Military


Air Station North Bend

The headquarters of Group North Bend are located in North Bend, Oregon. These offices oversee all operations of Group North Bend units. They also support the operational units by providing administrative, supply, medical, engineering, and communications services. The missions of Group North Bend include maritime search and rescue, enforcement of laws and treaties, providing aids to navigation, and marine environmental protection. In addition, the Air Station frequently assists Federal, state and county agencies by responding to calls for assistance with inland searches and medical evacuations (medevacs) of injured loggers. Group North Bend has integrated members of the Coast Guard Reserve into every facet of the Group's operations, and maintains an active liaison with Coast Guard Auxiliarists on the central and southern Oregon coast.

The former Naval Auxiliary Air Station, North Bend, consisting of 809.4 acres of land, is located within the corporate limits of the City of North Bend, Coos County, Oregon. Most of the acreage lies within the bounds of what is now known as the North Bend Municipal Airport located on the shore of Coos Bay and along State Route 21. A Coast Guard Station and associated industrial area is collocated with the Airport. A subdivision of residences abuts the former boundary of the base and the densely populated community of North Bend surrounds the Airport, which is owned by the City of North Bend.

The terrain is level in the area where the airfield and administration area are located. Rolling forested hills characterize the southwest area where the magazines and ranges were located. Drainage at the airport is through storm drains. In the undeveloped areas, drainage is through the sandy soil with run-off following the natural slope to the sea. Summers are fairly warm, but hot days are rare. Winters are cool, although snow and freezing temperatures are a rarity. During summer, rainfall is extremely light but frequent the rest of the year, especially late fall and in winter. Thunderstorms occur about 6 days each year, and most during summer. In most winters, one or two storms over the shore area bring strong and sometimes damaging winds. The mean minimum daily low of 39???? Fahrenheit occurs in January. Spring and autumn mean temperatures average in the 50's.

On 3 February 1943, The Department of the Navy signed a Letter of Agreement with the City of North Bend for use of 617.9 acres of the municipal airport, improvements thereon, and abutting tidelands as a Naval Auxiliary Air Station. Acquisitions of property in addition to the 617.9 acres increased the total acreage for the site to 810.49 acres. Tracts of 109.4 acres and 17.2 acres were acquired through condemnation proceedings in 1943. A twenty acre tract was acquired through condemnation in June 1943. On 1 July 1944, the Navy signed leases for the use of 4.77 acres and 39.77 acres. On 15 June 1945, the National Housing Agency transferred to the Navy 20 family dwelling units on 1.45 acres of land.

The station was commissioned on 10 May 1943 as the U.S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station, North Bend, Oregon, an activity of the U.S. Naval Air Center, Seattle, Washington. At various times during the history of this facility several squadrons comprised of many different aircraft, to include torpedo bombers, dive bombers, transports, fighters and observation planes were stationed at North Bend. The primary mission of the Station was stated to be the administration, operation, maintenance and training of Fleet Units. Additional missions were: to serve as a base for inshore patrol, to provide aviation facilities for a naval and army squadrons; and provide landing facilities for lighter than air patrol craft (blimps). The installation was utilized primarily as a training base for Navy pilots and aircrews from 1943 to 1945. OE related structures and areas identified were: airfield, machine gun range, skeet range, ready lockers (for storage of small arms ammunition), magazine area (for storage of torpedoes, pyrotechnics, fuzes, bombs and bomb components, air dropped depth charges, small arms ammunition, rockets and rocket components), bore sighting range and two rocket assembly buildings.

Effective 15 September 1945, Naval Auxiliary Air Station, North Bend (NAASNB) was placed in caretaker status. On 6 June 1946, NAASNB was declared surplus by the Navy and on 19 September 1946 it was turned over to the War Assets Administration for disposal. On 15 September 1947, the War Assets Administration quitclaim deeded to the City of North Bend the total of 146.60 acres acquired by condemnation. The permit interest for the 617.90 acres was surrendered by the same quitclaim deed. The leases for 39.77 owned by Coos County and 4.77 owned by Helen Smith became null and void on 1 July 1946. The 1.45 acre tract was transferred to the Public Housing Administration on 14 June 1948.

 



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