The Moffett Field Historical Society Museum is one of the most unique museums in the area, dedicated to education and preserving the rich heritage of what is arguably one of the most important historical sites in Northern California. The Museum’s mission statement puts forward their goals, which are to display artifacts relating to the role Moffett Field played in military and NASA history over the last century, teaching people about its significant historical location and heritage. If you’re in hotels near Moffett Field CA then it is worth it to venture into the museum!
In May 1993, the Moffett Field Historical Society was founded, which led to the creation of the Museum just one year later. Located in Hangar One of the airfield and manned by volunteers between 1994 and 2002, the Museum was forced to shut down for a short while when the Hangar was found to be unsafe. After a relocation project, the Museum reopened in 2005 in Building 126, Severyns Avenue, where it remains today. It is still manned by a team of extremely knowledgeable volunteers, who carry out extensive research looking to create as full a picture as possible of Moffett Field’s role in numerous historic events.
Moffett Field has long had enormous significance in national security and the history of science and technology. Opened in 1931 and built as a base for housing the USS Macon, a Navy Airship, the base has been through enormous changes – including a period of contested ownership between the Navy and the Army – and a wide range of functional uses. From 1942 – 1945, for instance, the site was used for the development of land-based anti-submarine weaponry and maritime patrolling aircraft, which were used extensively to protect the coastal areas.
During the peak of activity in Moffett Field during the 1990s, the site was the main Pacific Fleet base location for P-3C operation, hosting numerous significant squadrons as well as operating as a base for NASA and the California Air National Guard and their aviation activity. By the end of the Cold War and the defensive cutbacks which followed, operations slowed in Moffett Field until it was finally decommissioned as a naval air base in 1994. Since then, visitor attractions have caused certain areas to be opened to the public, and the site still serves as an airbase with around 10 flights landing per day. These include services for the California Air National Guard, Lockheed Martin Space Systems of commercial satellites, NASA, private planes for Google operatives and even Air Force One.