Norfolk Naval Air Station (PDF)




36 pages
Eyes of the Fleet! ……. N. N. A. Station is a part of the Naval Shore establishment. Like many other Naval Air Stations, its primary mission is to provide facilities in support of the aircraft attached to the U. S. fleet. Our U. S. Naval Aviation was born on Nov. 14, 1910 within sight of this Station. On that occasion a Curtiss Company pilot successfully took off in a 50 horsepower land plane from a hastily built platform erected on the bow of the U. S. S. Birmingham. This demonstration which occured in Hampton Roads awakened the world to the possibilities of an air armada, both for offensive and defensive purposes. But the navy’s interest in aircraft, dates back to Sept., 1908 when observers were appointed to witness Orville Wright’s demonstration before a gathering of high government officials at Fort Meyer, Va. The Naval observers were enthusiastic about future of the airpiane and suggested that the aircraft be equipped with pontoons so as to increase its adaptability to Naval use. However, a skeptical officialdom and ar apathetic public failed to realize the potentialities of aviation as an adjunct to the fleet So in the early part of 1910 Captain W. S. Chambers, U. S. N., in whose honor a subsidiary field here is named, took up the cause for the “eyes of the fleet” after he amended aviation meets at Belmont, N. Y. and Baltimore, Md. It was Captain Chambers who made the arrangements for the flight from the Birmingham, a demonstration which shocked the skeptics out of their lethargies and gave birth to the world’s most efficient and effective Naval Air Force.