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NAS Pensacola Turns 100

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Naval Air Station Pensacola kicks off its Centennial Celebration on Friday, with the dedication of the base’s Command Headquarters.

This is actually the second 100-year observance aboard the base. The first was in 2011 – one of a series of branch-wide events commemorating naval aviation.

Harry White, the Public Information Officer at NAS, says when Lt. Commander Henry Mustin came down to begin the Navy’s aviation program, he brought with him Ship’s Cook 4th Class Walter Leroy Richardson – whose hobby, it turned out -- was photography.

“And it didn’t take long for Mustin and Lt. John Tower to recognize the value of documenting the training that was going on at NAS Pensacola,” said White. “And so they made Richardson the Navy’s first photographer.”

One century later, the Command Headquarters aboard NAS Pensacola will be dedicated, and named for Richardson – who’s not only the Father of Naval Photography, but also became Naval Aviator 582. “Dick” Richardson rose to the rank of Lieutenant and as a Photographer’s Mate.  He retired from the Navy in 1926 and passed away in 1945 at age 55.

Among those in attendance at Friday’s ceremony will be about 20 members of the Richardson family.

Featured speakers will be Cong. Jeff Miller and Rear Admiral Donald Quinn, Commander of Naval Education and Training Command. Opening remarks will be delivered by Capt. Keith Hoskins, the Commander of NAS Pensacola.

The ceremony – which is open to the public -- kicks off at 11 a.m. at Command Headquarters, Building 1500 on Slimmer Road.