Historic Markers Across Florida

U.S. Naval Station, Vero Beach

Marker ID: FLHM 
County: Indian River
Waymark: None


Site of the Main Hanger and Control Tower of the Vero Beach Naval Air Station (NAS) that was commissioned on 24 November 1942 to provide Navy and Marine flight training base for over 2700 men and 300 WAVES and women Marines. The previously city -owned airport expanded from 100 acres to nearly 2500 acres and contained self - supporting facilities for a population equal to the size of Vero Beach. The purpose of the NAS was constantly revised from originally training dive-bomber pilots to daytime pilots and ultimately to nighttime fighter pilots. Ingenuity of the maintenance crews was required to keep planes operational due to the shortage of repair parts. Almost 200 men received training on the Brewster SB2A Buccaneer and 1400 men on the Grumman F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat and F7F Tigercat. Although extensive safety procedures were established, records show over 100 lives were lost in flight training accidents. Training diminished after VJ Day (14 August 1945), but as of 2 September 1945, records show 237,102 hours of flight time had been provided since the first flight in December 1942. The Vero Beach NAS was placed in caretaker status in June 1946 and deeded back to the city.

Sponsors: the Indian River County Historical Society, the City of Vero Beach and the Florida Department of State


City: Vero Beach, FL