Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Moffett Field, California
Moffett Field's "Hangar One" (built during the Depression era for the USS Macon) and the row of World War II blimp hangars are still some of the largest unsupported structures in the country. Hanger One is a Bay Area landmark.
Plans to convert it to a space and science center have been put on hold with the discovery in 2003 that the paint on the outside is leaching toxic chemicals. The hangar has been closed ever since and is now threatened with demolition, although various concerned groups are fighting to save it.
In 1931, Mountain View, California and Sunnyvale, California acquired a 1,000 acre (4 km²) parcel of land bordering San Francisco Bay, then "sold" the parcel for $1 to the US government as a home base for the Navy airship USS Macon.
The base was commissioned in 1933 and originally named NAS Sunnyvale; after the death of Rear Admiral William A. Moffett in the loss of the USS Akron on April 4, 1933, the Naval Air Station was renamed NAS Moffett Field. After the ditching of the Macon on February 12, 1935, and until 1941, Moffett Field was under the control of the U.S. Army Air Corps.
From the end of World War II until its close, NAS Moffett Field saw several generations of anti-submarine warfare aircraft, including the Lockheed P2V Neptune and P-3 Orion. Until the demise of the USSR and for some time thereafter, daily anti-submarine sorties flew out from Moffett Field to patrol along the Pacific coastline.
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