The Pensacola Naval Air Station, which is often referred to as the “Cradle of Naval Aviation,”? is renowned as the first Naval Air Station in the United States. Located on the Pensacola Bay in Northwest Florida, the Pensacola Naval Air Station is the primary site for the training of all marine aviators and naval flight officers. In addition, the Pensacola Naval Air Station houses the National Museum of Naval Aviation, commemorating the history of naval aviation.

History of the Pensacola Naval Air Station

The Pensacola Naval Air Station site was founded as the Pensacola Navy Yard in 1826. In the shipyard’s early years, it was considered one of the best equipped naval stations in the country. Originally, the Pensacola Navy Yard dealt primarily with suppressing the slave trade and piracy in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. During the American Civil War, the Pensacola Navy Yard was destroyed by Confederate troops who feared an attack by Union forces. Around 1913, the Pensacola Navy Yard was rebuilt and became the first Naval Aeronautic Center.

When the U.S. entered WWI, the Pensacola Naval Air Station was the only naval air station in the country. At this time, the Pensacola Naval Air Station was greatly expanded, and by 1918, was involved in training 1,000 naval aviators. With the advent of WWII, the Pensacola Naval Air Station greatly expanded its naval aviation activities, training 1,100 cadets a month.

When new technology required a transition from propellers to jets, the Pensacola Naval Air Station revised its training programs and produced 6,000 aviators from 1950 to 1953. In 1971, the Pensacola Naval Air Station was chosen as the Navy headquarters for CNET (Chief of Naval Education and Training), a command that combined the management of all Navy education and training programs. The Pensacola Naval Air Station operates at the forefront of the newest technology in the naval aviation industry and remains one of the premier pilot training facilities in the country.

Asbestos & the Pensacola Naval Air Station

Before strict asbestos regulations were ordered in the 1980s, Pensacola Naval Air Station used asbestos containing products extensively in its operations. As a result, a large number of people who were employed or trained at Pensacola Naval Air Station were exposed to asbestos and are now at risk for developing asbestos-related health complications.The Pensacola Naval Air Station used an abundance of asbestos for its ability to retard fire, withstand high temperatures, and resist corrosion. Asbestos was used as insulation for many aircraft and ship parts such as gaskets, pipes, wires, pumps, and turbines. Working at the Pensacola Naval Air Station before 1980 may have put many aviation mechanics, pilots, and other trainees at a high risk for developing life-threatening diseases such as:

  • Mesothelioma (a cancer of the protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs, including the lungs)
  • lung cancer
  • asbestosis (lung tissue scarring)
  • Cancer in other organs

Recently, due to the large amounts of dangerous industrial wastes generated over the years, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) named the Pensacola Naval Air Station and its surrounding area a Superfund Site. This means that the EPA determined that the Pensacola Naval Air Station area is severely polluted with dangerous contaminants, such as asbestos, putting those who have worked or lived in the area in danger of serious illnesses. Unfortunately, the Pensacola Naval Air Station is one of the largest Superfund cleanup sites in the U.S.

Asbestos Injuries at the Pensacola Naval Air Station – Florida

If you or a loved were exposed to asbestos at the Pensacola Naval Air Station and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, contact us today to determine if you have a case and are entitled to compensation.

Published November 17, 2011 by