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A sign at the gate of Naval Air Station Pensacola (NASP) welcomes visitors to “The Cradle of Naval Aviation.” And, indeed it is. The world’s first naval aeronautical station, it came into being when the USS Mississippi (BB-23) arrived in Pensacola on January 20, 1914, with seven aircraft, nine officers, and 23 men. Today, NASP is a dynamic, active station, hosting several schools and several branches of the US military. It is also the home of the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, as well as the renowned National Naval Aviation Museum (NNAM), which displays more than 100 years of naval aviation, from a replica Curtiss hydroplane to the F-14 Tomcat.
About the Author
Although collected from multiple sources, the vast majority of images in this book are part of the collection at the Emil Buehler Library at the NNAM and show the amazing development of naval aviation from its infancy through the jet age. Maureen Smith Keillor earned a bachelor of arts in history with a minor in English in 2011. AMEC (AW/SW) Richard P. Keillor, MTS, enlisted in the US Navy in 2001 and is currently a lead instructor for his rate, AME, at the Naval Aviation Technical Training Command at NASP.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Five Flags Over Pensacola 7
1 The Beginning to 1940 9
2 World War II 43
3 The Jet Age and the Cold War 59
4 The Blue Angels 75
5 NAS Pensacola Then and Now 83
6 NAS Pensacola Today 111