NAS Vero Beach
Vero Beach Municipal Airport
3400 Cherokee Drive
Vero Beach, Florida 32960
Indian River County
This site is located in the EastCentral region of the state. The latitude and longitude of the site is 27-39-20.000N / 080-25-04.600W.
The Vero Beach Municipal Airport is located north of SR60 on 34th Avenue.
Originally a small municipal airport with refueling and maintenance use by Eastern Airlines, this field became NAS Vero Beach in November 1942. Naval and Marine aviators as well as WAVES and women Marines trained here. NAS Vero Beach saw use as a Marine Air Squadron Base as well as a training facility for F6F Hellcat, SB2A Buccaneer, F4F Wildcat, and F7F Tigercat pilots.
In December 1944 the mission of the field changed to night fighter training using F6F and F7F aircraft. Witham Field in Stuart, as well as fields at Roseland, Sebastian, and Fort Pierce served as auxiliary sites. Air-sea rescue of downed pilots was provided from Fort Pierce. Over 237,100 hours of flight time occurred between 1942 and the base closing in 1946. Base personnel were quartered in the Beachland Hotel, The Sebastian Inn, and other facilities in the community.
This former NAS site serves today as the Vero Beach Municipal Airport and home to Piper Aircraft. Two WWII era buildings are presently in private use in the complex. In January 2000, a Florida Historical Marker was dedicated to the memory of the men and women who trained at this site.
Marine Nightfighter Training Detachment Class,
Source: Indian River County Library