Photographer's Note

Spent this afternoon wandering around the ex-Naval Air Station at Alameda, looking for some photo ops (the NAS was decommissioned in 1997 and given to the city of Alameda; it is now known as Alameda Point).

I was searching for some interesting, although sadly neglected Art Deco-type buildings I had heard about. We finally found them but they were cordoned off. I got a few shots by holding the camera high overhead as my husband held down the chain link fence. This is a photo of the Mess Hall.

I love coming to NAS -- it has great wide-open spaces, interesting big old hangars and is just a great place to hang out. I will be sorry when this area is developed into condos and business parks, per the city’s plans. I just hope that they will save this wonderful Mess Hall building, or at least its façade, as well as some of the other cool buildings on the base.

Some history of the NAS Alameda: In 1934 the city of Alameda built an air strip and a seaplane basin on reclaimed land at the north end of Alameda island. They were built for two reasons: for the immediate use of Pan American Airways for their China Clipper seaplane flights (most people think the China Clippers flew from San Francisco but they in fact flew from Alameda), and as an incentive to attract the Navy to the community. The Navy was interested and began building the air station in 1938, and for over 50 years it was a repair and maintenance facility for Navy aircraft. During World War II, the 7th USS Hornet aircraft carrier was loaded at Alameda NAS with the 16 B-25s that would take part in the Doolittle Raid in Japan; it sank later that year. After the base closed, the 8th USS Hornet was given to the former air station to be used as a museum, which you can visit today. From 1949 to 1953, the Navy based the Lockheed Constitution -- the largest airplane ever listed on the Navy inventory -- at NAS Alameda.

Technical: Some cropping and sharpening.

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Additional Photos by Jackie Larson (jassy) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 134 W: 17 N: 308] (1065)
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