Installation Info: Zip Code: 32570, Area Code: 850, DSN: 868
Whiting Field, known as the "backbone of the Navy's flight program," has a remarkable history since its commission in 1943. Whiting Field, named after naval hero Capt. Kenneth Whiting, has served as a WWII prisoner of war camp, brief home of the Blue Angels, and site of the Navy's first jet training unit.
The commission of Whiting Field occurred during a crucial period in history in 1943, soon after the Allies invaded Sicily to wrest control of the island nation off the toe of Italy from the Germans. Whiting Field's newly acquired mission was to train "the world's best aviators." The base played a different role in 1945, when it established Detachment Three 1470 SCU. Detachment Three, a prisoner of war camp for German soldiers, was operated through the efforts and cooperation of naval authorities at Pensacola NAS and Army authorities at Camp Rucker, Alabama. After the war, the German POWs were sent back to their homeland. In 1949, the Blue Angels, the Navy's flight demonstration team, moved from Jacksonville Naval Air Station to Whiting Field, where the first jet training unit was established for the Blue Angels. But the Blue Angels were disbanded the next year and sent into combat in the Korean conflict. The jet training unit was transferred to Kingsville Naval Air Station in Texas soWhiting Field NAS could refocus on basic pilot training. In 1965, the base underwent a major, $10 million renovation.
The Milton County school system is provided for children residing on base. For routine medical services a branch medical and dental facility is on base. For emergency services, you can visit Pensacola Naval Hospital, only 30 miles from the station.
Recreational activities within the Whiting Field Naval Air Station include bowling, swimming, golf, tennis, fitness center, camping and fishing. Other facilities on base include boat docks, softball fields and auto and craft shops. Throughout the Pensacola area are various recreation facilities and state parks. Blue Angels Navy Recreation Park, established in the 1940s as training grounds, is now a beautiful park for military personnel. It offers camping, boating, swimming and picnicking areas. Big Lagoon State Recreation Center has almost 600 acres great for fishing, boating or just observing the beauty of nature. The 690-acre Blackwater River State Park is great for canoeing or hiking.