Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville was officially commissioned in October 1940. Batson-Cook, along with the Auchter Company and Duval Engineering and Contracting Company of Jacksonville, were awarded the contract to build the largest portion of the facilities - a trade school and cadet training area totaling approximately $49 million ($880 million today). Batson-Cook also worked on another $8 million worth of projects.
NAS Jacksonville served as a pilot training facility throughout WWII. At the war's peak, some 1,000 aircraft were housed on the base. Two take-offs and landings occurred every minute, around the clock, during 1943 and 1944.
In addition to the aviation training facilities, the base had more than 700 buildings before the end of the war, including a hospital and a prisoner-of-war compound.
One of the largest structures on the base is the enormous 1,500,000-square-foot Assembly & Repair Shop. Art Deco in style, the Assembly & Repair Shop was intended for the overhaul and maintenance of military planes. It is flooded with light from thousands of window panes, and its main door measures 160-feet wide by 45-feet high.
Batson-Cook received the Army-Navy “Excellence in Production” or “E” award for the work done to support the war effort. The award was created to encourage industrial mobilization and production of war-time materials. Only five percent of the 85,000-plus companies involved in efforts to support the military's war effort were awarded the honor.
Location: Jacksonville, FL
U.S. Department of the Navy | Washington, DC