Episode VI – Richmond Naval Air Station
Richmond Naval Air Station was a military blimp base established during the Second World War on the land currently occupied by Zoo Miami and the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. During the base’s short active history, blimps launched from the base’s enormous hangars to patrol the Florida Straits, effectively countering the threat German submarines posed to American shipping concerns. On one occasion, this patrol even led to a dramatic confrontation with a U-Boat off the Florida coast.
After Richmond’s sudden and near-total devastation in a 1945 hurricane, the site and facilities were reborn, first as a University of Miami satellite campus then as a covert CIA operations center. The remnants of the base, as well as several exhibits, are now displayed within the railroad museum.
The music in the episode is Brazilian Rhythm by Sunsearcher.
Gold Coast Railroad Museum Online Exhibit - pictures and videos of the base
The Battle Between the Blimp and the Sub - a short narrative on the battle between K-74 and U-134
Richmond NAS, 1941-1962 - article on the Richmond base in the 1977 Tequesta
Biscayne Tales is a podcast about the history of Miami and South Florida. We hope that the episodes will appeal to Miami residents and visitors alike, encouraging them to start their own exploration of the city's people and places. This website is intended to accompany the show and provide additional materials and links for the curious.
Thank you for listening.