To honor the memory of one of the Navy’s early aviators, a Naval Auxiliary Air Station was designated “Chase Field” in April, 1943. This auxiliary air station is a separate command under the Commandant Naval Air Training Center, Corpus Christi, Texas, and was so named in honor of Nathan Brown Chase, Naval Aviator, who was killed in a plane crash on June 23, 1925, near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Nathan Brown Chase was born in Washington DC, on September 3, 1889. He entered the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland by appointment at large in 1908, and was graduated in 1912 and commissioned Ensign. He attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander in December, 1922.
Detached from the Naval Academy upon graduation in 1912, he was assigned to the USS Georgia, Third Division, Atlantic Fleet, until December, 1915. In 1912 he had brief temporary duty under instruction aboard the USS Montgomery, and in 1913 was at the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois, on temporary duty. He was attached to the armored cruiser North Caroline from January to March, 1916. He then reported to Naval Aeronautic Station, Pensacola, Florida for instruction in aeronautics and flight training. He was designated Naval Aviator No.37, and remained at the station on duty until detached in April, 1918.
He had command successively of the Naval Stations, Bay Shore, Long Island, New York; Brunswick, Georgia; and Chatham, Massachusetts, and in October, 1919, he reported to Carlstrom Field, Arcadia, Florida, for duty under instruction. From January to June, 1920, he served in Bureau of Construction and Repair, Aircraft Branch, navy Department, Washington, DC. After a four-month tour of duty in the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he returned to the Navy Department, in October, 1920, reporting to the Board of Inspection and Survey.
Two years later he joined the USS Aroostook, flagship of Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet, for staff duty, and later as Commanding Officer of Fighting Plane Squadron 2 aboard that vessel. He transferred with that squadron to the USS Langley early in 1925, and was so serving when killed in a plane crash on June 23, 1925, near Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii.
Lieutenant Commander Chase had the Mexico Service Medal and the Victory Medal.