NAVAL AIR STATION, KINGSVILLE. The Naval Air Station, Kingsville, was the Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Kingsville, prior to August 9, 1968, when it was redesignated a naval air station. When it was commissioned in July 1942 it was one of three advanced air-training bases of the Naval Air Training Command. At that time its facilities were 85 percent complete; the field did not have a name, being officially designated as "P-4." During World War II four squadrons taught fighter and bomber tactics at the station as well as gunnery for combat aircrewmen. For a short time the field handled an overflow of basic-training recruits from an Illinois naval-training center. At the end of the war pilot training at the base dropped sharply. In September 1946 the station was closed and turned over to the city of Kingsville, which leased the base to the Texas College of Arts and Industries as an agricultural station. The base was reactivated in April 1951 as an auxiliary air station under the command of the chief of naval air advanced training located at the Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi. Three training squadrons used the two-seated TF-9J and the single-seated AF-9J. The station trained 300 men a year during the mid-1960s and received $3.8 million under a 1967 military construction bill, which was used to improve operation and maintenance facilities as well as troop housing. On June 28, 1986, the airfield portion of the Naval Air Station was named in honor of Adm. Alva D. Bernhard, who had chosen the site. In 1990 the station was the headquarters for Commander Training Air Wing Two, composed of three jet-training wings that trained 170 Navy and Marine Corps aviators each year. The station employed 900 military and 1,100 civilian personnel with an annual payroll of $45 million. The Naval Air Station at Kingsville also operates the Naval Auxiliary Landing Field at Orange Grove, forty-five miles northwest of Kingsville.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "NAVAL AIR STATION, KINGSVILLE," accessed February 25, 2020,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...