Naval Air Station Cubi Point


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This is an aerial view of NAS Cubi Point in the Philippines (now Subic Bay International Airport).

During the Korean War, Admiral Arthur Radford, the Chief of Naval Operations, wanted a naval air station close to the Navy’s base at Subic Bay.

This bit of land was only 3 miles away from the fleet anchorage. Civilian contractors were initially given the job of building the base, but they said it was impossible due to the local rugged terrain, so Admiral Redford handed the job to the Seabees.

Three Seabee units worked for five years building the base which at the time was the largest earth-moving project since the construction of the Panama Canal.

The Seabees completed work on the air station in 1956.

Admiral Arthur W. Radford made the inaugural landing himself on the new runway.

In honor of the Seabee battalion that constructed the base, Construction Battalion One (CUB 1), the base was named CUB1 Point but over the years became better known as “Cubi Point”.

NAS Cubi Point became the Seventh Fleet’s main aircraft repair/overhaul depot.

During Vietnam, the base’s engine shops were turning out 2-3 overhauled engines a day to support carrier operations in the Tonkin Gulf.

The eruption of Mount Pinatubo damaged the base and in 1992 it was handed over to the Philippines as part of the withdrawal of permanent-based US forces from the islands.


3 thoughts on “Naval Air Station Cubi Point

  1. Jeffrey Pensak says:

    …so sad to say good-bye to a strategic base and too a great part of my Navy history. I am thrilled to learn that Admiral Arthur W. Radford made the inaugural landing; I served on the AURTHUR W RADFORD (DD-968) for nearly 4 years….


  2. C T GREEN says:

    Cubi Point is an outlying suburb of Olongapo City, one of the finest, if not THE finest liberty ports for Asia Sailors. Fond memories, as I worked the swing shift on the runway with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3, 1956-57. Tough duty. Malagayan Bagong Hapon!


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