NAAS Green Cove Springs
|Green Cove Springs, Florida |
This site is located in the Northeast region of the state.
Lee Field opened in Green Cove Springs in March 1941 on the site of the municipal airport. Named in honor of Ensign Benjamin Lee, who lost his life in England during WWI, this field served as an auxiliary to NAS Jacksonville.
Primary flight training in Stearmans and Ryan Recruits occurred until July 1942. At that time basic training began using SNJs, Curtiss SNCs, and OS2U Kingfishers. In August 1942 an Instructors’ School and intermediate pilot training using 400 SNJs, F3fs, and SNCs was present. Commissioned as NAAS Green Cove Springs in February 1943, the site continued to be known as Lee Field. Aircraft checkout and carrier qualifications using F4F Wildcats and F4U Corsairs began in May 1943. Outlying fields used were at St. Augustine, Switzerland, and Fleming Island with gunnery flights operated from Palatka. The station complement numbered over 2,000 officers and men in March 1944.
With the end of the war, NAAS Green Cove Springs became the Clay County Port and Reynolds Industrial Park. The construction of thirteen piers in the St. Johns River provided dockage for a major U.S. Navy “mothball fleet.”. WWII extant structures remain in use on the site.
NAS Green Cove Springs Flightline 1942 autographed by Ed McMahon
Source: Clay County Archives