San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation

San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation (HM2B6S)

Location: San Diego, CA 92101 San Diego County
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Country: United States of America
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N 32° 42.826', W 117° 10.607'

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The Pioneers 1911-1924

Six weeks after the arrival of the USS California in San Diego Harbor, aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss established a flying school in an inlet just across the bay to your left where you are standing. There he trained Lieutenant Theodore Ellyson and three Army officers who became our nation's first military pilots.

In addition to training pilots, Curtiss developed a "hydroaeroplane" that could take off from and land on water. On January 28, 1911, Curtiss proved the adaptability of this airplane when he flew his new aircraft across the bay, landed in the water, had it hoisted aboard the cruiser Pennsylvania, then lowered it back into the water alongside the ship. After flying his aircraft back to his base in Spanish Bight, it was hard for anyone to deny that aircraft could indeed play a practical role in our nation's Navy.

On September 25, 1917, the Navy established its first permanent Naval Air Station on North Island, directly across the bay from where you are standing. This station consisted of a pilot training station, a mechanics' school, and a patrol plane base.

By 1924, the U.S. Naval Air Station North Island had grown to a modern facility sporting a number of red tiled administrative building above which stood a control tower you can still see today directly across the bay.
HM NumberHM2B6S
Placed ByUSS Midway Museum
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 6th, 2018 at 2:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 483432 N 3619569
Decimal Degrees32.71376667, -117.17678333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 42.826', W 117° 10.607'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 42' 49.56" N, 117° 10' 36.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)619, 858, 949, 310, 510,
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 910 N Harbor Dr, San Diego CA 92101, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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