"You can be very
proud of the heritage you continue to safeguard at the Museum.
As you celebrate this anniversary, I know you will continue
to actively recognize the profound sacrifices that these airmen
and sailors made to keep America free. The crews who trained
in the SBD Douglas Dauntless dive bombers performed their
missions with uncommon valor during World War II. Because
of their efforts, Americans from around the world will know
the amazing history of DeLand Naval Air Station and the contributions
these men made to our nation's defense."
Gordon R. England,
Secretary of the U.S. Navy 2002
The City of
DeLand started the airport in the 1920s with the first asphalt runway
built around 1936. The Navy came to DeLand in 1941 and the City
donated the airport to the Navy and the Navy bought additional property
around it encompassing what is now the DeLand airport.
The Navy base
was opened in November 1942. Bomber squadrons patrolled the coast
of Florida for submarines. Trained pilots came here to team with
a gunner and they trained together to dive bomb using the SBD Douglas
Dauntless aircraft. The men were shipped out after their 3 month
training period. The SBDs are credited with sinking four Japanese
aircraft carriers and helped to win the war at Midway.
The DeLand Naval
Air Station was officially closed in March of 1946 and the Navy
returned the entire field over to the City of DeLand.
School occupied some of the old buildings at the airport from 1956
The DeLand Naval
Air Station Museum was started in 1992, on the 50th anniversary
of the opening of the base. The City of DeLand donated the Master
of Arms Residence for the Museum. The building was restored and
dedicated in November, 1995, and has grown steadily ever since.
In 2001, the Museum building was placed on the National Register
of Historic Places.
Fred Clark gave
the Museum a MASH helicopter from the Korean War and the use of
his hangar, and Chris Stubbs donated a 1941 Buick convertible which
is being restored. The Museum has also received a 1954 Army jeep
all of which are housed in the hangar. The US Navy has given the
Museum a TBF Avenger torpedo bomber which is sitting in the backyard.
A group of Museum volunteers are restoring the plane every Wednesday
and Saturday morning.
The Museum and Hangar 100 deposit bonus forex are filled with military artifacts, vintage
photographs, memorabilia that have been donated to the Museum. There
is also a room dedicated to World War I.
The DeLand Naval Air Station Museum is dedicated to preserving our
military history for the DeLand community, its visitors and for
future generations so they may realize the sacrifices made for their