Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, the common name of the Lakehurst unit of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, is a United States Navy base located approximately 25 miles (40 km) east-southeast of Trenton, New Jersey. It is the northeast’s largest naval aviation installation. Lakehurst is under the jurisdiction of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). It was consolidated with two adjoining Army and Air Forces facilities to became part of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL) on 1 October 2009. However, it remains commonly known under its former name as of 2013.
LAKEHURST NAES/MAXFIELD FIELD HISTORY
Previously known as Naval Air Station Lakehurst, the installation is most famous as the site of the Hindenburg disaster on 6 May 1937. Despite the notoriety and well documented nature of this incident, today there is a simple memorial that denotes the location of the crash at then-NAS Lakehurst in the field behind the large airship hangars on base. A ground marker, painted black, and rimmed by a bright yellow painted chain, locates where the gondola of the German zeppelin Hindenburg hit the ground.
Prior to this event, NAS Lakehurst was the center of airship development in the United States and housed three of the U.S. Navy’s four rigid airships, (ZR-1) Shenandoah, (ZR-3) Los Angeles, and (ZRS-4) Akron. A number of the airship hangars built to berth these ships still survive. Hangar One, in which the Shenandoah was built, held the record for the largest “single room” in the world. According to an article in the January, 1925 issue of National Geographic Magazine, the airship hangar “could house three Woolworth Buildings lying side by side.”
Maxfield Field was named 6 January 1944 in honor of Commander Louis H. Maxfield, Naval Aviator No. 17, who lost his life in the R-38/USN ZR-2 airship crash, 24 August 1921 at Hull, England.
Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst is an activity of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIRSYSCOM) and is part of the Navy Lakehurst / Fort Dix / McGuire AFB Complex.
LAKEHURST NAES/MAXFIELD FIELD LOCATION
LAKEHURST NAES/MAXFIELD FIELD FACTS
Elevation: 103 ft.
Runway length available: 06/24 5000×150 ft. :: 15/33 5001×150 ft.