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The History of Moffett Field: from lighter than air to faster than the speed of sound

Captain Tom Spink will present this talk.

The history of Moffett Field covers nearly a century of dedication and innovation by soldiers, sailors, airmen, and civilians in peace and during wartime.  First was lighter than air, with a single huge dirigible, the USS Macon, that fit inside the iconic Hangar One.  Then Moffett became an Army Air Corps training base until the outbreak of World War II.  Hundreds of blimps called Moffett home during World War II and patrolled the West Coast.

Next, Moffett was home to transport squadrons that ferried personnel and supplies to the Korean conflict and brought wounded home for treatment.  After Korea, Moffett had many of the jet squadrons that flew from aircraft carriers at Naval Air Station Alameda.  Following changes in the 1990s, the only aviation unit at Moffett Federal is the California Air National Guard.

Captain Tom Spink received his Naval Flight Officer Wings of Gold in 1970.  His first squadron was VP-46, where he flew patrol missions throughout the Pacific. Subsequently, he was an instructor in VP-31 at NASA Moffett Field. Captain Spink left active duty in 1977 and joined the Reserve squadron, VP-91, where he was Commanding Officer for 11 years.  He worked for many defense electronics firms and retired from Lockheed Martin, where he worked on MILSTAR, which was our nation’s most secure communications satellite constellation at the time.

He is the Commanding Officer of the San Francisco Bay Area Squadron of the Association of Naval Aviation.  They have quarterly luncheons aboard the USS Hornet Museum.  He is on the Board of Directors of the Moffett Field Historical Society and Museum and the Editor of their newsletter, Sparrowhawk.

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