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NAS Melbourne

Orlando Melbourne International Airport

One Air Terminal Parkway
Melbourne, Florida 32901
Brevard County

This site is located in the EastCentral region of the state.


Orlando Melbourne International Airport is located east of I-95. Using either Exit 71 or Exit 72 from I-95, travel east to the airport complex and follow signage to the terminal site.

NAS Melbourne was commissioned in October 1942 on the site of the Eau Gallie-Melbourne Municipal Airport. As early as June 1940 the Civil Aeronautics Authority had authorized the formation of a Civilian Pilot Training facility at the field to provide standardized flight training. With the threat of war, Congressman Joe Hendricks convinced the Roosevelt administration to designate the old Melbourne Airport a Naval Air Station. Advance flight training for pilots in SNJ Texans, F4F Wildcats, and F6F Hellcats took place at this base. Under the command of Naval Air Operational Training Command in Jacksonville, peak training occurred in mid-1944 with 150 Hellcats in use and as many as 1,500 Naval personnel on base.

Auxiliary fields were located at Malabar and Valkaria with the latter serving to both launch and land airplanes in simulated aircraft carrier conditions.

WAVES were stationed at this site in 1944 and in 1945 German POW's were located here as laborers in the base laundry and mess facilities. In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Aeronautics tested engines and aircraft at this location.

The station closed in February 1946 and reverted back to the local municipality for civilian use. The site presently serves as the Melbourne International Airport. One extant structure is the base Ship’s Service and Recreation Building, used during the war to host basketball games, movies, dance parties, and lectures.


NAS Melbourne Florida Operational Fighter Training Class #98 (background is F6F Hellcat #124)
Source: CDR William R. Barnett, USN (ret)


Orlando Melbourne International Airport