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NAS Key West 1975
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Text:

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Pictures:

Guido E. Bühlmann

   
In our series of US Navy aircrafts we will this time take a look back to the year 1975 and visit one of the most important Naval Air Station: Key West, Florida.
Our chief-photographer, Guido E. Buehlmann, had the great opportunity to visit Naval Air Station Key West while he was travelling throughout Florida. Her we show you his exciting report at the time when Navy aircrafts still had colorful paint-schemes.
 
Unser Chef-Fotograf, Guido E. Bühlmann hatte anlässlich seiner USA Reise im Januar 1975 die Möglichkeit die Naval Air Station Key West ein paar Tage lang zu besuchen.
Hier sein farbenfroher Bericht als die Navyflugzeuge noch bunte Bemalungen hatten. In einem 2. Teil berichten dann Mike E. Fader und Andy Herzog über die Naval Air Station Key West einige Jahre später (1990) anlässlich Ihrer ersten, gemeinsamen Spotter-Reise.

Naval Air Station Key West

 

Grumman TF-9J Cougar BuAer 147287 VT-4 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

Flightline of the NAS Key West in 1975  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Douglas EA-3B Skywarrior BuAer 144850 "Ranger 12" of VQ-2 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)*
History

Naval Air Station Key West is located at the end of the Florida Keys on a landscape called Boca Chica Keys, close to the small town of Key West.
The Air Station was build in December 1940 during the Second World War and is still running and under the command of the US Navy. During the Cuba crises in October 1962 Naval Air Station Key West was one of the most important Base to the United States and the closest to the Island of Cuba! Today, after the cold war, only a few fighter squadrons are based at Key West. Along these squadrons, Key West homes following units as well:

  • Department of Homeland Security

  • Air National Guard

  • Caribbean Regional Operations Center (CARIBROC)

  • U.S. Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School

Geschichte

Naval Air Station Key West ist eine US Navy Air Station und liegt auf den Boca Chica Keys am südlichsten Ende der Florida Keys Inseln, etwa 6km. von der kleinen Stadt Key West.
Diese Air Station wurde im Dezember 1940, also während des zweiten Weltkriegs, gebaut und wird bis heute von der United States Navy betrieben. Während der Kubakrise im Oktober 1962 erlangte die Naval Air Station Key West grosse Bedeutung, war sie doch die Basis der USA die am nächsten zu Kuba gelegen ist. Heute sind neben einigen Fighter Composite Staffeln auch folgende Einheiten in Key West zu Hause:

  • Department of Homeland Security

  • Air National Guard

  • Caribbean Regional Operations Center (CARIBROC)

  • U.S. Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School.

North American RA-5C Vigilante

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 147860 #311 RVAH-3  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 146627 #304 RVAH-3  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 147860 #311 RVAH-3  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 146641 #300 RVAH-3  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante of RVAH-3  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante of RVAH-3  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante of RVAH-3  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante of RVAH-3  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 146698 #305 RVAH-3  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 146698 #305 RVAH-3  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 146698 #305 RVAH-3  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 156642 #601 RVAH-1  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 156624 #602 RVAH-5  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 156625 #601 RVAH-6  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 156625 #601 RVAH-6  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 156625 #601 RVAH-6  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

   

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 156625 #601 RVAH-6  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

North American RA-5C Vigilante BuAer 156625 #601 RVAH-6  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

   

Mc Donnell Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk

Mc Donnell Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk BuAer 154616 #061 VA-43 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

Mc Donnell Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk BuAer 154305 #073 VA-43 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

Mc Donnell Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk BuAer 153671 VA-43 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

Mc Donnell Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk BuAer 154305 #073 VA-43 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)


 

Mc Donnell Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk BuAer 154618 #000 VA-43 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

Mc Donnell Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk BuAer 154343 #341 RVAH-3 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

   
During the modernization of the US Navy aircraft fleet in the past decades the colorful paint schemes of Navy Jets completely disappeared. Today’s “gray in gray” paint schemes may guarantee less visibility to the enemy pilot’s, but are not attractive anymore to us aircraft spotters. Luckily an attempt to go back to more colorful paintings can be seen, regarding some squadron signs on several Navy Jets.
We would look forward to more colorful times to come! 
Key West Air Station has three concrete runways as follows:

Runway 7/25:             10'001 x 200ft. (3'048 x 61m)
Runway 3/21:             7’002 x150ft. (2’134 x 46m)
Runway 13/31:           7’001 x150ft. (2’134 x 46m)

On our second part of our Key West report, later on this year, Mike E. Fader will provide you with some details about all the squadrons based in the past and present at Naval Air Station Key West and as always some nice images.

Im Zuge der Modernisierung der vergangenen Jahrzehnte sind leider auch die farbenfrohen Bemalungen der verschiedenen Navy Staffeln in den 60er, 70er und 80er Jahren den heute bekannten „grau in grau“ Tönen der modernen Kampfjets gewichen.
Zum Glück gibt es aber auch heute wieder zaghafte Versuche etwas mehr Farbe auf die Flugzeuge zu bringen und sei es im Moment nur die Staffelabzeichen.
Vielleicht kommen ja wieder buntere Zeiten?
Key West Air Station verfügt über drei Betonstartbahnen wie folgt:

Runway 7/25:             10'001 x 200ft. (3'048 x 61m)
Runway 3/21:             7’002 x150ft. (2’134 x 46m)
Runway 13/31:           7’001 x150ft. (2’134 x 46m)

Im 2. Teil unsere Reportage wird dann unser Chef-Redaktor, Mike E. Fader, auf die verschiedenen Staffeln während seines Besuches im August 1990, näher eingehen.

Mc Donnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II

Mc Donnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II BuAer 155562  #054  VF-101 Det. KW

Mc Donnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II of VF-101 Det. KW (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

Mc Donnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II BuAer 154782 #103 VF-101

Mc Donnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II of VF-101  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

Grumman US-2B Traker

Grumman US-2B Tracker BuAer 136457 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Grumman US-2B Tracker BuAer 136457 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Grumman US-2B Tracker BuAer 136457 (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann) Grumman US-2B Tracker BuAer 136457( Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King

Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King BuAer 149696  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King BuAer 149696  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King BuAer 149696  (Picture courtesy Guido E. Bühlmann)

 

Note * Douglas EA-3B Skywarrior BuAer 144850 This aircraft went down in the Med in March 1987 off the USS Nimitz due to a landing accident.  All seven crewmen perished in the accident.

 
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last update 22. July 2014

Written 20. July 2011

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