane instruction was conducted using PBY flying boats and OS2U, SC, and N3N floatplanes. Chevalier field hosted, among other activities, the flight instructor school, which boasted a complement of SNJ’s, SNV’s, N3N’s, and N2S’s, together with the Assembly and Repair Department. By this time, actual flight instruction was delivered at the auxiliary airfields. By the end of the war, over 28,000 Naval Aviators were designated by NAS Pensacola and its auxiliary airfields.

Following the war, NAS Pensacola was named the site of the Naval Air Basic Training Command. In 1955, a master jet airfield was opened on the western side of the vast NAS property. This airfield was named Forrest Sherman Field after the late Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, a former Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). Shortly thereafter the Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team arrived, and it remains stationed there today. Chevalier Field remained opened because of the Overhaul and Repair Department located there.

Today, NAS Pensacola hosts the headquarters of the Chief of Naval Education and Training (CNET), a Vice Admiral responsible for all education and training throughout the Navy. In addition, the Naval Aerospace Research Laboratory and the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute are located there. Training continues there as well, with Training Air Wing Six located at Sherman Field, and the vast Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) located on the former site of Chevalier Field, having moved into newly constructed facilities from its former site in Memphis in 1997.

NAS Pensacola also is the site of the National Museum of Naval Aviation, one of the finest air museums in the world. The Barrancas National Cemetery is also located aboard the Air Station, and the National Park Service maintains several historic forts located there.

An excerpt from 'U.S. Naval Air Stations of World War II' by M. L. Shettle, Jr.


The Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida, was one of the former US military bases to be integrated into the UN Government's Navy soon after its creation in 2001. The outpost's layout and location, which had allowed for US naval airborne forces to have quick access to the Gulf of Mexico laying to the south for almost a century, not to mention its tradition, made the brass shape it into one of the biggest training centres for pilots throughout the conflict that would later be known to mankind as 'Space War One'. Fledgling pilots were given the necessary lessons, their flight instincts nurtured to the point where they mastered the skillset necessary to operate the most amazing flying machines ever built by man. Valkyries.

As the Zentradi turned to chasing the SDF-1 across the solar system after it folded out along with South Ataria island, paying little mind to the planet and the civilization that'd rebuilt the ship that'd crash-landed unto its planet, a decade earlier, NAS Pensacola and all the other centres overflowed with flight officer candidates as the military command scrambled to prepare Earth for a full out attack from the Zentradi, its graduates being deployed to the grand cannons being built all over the world and beyond it, to the newly-finished AMRN platforms as they came into service.

On February, 2010, the UN Command's worst fears came true as the Zentradi main fleet folded in on Earth's orbit. And to the surprise of most, it wasn't the single operational Grand Cannon that kept them from wiping out all of humanity. A girl's song was.

NAS Pensacola and the city to the north weren't spared from receiving a share of heavy particle weapons fire ranining from the heavens above, but it was nature that forced what remained of its forces to evacuate soon after the tsunami-like waves coming their way were detected. A rushed search and rescue attempt was made, yielding a few civilians.
As if not enough with the destruction brought about by the Zentradi, the damage done by the tsunamis was extensive and, with the polar ice-caps almost gone, the sea level rose within days, leaving most parts of Florida -and a good portion of the entire world's coastline- flooded.

What was left of humankind, now kept company by some of their former would-be invaders, turned to a desperate struggle to rekindle the flame of civilization. Those that refused to refused to give up fighting continued to wage war. Both on Earth's surface and the stars beyond it.


Almost two decades after the end to Space War One, most of the region remains uninhabited, due to the swampy marshlands it's covered with and the fact that even the most strenuous of efforts at cloning have not yet produced enough inhabitants to re-populate the Earth entirely, not to mention the ongoing colonization effort. A team of engineers was sent into the area under Admiral McCabe's orders to restore one of the runways Forrest P. Sherman was equipped with, along with a few of the buildings surrounding it. After clearing almost two decades worth of rubble and overgrown vegetation, the engineers restored and re-built the necessary facilities for the field to operate at its intended capacity.

A somewhat curious feature about the half-restored airfield is the fact that, throughout the excavation, the engineers uncovered the mid-rear portion to a Los Angeles class attack submarine that'd most likely been tossed ashore by the tsunami. While all records of the submarine and its area of operations are gone, destroyed by the Zentran's almost complete obliteration of Grand Cannon I and the military headquarters, the submarine's systems had been shut down completely, most likely by its crew prior to evacuating their craft. Shortly after the sweeps for radiation failed to reveal any leaks to the reactor within, the engineers tore it apart and moved its reactor to the facility, where it was used as a provisional power supply to the compound. It has worked well enough to the point where no attempts have been made to replace it for a more modern power source.

Upon arrival, all personnel are briefed on the airfield and its surroundings. While a few of its old buildings still stand and are visible from a distance, trying to reach them is highly discouraged. The swamps/marshlands of Florida are home to several species of wildlife that are lethal to humans, such as crocodiles, alligators, and a few species of poisonous snakes that cannot be seen through the muddy waters. It is possible, however, to obtain clearance to travel to the beach that lies to the East. While it's certainly not a sight worthy of a postcard photograph, it is often visited by some of the base's off duty personnel.