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U.S. Naval and U.S. Marine Corps Aviation History

In May of 1911, Captain Washington Irving Chambers, United States Navy, officer in charge of aviation, prepared the requisition for the Navy’s first aircraft to be purchased from aviator and inventor Glenn H. Curtiss. From then, until today, Naval aviation has played a significant role in the defense of our country, in peace and war.

Naval aviation today is comprised of more than 100,000 officers and sailors assigned to 11 aircraft carriers, 10 carrier air wings, 25 naval air stations, and 168 fleet, Reserve, and training squadrons.

We fondly remember the years we spent in the United States Navy. We salute all other veterans, both past and present for their service to our country.

For those interested in planes of the past, there are indeed lots of military DVDs, and aviation books. But we find that the best way to understand aviation history is to see it up close and personal. To see the planes, touch them, sense their size and purpose. And the way to actually view planes is at air museums.

Many fine museums around the country offer a first-hand glance at the history of Navy aviation. The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida, is a world-class facility, and highly recommended.

Also, the Naval Station Wildwood Aviation Museum at the Cape May Airport in New Jersey is well repsected, and their collection of aircraft, other aviation exhibits, special events and educational opportunities are recommended.

Other Navy museums at Patuxent, Alameda, Tillamook and other sites offer excellent glimpses into past Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard operations.

Shown below is but a brief sampling of the aircraft on display around the country, enabling us to remember and appreciate the planes and sailors of the past. We'll be adding more Navy and Marine aircraft photos soon.

Photographs of Naval and Marine Corps Aircraft

Centennial of Naval Aviation: 1911 - 2011
Naval Aviation Centennial - 1911 to 2011
North American Aviation T-2C Buckeye B/N 157050 at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona
North American Aviation T-2C Buckeye B/N 157050 at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona
North American Aviation T-2 Buckeye B/N 157034 at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum in Tyler
North American Aviation T-2 Buckeye B/N 157034 at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum in Tyler
North American Aviation T-2 Buckeye Bureau Number 157034 at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum
North American Aviation T-2 Buckeye Bureau Number 157034 at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum
North American Aviation T-2 Buckeye B/N 157034 at the HAMM Museum in Tyler
North American Aviation T-2 Buckeye B/N 157034 at the HAMM Museum in Tyler
C-131A of the United States Coast Guard, restored by the staff of the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum
C-131A of the United States Coast Guard, restored by the staff of the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum
T-28C Trojan, restored by the volunteers of the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum
T-28C Trojan, restored by the volunteers of the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum
U.S. Navy Lockheed P2V-7 Nepture, BuNo 148360, Tillamook Air Museum
U.S. Navy Lockheed P2V-7 Nepture, BuNo 148360, on display at the Tillamook Air Museum
U.S. Navy F-14A Tomcat at the Tillamook Air Museum
U.S. Navy F-14A Tomcat at the Tillamook Air Museum
U.S. Marine Corps A-6E Intruder, BuNo 154131 at Aviators Memorial Park in Grand Junction
U.S. Marine Corps A-6E Intruder, BuNo 154131 at Aviators Memorial Park in Grand Junction
Grumman F11F of the Blue Angels, BuNo 141796,
Aviators Memorial Park, Grand Junction Regional Airport (Walker Field) in Colorado
Grumman F11F of the Blue Angels, BuNo 141796, Aviators Memorial Park at Grand Junction Regional Airport in Colorado
Whidbey Island - City of Oak Harbor
Naval Air Station aircraft display, A-6 Intruder and EA-6B Prowler (May 2013)
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station aircraft display, A-6 Intruder and EA-6B Prowler (May 2013)
United States Marines Corps AD-5 Skyraider in Tyler, Texas
United States Marines AD-5 Skyraider on display in Tyler, Texas
FG-1D Corsair, 530, of the Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, at the Cedar Creek Air Show in Tyler, Texas
FG-1D Corsair, 92468, of the Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, at the Cedar Creek Air Show in Tyler, Texas
North American PBJ-1J "Devil Dog" patrol bomber, a B-25 variant for the Marine Corps
Part of the Devil Dog Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), located in Georgetown, TX
North American PBJ-1J "Devil Dog" patrol bomber, a B-25 variant for the Marine Corps
North American PBJ-1J "Devil Dog" before a performance at the Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake Air Show
North American PBJ-1J "Devil Dog" before a performance at the Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake Air Show
North American PBJ-1J "Devil Dog" patrol bomber, showing Commemorative Air Force logo
North American PBJ-1J "Devil Dog" patrol bomber, showing Commemorative Air Force logo
U.S. Marine Corps. PBJ-1J "Devil Dog" patrol bomber - front gun armament
U.S. Marine Corps. PBJ-1J "Devil Dog" patrol bomber - front gun armament
U.S. Navy F-4 Phantom from the USS Coral Sea, 152986
at the Wedell-Williams Aviation Museum, Patterson, Louisiana (photo by the author)
F-4 Phantom from the USS Coral Sea
U.S. Navy McDonnell-Douglas YF-4J Phantom, 151497, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
U.S. Navy McDonnell-Douglas YF-4J Phantom, 151497, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
Grumman F-11A Tiger, 141824, in markings of the Blue Angels, at the Pima Air Museum
Grumman F-11A Tiger, 141824, in markings of the Blue Angels, on display at the Pima Air Museum
Blue Angels logo on the Grumman F-11A Tiger, 141824
Blue Angels logo on the Grumman F-11A Tiger, 141824
U.S. Navy Martin PBM-5A Mariner, 122071, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
U.S. Navy Martin PBM-5A Mariner, 122071, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat, 80410, VMF-312, of the U.S. Marines Corps, at the Pima Air Museum
Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat, 80410, VMF-312, of the U.S. Marines, on display at the Pima Air Museum
Nose view, Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat, 80410, VMF-312, of the U.S. Marines Corps
Nose view, Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat, 80410, VMF-312, of the U.S. Marines
Sikorsky S-43 Baby Clipper, 1059, 2-M J-4, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
Sikorsky S-43 Baby Clipper, 1059, 2-M J-4, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
Grumman S2F-1 Tracker, 136468, of the U.S. Navy, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
Grumman S2F-1 Tracker, 136468, of the U.S. Navy, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
U.S. Navy Convair T-29B Flying Classroom, 517906, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
U.S. Navy Convair T-29B Flying Classroom, 517906, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
United States Navy C-131F Samaritan, 141017, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
United States Navy C-131F Samaritan, 141017, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
United States Marine Corps Douglas C-117D Super Gooneybird, 50826, Pima Air Museum, Tucson, AZ
United States Marines Douglas C-117D Super Gooneybird, 50826, on display at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
U.S. Navy North American T-28C Trojan, 140481, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
U.S. Navy North American T-28C Trojan, 140481, at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ
TA-4J Skyhawk, 154291,U.S. Navy, at the HAMM Museum, Tyler, TX
TA-4J Skyhawk, U.S. Navy, on display at the HAMM Museum, Tyler, TX
TA-4J Skyhawk, U.S. Navy, 154291, HAMM Museum, Tyler, TX
TA-4J Skyhawk, U.S. Navy, on display at the HAMM Museum, Tyler, TX
North American FJ-4 Fury of the U.S. Marine Corps, 139516, at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum in Tyler, Texas
North American FJ-4 Fury of the U.S. Marines, 139516, on display at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum in Tyler, Texas
A-7 Corsair II of the U.S Navy, at Heritage Park at the National Museum of Nuclear History in Albuquerque, NM
A-7 Corsair II of the U.S Navy, on display at Heritage Park at the National Museum of Nuclear History in New Mexico

Historic Images of Naval Aircraft

Curtiss SB2C-1 Dive Bomber
Curtiss SB2C-1 Dive Bomber, as shown in this historic postcard
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