It is going to be awesome!!
Miami Military Museum Website
The Richmond Naval Lighter Than Air Station was a South Florida military installation about 18 miles south of Miami. It was an active base during World War II. The base was used as a blimp base. Among the ten LTA bases across the nation, 17 large wooden hangars were built, of which Richmond NAS had more (3) than any other base.
Before 1943 German submarines patrolled the entire US east coast destroying over 400 merchant ships in six months. A radio man had received training about radar which had been installed on the blimps. He requested from the Base Commander to use the radar and the US never lost another ship to submarines that they escorted. When the blimp discovered a submarine, they opened fire and often called in fixed-wing aircraft to attack as well. On September 15, 1945, a hurricane caused a fire in one of the hangars. The fire quickly spread to the two other hangars and destroyed the hangars, blimps, 366 planes and 150 cars. The same type of wooden hangar can still be seen today at only four locations: (2) Moffett Field in California, (2) Tustin, California, (2) Lakehurst, NJ, and (1) Tillamook, Oregon.
In response to the sudden increase in enrollment resulting from veterans returning to college, the University of Miami leased the decommissioned station to provide classrooms and housing for 1,100 students as its "South Campus." Other areas of the old base were utilized by the Army, Navy and Coast Guard Communications installations, then the Air Force built a MOAD facility. From 1948 to the present the University of Miami has used it as a research facility and storage area. Buildings currently house: the Global Public Health Research Group, Miami Institute for Human Genomics, D.U.I. Laboratory (for analysis of motorist blood samples), and Microbiology & Immunology.
Starting in 1956 the railroad tracks on the base were used for the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. In 1984, the museum moved to the area previously occupied by Hangars #1 and #2. From 1962 to 1968, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) leased a few buildings from the University of Miami under the "front" name of Zenith Technological Services. This "front" company was in fact the intelligence gathering headquarters for the CIA's operation against Fidel Castro's government in Cuba, known as JM/WAVE or the WAVE STATION. Over 400 CIA operatives worked out of this facility. In 1968, after Ramparts magazine exposed CIA operations on other campuses, JMWAVE was moved off the Miami South campus.
In 1970, the University of Miami's programs were ordered off the base except for the toxicology department of the UM Medical School. Later, Dade County was deeded 1,000 acres for a new zoo, today's Zoo Miami, and for public access.
The future site of the South Florida Military Museum will be located in this historic area.
GO TO THE Miami Military Museum Website