NAS Brunswick, ME
This over-view of NAS Brunswick was taken during the late 1990s. VP-92's first home at Brunswick was Hangar One, which is located at the top right section of this photo.
Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine, scheduled to close during 2011, has been a United States Navy base since 1943. NAS Brunswick was built in a largely undeveloped and rural area, close to the Atlantic coast, on top of what had been blueberry fields, pine woodlands, and a small civilian airport. The base was first commissioned during April 1943.
During the Second World War NAS Brunswick served mainly as an advanced flight training facility for Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm squadrons that were transitioning to the Chance Vought F4U Corsair fighter. However, the base also supported operational detachments of various U.S. Navy squadrons including VS-1D1/VS-31 and VJ-4 which flew anti-submarine patrols over and around the Gulf of Maine throughout the Second World War years using Consolidated PBY Catalinas, Douglas SBD Dauntlesses, Grumman J2F Ducks, Lockheed PV Venturas, and similar aircraft. During the war NAS Brunswick also occasionally hosted blimp detachments from airship patrol squadron ZP-11 based at nearby NAS South Weymouth, Massachusetts.
NAS Brunswick was deactivated not long after the war ended in October 1946. Throughout the latter half of the 1940s some of the closed base's land and buildings were leased to the University of Maine and Bowdoin College. Other base facilities were used by private business concerns including one that utilized one or more aircraft hangars for mushroom farming. However, the beginning of the Korean War in 1950 caused naval planners to decide to reopen NAS Brunswick as the deepening Cold War brought concerns that the country might be facing a Third World War with the Soviet Union and its Communist allies. The base was transformed into a so-called "Master Jet Base". Two new parallel 8,000-foot runways and various other physical improvements were made, and then NAS Brunswick was reopened during March 1951 as a maritime patrol installation.
At first, the reopened NAS Brunswick hosted three operational patrol squadrons (VP) and one fleet aircraft service or maintenance squadron (FASRON). However, by the late 1960s the base had as many as eight operational patrol squadrons assigned to it. These patrol squadrons, which over the years flew various models of Lockheed P-2 Neptunes and P-3 Orions, routinely deployed to locations across the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea including but not limited to the Azores, Ascention Island, Bermuda, Crete, Iceland, Puerto Rico, Sicily, Spain, and Newfoundland throughout the Cold War era hunting and tracking Soviet submarines. During the Vietnam War some Brunswick patrol squadrons deployed to Southeast Asia. In later years, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the patrol squadrons based at NAS Brunswick took an active role in the war on drugs and the war on terror.
The Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) of 2005 recommended that NAS Brunswick be closed in 2011 and directed that its remaining squadrons and other activities be disestablished or relocated to NAS Jacksonville, Florida by the end of 2009. At this time the ultimate disposition of the base remains undecided.