24. Trumbo Naval Station

Historic Marker 24 is located at the entrance of Trumbo Point.

When Henry Flagler was told that there wasn't enough land to build the grand terminal he envisioned for his overseas railroad, his response was simple, "Then make some." J.R. Parrott, Flagler's right hand man on the ambitious project, hired the Trumbo American Dredging Company to create enough land to build Flagler's terminal. With Howard Trumbo as head engineer, they quickly created an extra 134 acres of Key West and Trumbo Point was born.

Recognizing that Trumbo Point had great strategic value, the Navy acquired it from Flagler and, on July 13, 1917, broke ground to create the Trumbo Naval Air Station. The first naval officer to take command of the base was Stanley V. Parker, Captain USCG, who reported for duty on December 17, 1917. The initial cost of the base was just over $1,000,000, a massive sum at the time.

During World War I, dirigibles, or blimps as they were commonly called, were deployed from Trumbo Point. Among these was the C-1, the Navy's largest blimp, which set a record flight traveling from Rockaway, NY to Key West. Through both World Wars, Trumbo's seaplanes played a vital role in submarine patrol throughout the Caribbean. During World War II, the seaplanes deployed from Trumbo escorted Allied convoys and eventually, through their assistance, helped to win the war.

In addition to being an ideal location for an active base, the weather conditions and protected waters made Trumbo Point a perfect training facility. Within the first 6 months of the base's operation, 3,460 hours of flight training were booked.