Naval Air Station Jacksonville or NAS Jacksonville is a military airport located four miles (6 km) south of the central business district of Jacksonville, Florida, United States. It is one of two naval bases (the other being Naval Station Mayport) located in Duval County.
JACKSONVILLE NAVAL AIR STATION HISTORY
During World War I, the area now occupied by NAS Jacksonville, often referred to colloquially as “NAS Jax”, was named Camp Joseph E. Johnston, and was commissioned on October 15, 1917. The United States Army trained quartermasters and the center included more than 600 buildings; by 1918 Camp Johnston was the largest of all Quartermaster mobilization and training camps. The second largest rifle range in the U.S. was constructed there, but the camp was decommissioned on May 16, 1919. The Florida National Guard began using the site in 1928 and it was renamed Camp J. Clifford R. Foster.
The first detail of Marines arrived from Parris Island, South Carolina on June 4, 1940 to secure the 3,250-acre (13 km2) area, setting up a barracks in a former residence on Allegheny Road. On October 15, 1940, Naval Air Station Jacksonville was officially commissioned, and became the first part of the Jacksonville Navy complex that would eventually include NAS Cecil Field and Naval Station Mayport, as well as numerous naval auxiliary air stations and outlying fields in northeast Florida. On the same date, Captain Charles P. Mason, USN, raised his command pennant as the station’s first commanding officer.
Prior to the commissioning, on September 7, Commander Jimmy Grant became the first pilot to land on the still unfinished runway in his N3N-3 biplane. More than 10,000 pilots and 11,000 aircrewmen followed their lead to earn their “wings of gold” at the air station during World War II.
Increased training and construction characterized NAS Jacksonville’s response to America’s entry into World War II. Three runways over 6,000 feet (1,800 m) long were operating, as were seaplane runways in the St. Johns River and seaplane ramps leading from the water. Overhaul and Repair (O&R) facilities were built to rework the station’s planes, a facility that in ensuing years would be renamed Naval Air Rework Facility Jacksonville (NARF Jax), Naval Aviation Depot Jacksonville (NADEP Jax) and its current name of Fleet Readiness Center Southeast.
JACKSONVILLE NAVAL AIR STATION LOCATION
JACKSONVILLE NAVAL AIR STATION FACTS
Elevation: 22 ft.
Runway length available: 14/32 5984×200 ft. :: 10/28 8002×200 ft.