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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Diego in San Diego County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation

Evolution of the Aircraft Carrier 1924 - 1940

 
 
San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, June 21, 2015
1. San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  In November 29, 1924, the Navy’s first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley, tied up to the pier at the naval air station at North Island. A converted coal transport, she had a flight deck 500 feet in length and could carry more than 30 aircraft.

By 1928, the aircraft carriers USS Saratoga and USS Lexington, both constructed on cruiser hulls, joined Langley in San Diego waters where they were used in training naval aviators. This training played a significant role in America’s victory at the Battle of Midway 14 years later.

As tactics were developed, new missions were created for the Navy's airborne weapon. Soon aircraft were assigned specialized duties as fighters, attack bombers, torpedo bombers, scouts, observers, patrol, and general utility aircraft. All of these roles were developed in and around the growing naval aviation facilities bordering San Diego's bay.

The carriers Yorktown and Enterprise also called San Diego their home port in 1940. On the eve of World War II, North Island and San Diego were, in every sense of the word, home to carrier aviation.

By the end of 1940, San Diego was home port to four Aircraft carriers. Naval

San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, June 21, 2015
2. San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker
facilities in the area included:
Naval Air Station North Island
32nd Street Naval Station
Balboa Naval Hospital in Balboa Park
Naval Radio Transmitter Facility at Chollas Heights
Navy Supply Center and pier at the foot of Broadway
Naval Training Center (West Coast)
Marine Corps Recruit Depot (West Coast)

 
Erected by USS Midway Museum.
 
Location. 32° 42.826′ N, 117° 10.607′ W. Marker is in San Diego, California, in San Diego County. Marker is on North Harbor Drive, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Located on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Midway Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 910 North Harbor Drive, San Diego CA 92101, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation (a few steps from this marker); a different
San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker image. Click for full size.
3. San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker
USS Langley docked at the carrier pier at Naval Air Station North Island, launching an aircraft from her deck during catapult tests in 1925.
marker also named San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation (a few steps from this marker); Bridle-Arrest "Horns" (a few steps from this marker); Clifton A. F. Sprague, Vice Admiral, USN (approx. 0.2 miles away); United States Aircraft Carrier Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Diego.
 
Also see . . .  USS Midway Museum. (Submitted on September 7, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.)
 
Categories. Air & SpaceWaterways & Vessels
 
San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker image. Click for full size.
4. San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker
Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr. first visited San Diego while serving as an ensigh aboard the USS Kansas during the visit of the Great White Fleet in 1908. Entering flight training at the age of 52, he became a naval aviator and assumed command of the USS Saratoga in San Diego. In 1940, he was named Commander Aircraft Battle Force with rank of vice admiral.
San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker image. Click for full size.
5. San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker
The USS Saratoga anchored in the newly-dredged channel just off Broadway Pier. An early version of Navy Pier appears just above the ship's stern.
San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker image. Click for full size.
6. San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation Marker
This SU-4 carrier scout plane served aboard the USS Ranger in 1936. Its mission was to search out the enemy and report its location to the carrier so it could launch its fighters, bombers, and attack aircraft to destroy the enemy.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 8, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2018, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 57 times since then. Last updated on September 7, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 3, 2018, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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