The USS Albemarle (AV-5)
was one of the only two Curtiss-class seaplane tenders built for the United
States Navy just prior to the United States entry into World War II.
Named for Albemarle Sound and Albemarle, North Carolina, and Albemarle
County, Virginia she was the third U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.
During the mid-sixties, The USS
Albemarle (AV-5) was recommissioned by the Army as the Army's
First Floating Helicopter Maintenance Facility and named the USNS
Corpus Christi Bay.
It operated in Southeast Asian waters during
the Vietnam War and was manned by Army personnel assigned to the 1st TC
Battalion (Seaborn) and by some ARADMAC employees. It was
deactivated in 1975. The official step leading to the construction
of Corpus Christi Naval Air Station was initiated by the 75th training
rate nearly doubled after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. By the End
of World War II, more than 35,000 naval aviators had earned their wings
President George H.W. Bush was in the third graduating class
June 1943, and the youngest pilot ever to graduate. NAS Corpus
Christi also was home to the Blue Angels from 1951-1954. It also
served as a Project Mercury Tracking Station in the early 1960's.