Sanford Naval Air Station Reunion
Sanford Naval Air Station Logo. Copyright NAS Sanford.
Sanford Naval Air Station and All Squadrons 1942 - 1968Reunion hosted in Sanford, Florida45th Annual Reunion Notice - June 27th through June 30th, 2013Hosted by the Fleet Reserve, 3040 West State Road 46, Sanford FL, 32771. Phone: 407-330-1706www.nassanfordmemorial.com Schedule of Activities
- Thursday, June 27th: Club opens at 11am for sign in / check in and socializing (telling lies for you sailor types) The kitchen will serve Brunswick Stew and corn bread at noon ~ $4.00
- Friday, June 28th: Club opens at 10am. The evening dinner will be served from 6pm until 8pm. Menu will consist of sour orange roasted pork, chicken marsala, steamship round (beef), garlic mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans, garden salad, dinner rolls, desert, coffee or tea $16.00 per person. Music, karaoke, and dancing from 7pm – 11pm.
- Saturday, June 29th: Club opens at 10am. Annual picnic lunch. Picnic faire includes pulled BBQ pork sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni salad and potato chips $9.00 per person.
- Sunday, June 30th: Club opens at 9am. Farewell breakfast buffet served from 9am-1pm. Scrambled eggs, eggs to order, hash browns, grits, bacon, sausage, sausage gravy, biscuits, fruit cocktail, toast, coffee or tea $7.00 per person. Try our $1.25 bloody mary special!
Make your reservations at the Marriott Spring Hill Suites, Seminole Towne Center, 201 North Towne Road, Sanford, Florida (@ State Road 46 and Interstate 4). Call to reserve at 407-995-1000 and tell them you are with the NAS Reunion. The new lower rate is $80.00 per night. If you call prior to June 13th, 2013 (do not call toll free number for this rate). Contact Elia Matos, Director of Sales, with any issues. Amenities include refrigerators, coffee makers, and a continental breakfast. While you are here:
- See the RA5-C aircraft on display at the NAS Sanford Memorial Park, located at the entrance to the Sanford/Orlando International Airport.
- Ask us about the PV-1 Ventura Patrol Bomber. This was the first plane used at the Sanford Training Command in May, 1942.
- Also while at the airport, visit the baggage pick-up area. They have a NAS Sanford display on hand.
- See the Sanford Veteran’s Memorial Park at the lakefront. There are over 2300 Memorial Bricks on display. Is yours there?
- Visit the Museum in downtown Sanford (Phone: 407-688-5198). They have incorporated a NAS Sanford historical display. The museum is located on 1st Street.
- We are still soliciting any pictures or base history extending from 1942 to 1968.
*If you are unable to attend you may still send us an article or photographs. Please contact or send them to Jerry Bohm (phone 386-668-4851), 450 River Dr., Debary, FL. 32713-9711 or email Ralph with your feedback at: firstname.lastname@example.org
. Other contacts of interest are websites for the Fleet: FRABRANCH147.ORG
We can’t wait to see you all again at “The Fleet”
This information was submitted by Mr. Gary T. Kilbride:
NAS Sanford Reunion
June 22 – 24, 2012 including an Open House at the Sanford Museum on Saturday May 23 from 1:00 – 4:00 PM.
It is about a 4 hr drive to Sanford from Ft. Lauderdale so it is feasible to drive up in the morning, have lunch at the Fleet Reserve then tour the Museum and either staying overnight nearby or returning home the same day.
For more information visit the NAS Sanford Website.
Naval Air Station Sanford
had seen much action in it's 25 years of existence. It played a major role in WWII, the Korean War, the Cuban Crisis, and the Vietnam conflict.
In May of 1942 the Navy felt the need for additional naval air training facilities. It selected a site in Sanford, Florida as a base for the Naval Air Operational Training Command. A municipal field was already in existence west of the town. Sanford deeded 865 acres to the Navy, who then purchased an additional 615 acres to complete the project. The base was commissioned on November 3, 1942 while still under construction. The base was to be used to train two bomber squadrons. Only one squardon was actually established.
OTU VB2 #1 was the first unit to report to the base. It had been formed a short time earlier in Jacksonville. The unit was responsible for pilot checkout in the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura. The unit operated 34 PV-1s, 4 Lockheed PBO Hudsons, one PV-3 and 21 SNBs. In late 1943 VB2 #1 transferred to NAS Beaufort, S.C. OTU VF #6 replaced them and began training pilots in the General Motors FM-1 Wildcat. By April 1944 221 Widcats were stationed at Sanford. They were soon replaced by the new improved version of the Wildcat, the FM-2.By the end of the war training of pilots for the Grumman F6F Hellcat had begun. NAS Sanford trained approximately 50% of all the Navy's carrier based bomber and fighter pilots.
After the war, in 1946 the base was decommissioned. The City of Sanford acquired the base and renamed the facilty Sanford Airport. As the Sanford Airport it accommodated several tenants at the field. Between 1946 and 1950 these tenants included the New York Giants American Baseball Training Camp, a retirement home, a hospital and a clothing company. After the Korean War began in 1951 the Navy once again acquired the airport as an auxilliary air station to provide a training facility for the Navy's carrier based pilots. In June 0f 1955 the base became home to Reconnaissance Attack Wing One. January 1957 saw the arrival of the first A3D Skywarriors, the Navy's largest carrier based bombers. They were followed in 1960 by the North American A-3J know as the Vigilante. The first RA-5C Vigilante arrived in Sanford in December of 1963. This aircraft was designed as a nuclear bomber but was later converted to a reconnaissance aircraft and played a major role in the Vietnam conflict.
NAS Sanford eventually became home to ten Vigilante squadrons and their families. In 1968 congress once again closed the base and relocated the squadrons to NAS Albany, Georgia. The base was returned to the City of Sanford and now operates as the Orlando-Sanford International Airport. Visit their Website Naval Air Station Sanford Memorial