mustin field

Seaplane Hangar at Mustin Field

The Henry C. Mustin Naval Aircraft Factory was once a base used for the construction and testing of aircraft for the U.S. Navy. Located at the Navy Yard, Mustin was created during World War I as a reaction to the refusal of private airplane manufacturers to build Navy planes. It just wasn't nearly as profitable as building aircraft for the Army, which needed far more planes. The factory was opened on November 17, 1917 and was named after Henry Mustin, the first pilot who launched a plane off the deck of an American ship.

In 1926, runways and additional land were added to the base and it became known colloquially as Mustin Field. Thousands of planes used in World War II were manufactured there. In 1943, the whole facility was upgraded and renamed the Naval Air Materials Center. This is when a large landmark hangar was built, known as the Seaplane Hangar or Building 653. It was a 302-foot long 49-foot tall steel-framed hangar with a giant concrete dome for a roof.