Naval Air Station Kingsville’s was first created in 1941 its primary mission is to train tactical jet pilots for the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Read more below:
554 McCain Street
Naval Air Station Kingsville
Kingsville, TX 78363
NAS Kingsville is located in Kleberg County, Texas, about 2 miles east of Kingsville in the south gulf coastal plains. The cost-of-living is low. It is about 45 miles from Corpus Christi and NAS Corpus Christi and is the home of King Ranch, once the largest ranch in the world. There is no base operator at NAS Kingsville.
In the fall of 1941, a group of Kingsville civic leaders decided that the city’s desirable climate and scarcely populated area would be very suitable for a military airfield, much like the one in Corpus Christi. The city leaders wasted little time in making their belief known to the Department of Defense.
The Kingsville group picked out several good sites for airfields and presented them to Navy leaders at NAS Corpus Christi. Among the most impressed of the Navy staff was CAPT Alva Bernhard, who at the time was NAS Corpus Christi’s Commanding Officer. While the Navy made no immediate promises to the Kingsville group, that all changed on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. CAPT Bernhard, foreseeing an immense training buildup that would overtake NAS Corpus Christi’s capacity, immediately selected a site in Kingsville and put his plans into high gear for procurement and construction.
The farmland site of 3,000 acres was soon purchased from the B. O. Sims family. The Navy planned to build a combination of two fields with barracks and other Station activities in a central location, thus saving construction time. Quarters “Q” on the property (now Quarters A) was the only existing building on the land to escape demolition when the Navy took control. The house formerly belonged to the B.O. Sims family and the Navy decided to keep it intact for use as a residence for airfield commanders. The base opened July 4, 1942.
With the attack on Pearl Harbor still fresh on their minds, a large group of Kingsville citizens came to witness the commissioning ceremony. “Kingsville Field” was dedicated to the pilots who would train here and play an important role in winning the war. CDR D. S. McMahon assumed command of the airfield.
Over the next three years, Kingsville Field played a vital role in training Navy and Marine Corps aviators for the Fleet. In addition to jet fighter training, pilots received training in carrier dive bombing tactics, anti-submarine warfare, and cockpit gunnery and artillery at both North and South Fields.
After the war, the base was placed in a caretaker status and leased to the City of Kingsville.
The County Commissioners’ Court and the City of Kingsville agreed to lease the base for $1 a year, plus maintenance costs, and sublease the property to Texas A&I University to be developed as the school’s East Campus for use primarily by the Department of Agriculture. For the next five years, until the start of the Korean Conflict, the college used the facilities while it continued to grow. In 1949, the buildings and dormitories were valued at $5 million. The base had been adapted to house returning World War II veterans, both students and faculty, and also to provide facilities for model farming and a stock farm. The faculty had 150 members in 1949, and 60 percent of the 2,000 students were male.
To provide NAS Kingsville personnel, including all tenant activities, with the best reliable and sustainable shore infrastructure and services to enable and support the Fleet, fighter, and family.
“We endeavor to be the best Naval Air Station throughout Navy Region Southeast by effectively operating as an extension of the Fleet, delivering the world’s best combat aviators to forward-deployed commands at the right time.”
- Educate, train and function to meet Fleet requirements.
- Provide the necessary tools and guidance that enable Sailors and Marines to develop to their fullest potential, professionally, personally, and in the Fleet.
- Ensure we produce well-trained and well-disciplined Navy, Marine Corps and allied forces combat aviators by supplying the right training support at the right time at the right cost.
- Strive to measure our success by the success of each Sailor and Marine and the Fleet.
- Initiate forward-thinking processes to effectively plan for the future; Plan ahead and manage to the plan.
- Strive to maintain individual professionalism on and off the job.
Public Affairs Office
554 McCain St. Suite 214
Kingsville, TX 78363