Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Moffett Field, California

Moffett Field, California is a United States facility in the San Francisco Bay Area, formerly a US Navy base and now used mainly by NASA.

Moffett Field's "Hanger #1" (built for the Macon) and the row of World War II blimp hangars are still some of the largest unsupported structures in the country.


In 1931, Mountain View, California and Sunnyvale, California acquired a 1,000 acre parcel of land bordering San Francisco Bay, then "sold" the parcel for $1 to the US government as a home base for the Navy dirigible USS Macon. Commissioned in 1933 and originally named NAS Sunnyvale, after the loss of the Macon and the death of Rear Admiral William A. Moffett in the loss of the USS Akron, the Naval Air Station was renamed NAS Moffett Field.

From 1935 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.

On July 1, 1994, Moffett Field was closed as a military base and turned over to NASA Ames Research Center. NASA Ames now operates the facility as Moffett Federal Airfield.

Onizuka Air Force Station, a large blue concrete building and an array of parabolic dish antennas used for control of military satellites, occupies the southern corner of Moffett Field. The base was named for Ellison Onizuka, one of the astronauts that died in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion.

External Links