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Naval Air Station Glenview or NAS Glenview was an operational U.S. Naval Air Station from 1923 to 1995. Located in Glenview, Illinois, a suburb of Chicagomarker, the air base primarily operated seaplanes on nearby Lake Michiganmarker, and later, P-3 Orions, stationed there as a staging point for Anti-submarine warfare against Sovietmarker submarines. The former air base has now been redeveloped into a residential subdivision and commercial area called The Glen, although the control tower has been preserved as a historic building. Hangar 1, including the control tower, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 as building #98001357.

Pre-military history

Aerial view of NAS Glenview in the late 1940s
The base was originally built by the Curtiss Flying Service and intended to be the hub of Chicago's air service. When the field was dedicated on October 20, 1929, it was home to the largest hangar built to that time, Hangar One.

Hangar One, one of the most advanced hangars at the time, included many innovations which were considered state-of-the-art in its time. A one gigacandela electric light was erected which allowed for airfield activity in the dark. Additionally, a system of carefully designed sliding doors created dividers for storage and zone heating. Glassed-in galleries allowed passengers the opportunity to watch the mechanics at work on the ground floor. A passenger-friendly restaurant and lounge were opened in the upper levels. A loudspeaker system informed the passengers of the flight arrivals and departures. The final cost for the airfield and Hangar One was $3 million in 1930. By adjusting the price for inflation, the relative cost in 2005 would be about $32.4 million. It was widely believed to be one of the Midwest's finest airports.

In 1930, the National Air Races took place at Curtiss Field and in 1933, the International Air Races took place there in conjunction with the Century of Progressmarker. Such aviation luminaries as Charles Lindbergh, Wiley Post, and Jimmy Doolittle attended. In 1934, Post tried to set an aviation altitude record from Curtiss. By 1938, civilian and military operations both ran out of the field, but in 1940, it was sold outright to the United States Navy. The name was officially changed to the Naval Air Station Glenview on January 1, 1943.

Alumni



Accidents and incidents

  • On May 30, 1943, two Marine flyers were killed when their planes collided above Pfingsten and Willow Road in Glenview. The Marines were flying in formation returning to the base on maneuvers from the USS Wolverine on Lake Michiganmarker.
  • On June 11, 1947, a plane leaving the air station to participate in an air show over downtown Chicago was forced to crashland in a field near Willow and Waukegan Roads in Glenview. The plane's landing gear broke off, but the two flyers were uninjured and no one on the ground was injured.
  • On January 15, 1951 a plane flying from O'Hare International Airportmarker to Glenview crashed into a farmer's field in Northbrookmarker along Willow Road after it developed a problem with ice forming on the wings. All four crewmen and a passenger were killed, but there were no casualties on the ground.
  • On July 8, 1968 a Douglas A4B Skyhawk piloted by Lt. William T. Reinders crashed after takeoff into a Glenview home, killing a 13 year old girl. The pilot said he could have missed the house if he had dropped the fuel tanks from the plane. He ejected at the last moment and was injured.
  • On 20 January 1977, a USCG Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard - tail number 1448, struck three electrical transmission wires and crashed into the ice-filled Illinois River. The crew had been performing an aerial ice patrol along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. The names of the personnel killed in the incident were: LTJG Frederick William Caesar III USN, LTJG John Francis Taylor (CG Aviator #1620), AT2 John B. Johnson, Mr. Jim Simpson (Civilian). The Air Station the aircraft and/or crew were assigned to was AIRSTA Chicago.
  • On 12 August 1978, a Britishmarker Avro Vulcan B2 XL390 of No. 617 Squadron Royal Air Force crashed during an air display. The crash occurred at around , after a possible stall during a wing-over. The plane crashed into a landfill just north of Willow Road. All four crew members aboard perished.
  • On August 16, 1986, pilot Vince Amato lost power in his F-16 at 15,000 feet and was guided to a safe landed at Glenview Naval Air Force Base by Jeff McCoy, an air traffic controller at O'Haremarker.


  • On 3 March, 1991, a US Navy CT-39G Sabreliner crashed into a residential area at Dewes Street during a visual approach to Glenview NAS. All three crew members aboard perished. As the jet approached the street, the pilot turned the plane such that the wings were perpendicular to the street in "knife-blade" fashion. The jet crashed into the center of the street, and the only damage on the ground was fire damage to the front of 2 houses and a few trees were burned. The village established a scholarship fund for the survivors of the crew.


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