Naval Air Station Wildwood
Commissioned on April 1, 1943, Naval Air Station Wildwood trained thousands of U.S. Navy airmen during World War II. Located in southern New Jersey on a peninsula bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay, the air station was perfectly sited to provide them with the over-water practice they needed for fighting the Japanese fleet in the western Pacific theater. Some of the war's most lethal bombers-Helldivers and TBM-3E Avengers among them-were flown by members of naval fighter, dive-bombing, and torpedo-bombing squadrons based at the station from 1943 until 1945. At least 42 airmen lost their lives while training at the station, but their deaths brought about improvements in airplane design and tactics. Today only a handful of the station's 126 original buildings remain; the largest of these, Hangar No. 1, has been restored to its original appearance and houses Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum.