100 Years ago today, Key West NAS
On this day in 1917 Lt. Stanley Parker made the first Naval flight recorded at Key West. It was in a Curtiss N-9 seaplane, like the one pictured here in Key West, circa 1917-18 (the planes in the back are Curtiss Model Fs).
The N-9 was the floatplane variant of the classic Curtiss JN-4 Jenny trainer and the Navy ordered very decent 560 of the craft, which remained in service as late as 1927. In all they trained more than 2,500 Navy, Coast Guard and Marine aviators during the World War I period alone and were vital to the development of catapult operations and early torpedo bomber experiments including pilotless drone torpedo concepts.
Key West NAS, of course, is still around, though very battered these days.