|14201 N.W. Le Jeune Road |
|Opa-Locka, Florida ||33054|
This site is located in the Southeast region of the state.
Southbound I-95 traffic exit on SR826 West (Palmetto Expressway/Exit 16) to 37th Avenue. Exit onto 37th Avenue and turn left at the bottom of the ramp to travel south on 37th to Curtiss Street. Turn right on Curtiss Street to Opa-Locka Airport office.
Northbound I-95 traffic exit on 135th (Exit 14) and proceed west to Le Jeune Road. Turn right (north) on Le Jeune to Opa-Locka Airport office.
The site referred to as NAS Miami consisted of three separate fields: Opa-Locka or Mainside, Miami Municipal and Master Field. The Opa-Locka site originated in 1918 when the Navy relocated a blimp hangar to this location from Key West. In the early 1930s a Naval Reserve Training Base was established here. Extensive construction work began in 1939 with the designation of this field as a major air station. Commissioned NAS Miami in August 1940, this facility served to provide intermediate training. In 1942 both Miami Municipal and Master Fields became part of the complex when purchased from the city.
Training in fighter, dive-bombing and torpedo bombing skills took place at various times during the history of the base. Aircraft used included the Brewster F2A Buffalo fighter, SBD Dauntless dive-bomber, TBF Avenger torpedo plane , and the F4F Wildcat fighter. In addition to serving as headquarters for the 7th Naval District, the station supported a naval air gunnery school, a Marine Corps Air Station, a Coast Guard Station, and a small craft-training center. The peak complement, reached in 1945, consisted of 7,200 officers and men and 3,100 civilians.
Miami Municipal Field and Master Field , connected by a taxiway across railroad tracks, served in support of NAS Miami with each having four asphalt paved runways, hangars, barracks, and support buildings. Rededicated in 1947 as Amelia Earhart Field, the Miami Municipal field no longer serves as an airport. Likewise, the former Master Field site is the site of Miami Dade Community College.
Returned to the City of Miami in 1947, the Mainside base serves civilian aviation needs as Opa Locka Airport. A few World War II hangars remain in use at this airport.
WWII era photographs, maps and drawings have been preserved at the airport office and may be viewed with prior arrangements.