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NAS Rockaway Memories
Robert Wright Cabaniss - 1919.

Updated: October 16, 2001
Thanks to the family of Robert Wright Cabaniss, a former Commanding Officer of NAS Rockaway, we are able to share some of his photos and the story of his military career.

R.W. Cabaniss was born January 3, 1884, in Union Springs, Alabama. He became a Midshipman at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland on September 23, 1902 and graduated in 1906. He served on the Asiatic Station and the Pacific Coast after his graduation.

RW Cabaniss
Robert Wright Cabaniss.

RW Cabaniss
R.W. Cabaniss seated in a Curtiss float plane trainer.

Cabaniss became Naval Aviator #36 after training at Naval Aeronautic Station Pensacola in 1915. He served at NAS Pensacola during 1916 and 1917, was later the Commander of the Avaition Detachment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1918 he served overseas in Paris, France and then Commanded NAS Moutchie-Lacanau and the served at Pauillac and at Bordeaux.

He was the Commanding Officer of NAS Rockaway from April 5, 1919 to November 7, 1919, during the time of the historic trans-Atlantic flight of the NC-4.
The Historic Navy-Curtiss NC-4.

Cabaniss was assigned to NAS Pensacola in 1921, was the Executive Officer of the Aircraft Tender USS Wright. From 1924 to 1926, he was assigned to the Navy Yard at Philadelphia. His last assignment was in 1926 as the Commander of the Aircraft Tender USS Aroostook.

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Lt. Cmdr. R.W. Cabaniss.
Commander Cabaniss died in the crash of a Navy PN-9 aircraft on March 31, 1927 near Navassa Islands, West Indies. Cabaniss Field at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas was named in his honor on July 9, 1941. Cabaniss Field was closed in 1958.

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Naval Aircraft Factory PN-9 Aircraft.
US Navy Photo

Do you know of a family member that was stationed at NAS Rockaway or do you have any photos of the base? Please contact us!

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