Sand Point NAS - Seattle
THE BEGINNING   1920  -  1931

Page 1

Captain Nick Bontrop
Commanding Officer
Naval Station Puget Sound
November 16, 1990 to present
     As you read the history of Sand Point, you cannot help but note how frequently the mission of the naval station has changed over the years. However, one thing remained constant - the dedication and devotion of the men and women who have served, never waivered.
     From the inception, the station was confronted with many challenges, yet it continued to be a front-runner playing a valuable role in support of operational forces in the Pacific Fleet during Worls War II, the Korean Police Action, the Vietnam Conflict and most recently the Gulf War.  As our country geared down after each of these conflicts, Sand Point personnel were dedicated to ensure a high degree of readiness to counter any future unrest.

     With the cold war now behind us, we near the final stages of closing this historic military station. It seems appropriate at this time to reflect on our history and review our many successes and take pride in what has been accomplished. This book is dedicated to all those in history who have donated their time, properties, resources and sometimes even their lives in making Sand Point the fine naval station it was in the past, it is today and will continue to be as it takes its proper place in the annals of Naval History.

.....A maelstrom of change was sweeping over America in the early 1900s. Powered flight was barely a decade old, and had grasped the country’s imagination with its freedom of the skies. Boosterism pitted one city against the other, every community seeking to be the best, the brightest or the newest. The century was in its teens, and like an adolescent, knew no bounds.
.....World War I raged, and people witnessed the carnage that new flying technology unleashed in and above the trenches of Europe.World War I raged, and people witnessed the carnage that new flying technology unleashed in and above the trenches of Europe.
.....This was the backdrop for the inception and development of one of the nations first naval air stations.  The stage was the misty fjords and forest-choked lands of Puget Sound Basin winding deep into western Washington.  The cast was an unlikely mix of visionaries, public-minded citizens and military strategists.
.....No one was questioning the potential of air power. As early as 1915 the state of Washington created an aeronautical section within its newly formed Naval Militia.  The section, as approved by the Navy Department, was small – a single officer and ten enlisted men, with Lt. Cmdr. W.B. Allison commanding.  The aeronautical section was aided by the Aero Club of the Northwest, with William E. Boeing, president of the Boeing Co., as club president.  Boeing had founded the club in 1915, and as early as 1919 was publicly proclaimed the virtues of a 400 acre airfield at Sand Point.  Two aviators, Terah T. Maroney and Herbert Munter, volunteered to become members of the Naval Militia and to develop the corps.  Munter, Boeing’s first employee, built the first plane in the Pacific Northwest – in his own backyard in 1912, and flew it successfully.
.....In private conversations, Munter said “…personally-owned land machine may be equipped with a pontoon and made a part of the naval militia equipment.”
.....The aero section was the second formed on the Pacific Coast, following the United States Aero Station in San Diego.
.....Maroney also offered to give his own time and efforts and loan his hydroplane for instruction of the Naval Militia of Washington.  On April 23, 1916, Maroney was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Naval Militia of Washington.  Simultaneously, the aeronautic section of the Naval Militia came into being.  The adjutant general of the National Guard had authorized the formation as well as accepting the loan of Maroney’s airplane April 18.