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Location: /Squadron Patches/USN NAVY Squadrons

WWII Patch, USN, Blimpron ZP-31 NAS Santa Ana / Tustin, CA

WWII Patch, USN, Blimpron ZP-31  NAS Santa Ana / Tustin, CA

Product Information
WWII US Navy Squadron Patch
USN ZP-31  Blimpron
Navy Blimp Squadron 31
Blimpron Thirty One
NAS Santa Ana (Tustin), CA Naval Air Station
1 Oct 1942 - 15 Nov 1946
Walt Disney Design
5 inches

Rescue was an area in which blimps distinguished themselves.  Captain  F.B. Baldwin, USMC-R, an ace with five Japanese aircraft to his credit, was one of the first people to be picked up and lifted directly into an airship car.  He had crashed off the coast of California on a training flight.  Many a survivor of sunken ships gratefully remembered the rations and medical supplies lowered to them from K-ships which then called for surface craft to pick them up.  Since the airships had a galley this often meant hot food, which was welcome in the North Atlantic.

Even people who lived through those early war years have forgotten the toll taken by enemy submarines.  The merchant ships sunk numbered in the thousands with 454 sunk by German U-boats in 1942 in our Atlantic coastal area.  Many of these sinkings were within sight of land, sometimes during daylight hours while swimmers on the beach watched in disbelief.  By 1943 the number of sinkings was reduced to 65, eight in 1944 and only three in 1945. The reduction was in direct ratio to the development of LTA operations.  No ship escorted by a blimp was ever sunk.  We hasten to add that this antisubmarine program was a partnership operation that developed using blimps the small CVE "jeep carriers," PBY Catalina squadrons and other patrol squadrons.  The aircraft however, could not be watching over these merchant fleets all the time, as the blimps could.  The blimps often could do the job themselves with their limited fire power and depth charges.  When needed they could call for aircraft from the CVE assigned the area.  The system worked very well.

World War II Fleet Airship Wings and Squadrons



NAS Main Base

# Airships



South Weymouth, MA




Lakehurst, NJ




Weeksville, NC




Glynco, GA




Richmond, FL




Houma, LA




Vernam Field, Jamaica, BWI




Santa Ana, CA




Moffett Field, CA




Tillamook, OR




Sao Luiz, Brazil




Macelo, Brazil




Trinidad, BWI




Port Lyautey, French Morocco



Util SQD-1

Headquarters, Key West, FL


Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin - (Naval Air Station, Santa Ana; Marine Corps Air Facility, Santa Ana)
This field was originally built as a blimp base in 1942 as Santa Ana Naval Air Station. The predominant characteristic of this field is the image of its two huge blimp hangars. It was commissioned in October of that year as one of two new blimp bases on the west coast. The other was at Tillamook, Oregon. Blimps were used to patrol America's coastline primarily to watch for enemy submarine. At first 6, then 12 blimps operated out of the station. The large, all-wood hangers were built to house the blimps and at the time of their construction were and still are the world's largest clear span wooden buildings. These hangers became a necessity when the strong Santa Ana winds blew in from the desert disrupting blimp operations. The station had 6 mooring circles and its own helium generating plant.After the war the station was reduced in status as blimp operations were phased out.

The hangars are each more than 1,000 feet long & 300 feet wide. Each hangar was designed to hold six blimps simultaneously. In between the two hangars is a huge concrete circular blimp mooring pad. Extending outward from the central pad are concrete taxiways leading to numerous smaller concrete circular blimp mooring pads.

Price: $200.00 $185.00

Product Code: PatchUSN.031.ZP31.Blimpron31
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