Fast Facts

NASW History Navigation: Aircraft Deployed During WWII | Declassified History | Fast Facts | Honor Roll | Photos 1943-45 | WWII Posters

Did you know these facts about Naval Air Station Wildwood?


  • Naval Air Station Wildwood was commissioned on April 1, 1943.
  • Originally named Naval Air Station Rio Grande, the base changed its name to Naval Air Station Wildwood to avoid confusion with Rio Grande, TX.
  • 42 known airmen died while training at Naval Air Station Wildwood.
  • NASW was an active dive-bombing training facility for US Naval Aviators from 1943 to 1945.
  • There were 129 crashes on or around the base.
  • October, 1944, NASW saw its peak activity with 16,994 take offs and landings for a one month period.
  • NASW was decommissioned in February 1946. 109 buildings were declared military surplus and sent to auction.
  • Following WW II, Hangar #1 was used for various aviation related ventures including: Curt Young’s Southern Jersey Airways, Allegheny Commuter, Dr. Ralph Cox’s United States Overseas Airlines and a “banner plane” business.
  • In June 1997 NASW Foundation, a non profit organization, was formed to help restore Hangar #1 and create a memorial to those men who lost their lives training here.
  • NASW is currently a 92,000 square foot all wood truss hangar/aviation museum.
  • NASW is listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places at a level of National Significance.
  • The TBM Avenger aircraft on display is also listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places.
  • NASW has over 26 aircraft on display, military memorabilia, engines, photographs, and interactive exhibits on the science of flight.
  • Aircraft stationed at NASW during WW II included: TBM Avenger, F4U Corsair, Douglass Dauntless, and Curtiss SB2C Helldiver.
  • Aircraft currently on display include: F-14 Tomcat, A-4 Skyhawk, Mig-15, TBM Avenger, Boeing Stearman, Huey and Cobra Helicopters.
  • The Museum is open all year rain or shine and plays host to many community activities and fundraisers.
  • NASW Aviation Museum is located within a few miles of Wildwood New Jersey’s vast, free beaches; Victorian Cape May, NJ; and a favorite site for bird watchers, New Jersey’s southern most point, Cape May Point State Park.

NASW Aviation Museum

500 Forrestal Road
Cape May Airport
Rio Grande, NJ 08242
(609) 886-8787

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