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World War I Era Naval Aviation Stations

Introduction

When the United States declared war with Germany on 6 April 1917, the Navy had only one air station - Pensacola.  In the months following entry into the war the number of facilities blossomed as the Navy expanded aviation operations. The following list covers locations of training and operating units of naval aviation to the date of the Armistice on 11 November 1918.

 

Abbreviations:
LTA     Lighter-than-air, airship, or blimp.
MIT     Massachusetts Institute of Technology
NAD    Naval Air Detachment
NAS    Naval Air Station.  A commissioned station. Originally, Naval Aeronautic Station.
NB       Naval Base.  May include an air field but not be a NAS.
NBG    Northern Bombing Group. Divided in Day and Night wings.
NOB    Naval Operating Base
RCFC  Royal Canadian Flying Corps.

 

Akron, Ohio
Commissioned as a Naval Air Station (NAS) on 28 May 1917 for lighter than air (LTA) training and closed on 15 March 1920.

Anacostia, Washington D. C.
The Navy officially began to operate from the Army field at Anacosta on 1 November 1917.   On December 18, 1918 it was established as NAS Anacosta and commissioned on 1 January 1919 for seaplane test and administration flights. Complete control of the station was given to the Navy on 26 September 1935. The last flight from the field was on 8 December 1961 and it was disestablished on 1 January 1962.

Arachon, France
Seaplane patrol operations from this base were began in September 1918, with commissioning as an NAS on 18 June 1918 and closure on 7 January 1919.

Antingues, France
Site of the Northern Bombing Group (NBG) Headquarters. No airfield and not commissioned.

Azore Islands
The Marine Corps established a base at Ponta Delgrada, San Miguel Island for antisubmarine patrols. The base was not commissioned, first used on 21 January 1918 and shut down in January 1919.

Bay Shore, Long Island, New York
On 4 May 1917, the Navy took jurisdiction of the former station of the New York Naval Militia. It was commissioned as a NAS on 17 May 1917 as a primary seaplane training station and closed 19 May 1920.

Berehaven, Ireland (Castletownbere)
Commissioned as NAS on 29 April 1918. Used as a kite balloon station and closed on 14 February 1919. Name changed to Berehaven 7 December 1918.

Bolsena, Italy
A seaplane training station commissioned as NAS on 21 February 1918 and closed on 2 January 1919.

Brest, France
Commissioned as a Naval Base (NB) on 7 October 1917 and started functioning as NAS on 13 February 1918 in support of seaplane patrols and kite balloon operations. Closed on 15 February 1919.

Brunswick, Georgia
Planned NAS for seaplane patrol operations, but not completed at the end of the war and not commissioned.

Buffalo, New York
Not commissioned by the Navy, but the Curtiss plant was the site of flight training for the second Yale unit from May to November 1917.

Calais, France
Never commissioned or used in extended operations by the Navy, but was the launching point for several raids by the NBG against German submarine bases in Belgium.

Campagne, France
The focus of operations for Navy squadrons 3 and 4 of the Night Wing, NBG, but never commissioned.

Camp Borden, Canada
Royal Canadian Flying Corps (RCFC) flight training school which trained the "Canadian Goup" in 1917.

Camp Taliaferro, Fort Worth, Texas
Site of an aerial gunnery school operated by the RCFC and training officers and men of the U.S. Navy from 3 February 1918 to 16 May 1918.

Cape May, New Jersey
Seaplane and LTA patrol base established 6 October 1917 and commission as NAS 4 December 1917. Closed in 1932.

Cazeaux, France French
Army aerial gunnery school where some naval personnel of the First Aeronautic Detachment were trained.

Charleston, South Carolina
Seaplane patrol station planned but not completed or commissioned.

Chatham, Massachusetts
Established on 15 June 1917 and commissioned as NAS in January 1918 as a patrol base for seaplanes and LTA, but LTA never added. Ceased operation on 15 May 1920 and finally closed in1922.

Coco Solo, Canal Zone (Panama)
Established in July 1917 and commissioned as NAS on 6 May 1918 for patrol operations by seaplane and LTA. Site placed in reserve in 1922, but became a Fleet Air Base on 1 July 1931 and NAS on 30 September 1939. Following active use during World War II operations ceased on 15 February 1950 and final disestablishment came on 1 July 1950.

Dunkirk, France
Commissioned as NAS on 1 January 1918 for NBG operations and a seaplane patrol base, operations began on 15 August 1918. Decommissioned five months later on 1 January 1919, the base was transferred to the Commission for the Relief of Belgium.

Dunwoody Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota
A Naval Air Detachment (NAD) was established on August 10, 1918 to provide auxiliary ground school similar to that given at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The program was terminated about 25 November 1918.

East Greenwich, Rhode Island
The Princeton Unit, which later became a part of the "Canadians" took early training here in 1917.

Eastleigh, England
On 20 July 1918 the British turned over the base to the Navy and it was commissioned as NAS on 23 July 1918 serving as an assembly, repair and supply base for the NBG. Closed on 10 April 1920.

Felixstowe, England
The British Development Center on the east coast of England. The "F" in the F-5L boat indicates it was developed at Felixstowe.

Fort Worth, Texas
(see Camp Taliaferro)

Fromentine, France
A seaplane patrol station commissioned as NAS about 4 February 1918. Air operations began on 1 August 1918. Base closed on 28 January 1919.

Gerstner Field, Lake Charles, Louisiana
An Army field and school at which Marine Corps aviators received landplane training from December 1917 to February 1918.

Great Yarmouth, England
A British patrol base from which some U.S. Navy pilots flew with the British on North Sea patrols.

Greenbury Point, Annapolis, Maryland
The first Aviation Camp established here in September 1911 and used on and off through 1913.

Guines, France
Although never commissioned as a U.S. base it served as the site of an advanced repair depot for the NBG.

Guipavas, France
LTA base under construction but not completed by the end of the war and not commissioned a U.S. base.

Gujan, France
Under construction as a LTA patrol station at end of war. Evacuated on 15 January 1919.

Halifax, Nova Scotia
NAS for seaplane patrols commissioned 19 August 1918 and closed 7 January 1919. The first commanding officer was LT. Richard E. Byrd.

Hammondsport, New York
Early aviators trained at the Curtiss factory and flying school in 1911. Curtiss and his student, Gordon Ellyson, naval aviator #1, flew hydroaeroplanes from Lake Keuka, Hammondsport.

Hampton Roads, Virginia
A site at the Naval Operating Base (NOB) was established on 8 September 1917 as an air training station and patrol base. Detachments in training at Newport News and Squantum were transferred to NOB in October 1917 and the station became NAS on 27 August 1918. The name was changed to NAS Norfolk in August 1932.

Huntington, Long Island, New York
The first Yale unit completed training here.

Hourtin, France
Site of a French Naval Air Training station near Bordeaux where some members of the First Aeronautic Detachment were trained in seaplanes on a small lake.

Ile Tudy, France
A seaplane patrol station commissioned as NAS on 14 March 1918. It closed on 25 January 1919.

Key West, Florida
Commissioned on 18 December 1917, this primary seaplane training station was also used for patrols and closed on 15 June 1920.

Killingholme, England
The former British seaplane patrol station turned over to the U.S. and commissioned as NAS on 20 July 1918. It closed 22 February 1919.

L'Aber Vrach, France
A seaplane patrol station commissioned as NAS on 4 June 1918 and closed on 22 January 1919.

La Frene, France
The base for U.S. Marine Corps squadrons 9 and 10, the Day Wing, NBG but was never commissioned.

La Pallice, France
Planned kite balloon station under construction at war's end. Evacuated on 5 January 1919.

La Trinite, France
Planned kite balloon station under construction at war's end. Evacuated on 5 February 1919.

Le Croisic, France
Seaplane patrol station commissioned as NAS on 27 November 1917 and closed on 28 January 1919.

Lough Foyle, Ireland
Seaplane patrol station commissioned as NAS on 1 July 1918 and closed on 22 February 1919.

MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Naval Air Detachment at Massachusetts Institute of Technology was the main ground school for the Naval Reserve Flying Corps. Established on 23 July 1917, the detachment was deactivated shortly after the last students graduated on 18 January 1919.

Mastic, New York
The third Yale unit began flight training here in early 1917 on the property of Mr. J. P. Knapp.

Miami, Florida
Seaplane training and patrol station began in October 1917. The commissioning date is unknown. A Marine Flying Field was established at Miami on an adjacent tract to the NAS in March 1918.

Mineola, Long Island, New York
Army landing field at which Marine aviators of the First Aviation Squadron received landplane training from October to December 1917.

Montauk Point, New York
Seaplane and LTA patrol station commissioned NAS in August 1917 and closed on 2 August 1919.

Moutchic, France
A training station to which the first US flight candidates reported on 17 July 1917. Date of commission is unknown. First flight operations began on 27 September 1917. Routine instruction began on 24 October 1917. Station closed on 1 January 1919.

Newport News, Virginia
Site of the Curtiss Flying School to which men of the Harvard unit reported for training on 19 May 1917. School was transferred to the newly authorized station at Hampton Roads, Virginia in October 1917.

North Island, San Diego, California
Congress authorized purchase of North Island on 27 July 1917 for use by the Army and Navy to establish aviation stations and schools. 8 November 1917, the arrival date of the first commanding officer, is considered the commissioning date as an NAS. The entire island was transferred to the Navy under an agreement approved 26 September 1935.

North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Seaplane patrol station commissioned as NAS on 31 August 1918 and closed on 7 January 1919.

Oye, France
Location of Marine Corps Headquarters and Squadrons 7 and 8 of the Day Wing, NBG. This base was never commissioned by the US.

Paimboeuf, France
LTA patrol station formerly operated by the French and commissioned as NAS on 1 March 1918. Closed on 26 January 1919.

Pauillac, France
An assembly and repair station commissioned as NAS on 1 December 1917 and closed on 15 February 1919.

Pensacola, Florida
Initially setup as a flight school and experimental center on 20 January 1914 with the arrival of the first aviators and aircraft from the Aviation Camp at Greenbury Point, Annapolis. Headquarters for the command shifted from the shipboard to shore on 16 November 1914 and it was designated Naval Aeronautic Station. Redesignated as NAS on 17 December 1917 it is the oldest continuously active air station in the Navy.

Portland, England
Royal Naval Air Station from which some US Navy pilots made patrol flights in a training status in early 1918.

Porto Corsini, Italy
Seaplane patrol station commissioned as NAS on 24 July 1918.

Queenstown, Ireland
An assembly and repair depot for stations in Ireland also used for training and seaplane patrol. Commissioned NAS on 22 February 1918 and closed on April 10, 1919.

Rockaway Beach, Long Island, New York
Seaplane and LTA patrol station commissioned NAS on 15 October 1917.

St. Inglevert, France
Base for repair and for Navy Squadrons One and Two, Night Wing, NBG. Not commissioned.

Rochefort, France Planned
LTA base never completed. Used as a temporary storage site.

Seattle, Washington
Ground school training by a Naval Air Detachment at the University of Washington similar to the program at MIT but on smaller scale. Instruction began on 1 July 1918.

St. Raphael, France
French Navy air training station on the Mediterranean Sea where men of the First Aeronautic Detachment took advanced training in seaplanes, bombing and gunnery.

St. Trojan, France
Seaplane patrol station commissioned NAS 14 July 1918 and closed on 19 January 1919.

Squantum, Massachusetts
Former Naval Milita station taken under Navy jurisdiction in May 1917 and commissioned the same month. Station appears to have ceased operation and its student aviators transferred to Hampton Roads in October 1917. Later became the first post World War II Reserve Station when commissioned on 13 August 1923 and decommissioned on 1 January 1954.

Stonehenge, England
British flying school at which some NBG pilots trained in landplane night bombers.

Toronto, Canada
RCFC ground school held at the University of Toronto where 24 prospective US Naval Aviators began their training.

Tours, France French
Army training station where men of the First Aeronautic Detachment began landplane flight training.

Treguier, France
Seaplane patrol station commissioned as NAS 1 November 1918 and closed on 19 January 1919.

West Palm Beach, Florida
The full first Yale unit began training here in March 1917. The original group of 12 had trained the previous summer at Port Washington, Long Island, New York.

Wexford, Ireland
Seaplane patrol station commissioned as NAS on 2 May 1918 and closed 15 February 1919.

Whiddy Island, Ireland
Seaplane patrol station commissioned as NAS on 4 July 1918 and closed on 29 January 1919.