Naval Air Station Whidby Island

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is located in Washington and covers two different areas close to Oak Harbor. The base is operated by the United States Navy and is part of the sophisticated process to prepare the United States of America for World War II. The base is differently known among the workers and inhabitants. A huge part of it has a different name – Ault Field. It was renamed in the honor of William B. Ault, a prolific commander who passed away while on the Battle of the Coral Sea, one of the most important battles in World War II between Japan and the allied forces of Australia and the United States of America. William B. Ault was actually marked as missing in action, as he was never found. The smaller part of this installation is referred to as the Seaplane Base.
There are one helicopter – MH 605 Seahawk – and five aircrafts this base supports. Some of the aircrafts include the EP 3E Aries II, the C 9 Skytrain or the EA 18G Growler.

One year before the Pearl Harbor attacks and the forced “enrollment” of the United States of America in World War II, the authorities were desperately looking for a new airbase to expand their operations, especially in terms of defense. The defense was a problematic domain at that time. Although Oak Harbor was considered to be a potential “target” among a few other names, the authorities gave up the idea. There were various reasons. Some places didn’t have enough beaches, while others were too hard to access, not to mention about some random mountains and hills in the area. One day after the Pearl Harbor attacks, the authorities decided on Oak Harbor, so the construction began in the first day of spring in 1942. The first aircraft was sent on site in the summer of the same year. However, the construction was still not over, especially the runway.
Multiple types of aircrafts came and left NAS Whidbey Island throughout World War II, with the F4F Wildcats, the PV 1 Venturas and the F6F Hellcats counting as the most important models. When World War II was over, the activity on site ceased dramatically. Most people were just killing their time around. It was just a matter of time until the base was about to be disestablished. Besides, the authorities set up some requirements for all the bases of the US Navy. Plenty of other bases were decommissioned only because they were unable to meet these criteria. The Korean War brought in some activity, but that was it.

These days, NAS Whidbey Island is in an unofficial standby mode.

There are more than 50 tenant units at NAS Whidbey Island, but a few of them are actually active, such as the VAQ 129 Vikings, the VP 46 Grey Knights or the VQ 1 World Watchers. There are also two reserve units – the VP 69 Fighting Totems and the VR 61 Islanders. The base is responsible for maintaining five different aircrafts today.