San Diego’s North Island is one of the most significant venues of aviation in the world. Starting in 1911, it was the home to one of the nation’s first aviation schools, founded by Glenn Curtiss, who pioneered seaplane flight. He trained the nucleus of America’s future air forces there, including Lt. Theodore Ellyson, the first naval aviator. When the United States entered World War I, the government took over the island with plans to build a training center for the nation’s armed forces. The new army base was named Rockwell Field, and the navy portion was named Naval Air Station San Diego. By 1937, the army had moved out, and the navy became the sole tenant. Today NAS North Island is part of the largest aerospace-industrial complex in the navy and is headquarters for the Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
About the Author
For almost 40 years, the San Diego Air and Space Museum has preserved the aviation heritage of San Diego and the world. In this volume, head archivist Katrina Pescador and historian Mark Aldrich team up to showcase the museum’s unique photographs and to tell the amazing story of the men, women, planes, ships, and facilities that make North Island an integral part of the history of San Diego.