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Virtual Earth map of NAS Hitchcock, Texas

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NAS Hitchcock was established on 22 May 1943. Commander Charles W. Roland was installed as base commander and 133 personnel were assigned to the station. The first airship arrived on 13 June, and base manpower expanded with the establishment of Blimp Squadron (ZP) 23. Later, detachments arrived from ZPs 21, 22 and 24. During the ensuing year, numerous patrols were made over Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Despite the blimp crews' aerial vigilance, no submarine sightings were reported in the Galveston area, and the operational life span of NAS Hitchcock was shortened. After only 17 months of service, the base was redesignated a naval air facility on 18 October 1944 and took on a heavier than air mission. By that time, the U-boat threat in the Gulf of Mexico had diminished and blimp patrols were no longer necessary.



 

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