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Air Station Chicago, Illinois

Aerial view of Air Station Chicago


Original Location: 
Naval Air Station Glenview 

Current Location:
Chicagoland

Date of Commission:
March, 1969 

Fate:
In April of 1995, Air Station Traverse City gained operational responsibility for what was CG Air Station Chicago.  Renamed CG Air Facility Glenview, this station was located in Glenview, Illinois and consisted of a multipurpose hangar and office facility and a public works building.  Air Facility Glenview staged one of Air Station Traverse City's HH-65A helicopters with two full crews during the busy search and rescue season from April through mid-November.

Air Facility Glenview ceased operations on 15 November 1996 and its operations were relocated to the Coast Guard Air Facility Waukegan, Illinois.  On April 1, 1997, Air Facility Muskegon was established and was manned with one HH-65A from Traverse City. But on May 25, 2000, Air Facility Waukegan was established, and Air Station Traverse City slowly transferred operations there. On September 30, 2001, Air Station Traverse City completely transferred Air Facility Muskegon to Air Station Detroit and took control of Air Facility Waukegan.


Historical Remarks:

Air Station Chicago patchCommissioned in March 1969 by then Commandant Willard J. Smith, the station was the primary Search and Rescue unit for southern Lake Michigan, responsible for the waters from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Muskegon, Michigan and south to Gary, Indiana.  The station was located 45 minutes by car from downtown Chicago on the northwest corner of NAS Glenview between the villages of Glenview and Northbrook. 

Air Station Chicago’s geographic location brought occasional operational deployments as far south as St. Louis, Missouri, west to Minneapolis, and north to green Bay, Wisconsin, for such work as flood relief and short range navigation. The preponderance of SAR activity took place between April and November during the boating season. Airevacs were performed throughout the year but were more frequent during the winter because snow storms and Blizzards made ground transportation hazardous and sometimes impossible. Pollution patrols were conducted throughout the year. 

A major rescue operation occurred on December 27, 1985 when the F/V Searcher sank approximately 17 nautical miles east of Chicago in Lake Michigan.  Three of the six crewmembers could be rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter from USCG Chicago; the other three were trapped inside the vessel and died.

IOn April 1, 1995, Air Station Chicago transitioned to Air Facility Glenview and fell under operational control of Air Station Traverse City. However, its colors were retired soon after on November 15, 1996, and the facility ceased operations. On April 1, 1997, Air Facility Muskegon was established and was manned with one HH-65A from Traverse City. But on May 25, 2000, Air Facility Waukegan was established, and Air Station Traverse City slowly transferred operations there. On September 30, 2001, Air Station Traverse City completely transferred Air Facility Muskegon to Air Station Detroit and took control of Air Facility Waukegan. This is still the operational situation today, with both Air Facilities operating from Memorial Day to Labor Day.


Historic Photo Gallery

Unless otherwise indicated all photos are official U.S. Coast Guard photographs.  Any original caption information is included in the text beneath each photo, along with a date, if known.  Click on the thumbnail to access a 300 dpi image.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption; photo dated 15 March 1969;
Photo No. CCGD9-031569-26; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.

Preheating an HH-52A.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No official caption; photo dated 1969;
Photo No. CCGD9-031569-83; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

Original caption: "AS CHICAGO";
no date; Photo No. D6742809; photographer unknown.


Air Station Chicago

No original caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


Historical Sources:

Air Station Files, U. S. Coast Guard Historian's Office

Arthur Pearcy.  A History of U. S. Coast Guard Aviation.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1989.


Last Modified 1/20/2015