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The Floyd Bennett Field Task Force

1930's

FLOYD BENNETT FIELD - NEW YORK MUNICIPAL AIRPORT

Floyd Bennett Field was dedicated on June 26, 1930 as New York's first municipal airport by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, and opened the following May 23rd.

The Field was named after Navy Warrant Officer Floyd Bennett, Naval Aviator No. 9, and native of upstate New York. Bennett accompanied Admiral Byrd on the Macmillan Expedition to Northwest Greenland in 1925. The following year, he was Byrd's pilot on their attempted first flight over the North Pole in the three-engine Fokker "Josephine Ford". For that flight, Byrd and Bennett were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

In April 1928, Bennett and famed pilot Bernt Balchan were rushing to Greenley Island Quebec to help rescue the crew of the Junkers W33L "Bremen". The Bremen's pilots - Koehl, von Huenefeld, Fitzmaurice - were attempting the first non-stop east to west flight across the Atlantic. Bennett was stricken with influenza at Murray Bay, Quebec, and died in a local hospital.

Floyd Bennett Field's ten-year career as a civilian airfield in the 1930's is well documented by the National Park Service. This web site is focused on the Field's 30 years as NAS (Naval Air Station) New York, particularly it's key role on the WW2 home front.

FLOYD BENNETT FIELD AS NRAB (NAS Brooklyn)

From 1931 to 1941, the Field served as one of eight Naval Reserve Aviation Bases (NRAB), providing primary flight training for Navy pilots. (These bases were also known as "E" bases - "E" for elimination, as in eliminating pilots not qualified for further training). Floyd Bennett Field NRAB was designated NAS Brooklyn and was based in Hangar 5, still standing in the Field's historic "hangar row".

For the naval aviation history of Floyd Bennett Field, read the following pages or click on these links:

Click here for: NAS New York 1941-1972

Click here for: Aircraft Delivery Unit 1941-1943

Click here for: Naval Air Ferry Command 1943-1945

For historical photos and a sketch written in spring 1944 of Floyd Bennett Field's conversion from municipal airport to naval air station, click this link:

nasbeamcover.jpg

CLick here for excerpts from "NAS Beam", 1944

www.floydbennett.org