The Navy broke ground on land originally created for Flaglerâ€™s railroad on July 13, 1917. A crucial strategic and educational facility through both World Wars, Trumbo Point has proven its worth time and again. Geographically ideal for seaplanes, Trumbo was used to train pilots and as a base for seaplanes used for submarine patrol throughout the Caribbean and Pacific. The seaplane squadrons deployed from here during the second World War escorted supply convoys and ultimately helped win the war.
The origins of the Mole Pier date back to several years before the Civil War. It was a wooden dock for Fort Taylor. With plans to expand the Naval Station into a submarine base following World War I, engineers redesigned and extended the pier as a concrete breakwater for the harbor. The Navy retained ownership of the pier after the sale of the Naval Station in 1986. It is currently used by the Navy, Coast Guard, NOAA, and cruise ships.
This 327 foot long, 6200 hp cutter held 300 men and partook in World War II, Vietnam, and the Korean War. The Ingham received a record 35 awards and was the most decorated vessel of its time. During its service on December 15, 1942, the Ingham engaged and sank German U-boat U-626. In 1980 the Ingham served as one of 1,700 ships that helped hundreds of Cuban immigrants reach the U.S. during the Mariel Boatlift.
Following World War I, the Naval Station transformed the waters inside of the Outer Mole Pier into a submarine training base. Five metal â€œfingerâ€ docks were built to service submarines. During World War II, German U-boats sank 49 ships off the coast of Florida. The primary role of submarines stationed here during World War II was the destruction of enemy ships and protection of Allied supply convoys in the Atlantic. The base was decommissioned in 1974 as nuclear submarines replaced diesel powered ones.
At the request of U.S. Navy Commodore David Porter, construction began for a Marine Hospital in Key West in late 1844. The new hospital was completed in less than a year and opened on August 2, 1845. The hospital was equipped with sixty beds. For ninety years the hospital served both civilian and military personnel during the Civil War, Spanish American War, both World Wars, and the yellow fever and influenza epidemics. It closed as a hospital January 1, 1943.