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FORMER NAVAL AIR STATION CHASE FIELD

Environmental Restoration Program Public Website

Background

Naval Air Station (NAS) Chase Field is located 5 miles East of Beeville, 65 miles Northwest of Corpus Christi, 85 miles Southeast of San Antonio, Texas with a total area of 1772 acres bordered by an 8-foot perimeter fence and 7.2-mile road. There is about 35 acres of aircraft parking apron and had 130 habitable buildings totaling over 1 million sq. ft. The Airfield related facilities included 2 aircraft hangars, 1 aircraft hangar, an Aircraft Maintenance Facility and an Air Traffic Control Facility.

During its 50-year career, first as a naval auxiliary air station for NAS Corpus Christi and, from 1968 to its closure in 1993 as a primary naval air station, NAS Chase Field provided facilities, services, and material to support the pilot training program of the Naval Air Training command. Originally planned as a municipal airport, Chase Field was commissioned a Naval Auxiliary Air Station in 1943 and trained Navy pilots until 1946. It was deactivated in 1947 and was unused until it was recommissioned in 1954 to serve as a jet training facility. NAS Chase Field is named for the late Lieutenant Commander Nathan Brown Chase, who died during a training mission in the Pacific. Highlights of Chase Field’s history include its elevated status in the 1950s as an Advanced Jet training station, its designation as the Navy’s first swept-wing training center in 1957, its upgrading in 1968 to full naval air station and its production of more than one-fourth of the Navy’s total pilot output during the Vietnam War.

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