Squantum Naval Air Station in Squantum Point in Quincy Bay, Quincy,
Massachusetts was an air facility used by the United States Navy from
1917 until 1953. Before the First World War, Squantum Point had been
Harvard Aviation Field, an air field used by the Harvard Aeronautical
Society. In 1917, The Navy took possession of the air field and began
constructing wooden hangers to accommodate seaplanes that would
eventually be stationed there. A Naval Militia post was soon after
constructed, and shortly became a primary flight training facility for
naval aviation cadets, until the end of that year when flight training
was consolidated into better weather conditioned cities.
After the war had ended, Squantum air base was turned into a naval
shipyard for a time, but after only three years the shipyard had been
relocated, and Squantum was left vacant. It wasn’t until the early
1920s, that Squantum would be used again by the Navy. Veteran pilots
from the First World War helped convince the Department of the Navy to
continue to use Squantum as a reserve forces training base. Naval Air
Station was re-commissioned on August 15, 1923, and is believed to be
the first naval reserve air base established in the Navy.
During the Second World War, NAS Squantum was used as an
anti-submarine warfare and coastal patrol base for the New England
area. In addition to its anti-submarine reconnaissance mission,
Squantum also served as primary training ground for aviation cadets, and
as a school for American and British dive bomber squadrons. After the
war, the base again became home to reserve officers of the Navy and
Marine Corps. However, the Base was closed due to mounting concerns by
Logan International Airport that air traffic and air space had become
too unmanageable because of proximity to the base. The decision was
made to close Squantum, and relocate all aircraft and programs to South
Weymouth Naval Air Station.
Due to its focus on aircraft maintenance and testing, NAS Squantum has been linked to asbestos products and asbestos exposure, as well as possible cases of mesothelioma.
From the end of World War II till the late 1970s, US Navy installations
and bases were routinely fitted with asbestos materials and products -
not just in vessels, but in the buildings that made up major bases.
Barracks, mess halls, power plants, and many other building located at
the yard were built using asbestos products as well. If you are a
veteran suffering from mesothelioma, and believe that your current
health conditions were caused by your military service, you should
contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer today.