Opa Locka, Florida
The city of Opa Locka was founded in 1926 by aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss. The airfield's roots go back to 1918, when the US Navy moved the blimp hangar at Key West to Opa Locka. In 1931, a Naval Reserve Aviation Base was established to support training and scouting squadrons as well as airship operations. Major expansion occured in the late 1930s, and Naval Air Station Miami opened in August 1940, with NRAB Opa Locka remaining on base but functioning as a tenant organization. Two adjacent civilian airfields, Miami Municipal and Master Field, were acquired from the city of Miami to facilitate expansion during World War II. Part of the airfield returned to civilian control after the war, and the military portion became a Marine Corps Air Station from 1952 until 1958. In 1962 the remaining military property, except for a portion reserved for a new US Coast Guard base, was turned over to Dade County and became Opa Locka Airport. In 1965, the Coast Guard moved from Dinner Key (next to the old Pan Am seaplane base) to their new facility at Opa Locka, known as Coast Guard Air Station Miami. Over the years, Opa Locka gained a reputation as a haven for old propliners. Although their numbers have dwindled considerably, a few old prop (and jet) liners can still be found at what is now called Opa-locka Executive Airport.