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Roosevelt Roads Naval Base

Type   Naval Port
Historical Name of Location   Ceiba, Puerto Rico


ww2dbaseIn 1919, US Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt toured Ceiba, Puerto Rico and recommended the construction of an airfield at that site, but no action would be taken until the start of the European War in Sep 1939, when the United States prepared for a possible entry into the conflict. Roosevelt Roads Naval Base, with an airfield as Roosevelt had recommended years earlier, was opened in 1940. Significant funding was allocated to build a major base on the magnitude of the US Navy base at Norfolk, Virginia, United States, but by 1943 the Axis naval threat in the Western Atlantic had been reduced, and the importance of such a base diminished. It was commissioned as an operations base in Jul 1943, but by Aug its funding was diverted, and the base was downgraded to naval station status. In 1944, it was further downgraded to maintenance status. After the war, it remained commissioned on and off through the next few decades; it was generally used for training, for control of narcotics traffic, and for the control of the region's air space. On 10 Dec 1999, it was made the headquarters of US Naval Forces Southern Command; this command was relocated to Naval Station Mayport in Florida, United States in Jan 2004, and as a result the base was decommissioned for a final time on 31 Mar 2004. The facilities is now the civilian Josť Aponte de la Torre Airport.

United States Navy

Last Major Update: Sep 2014

Roosevelt Roads Naval Base Interactive Map

Roosevelt Roads Naval Base Timeline

15 Jul 1943 Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Puerto Rico was commissioned as an operations base.
1 Nov 1944 Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Puerto Rico was downgraded to naval station status.
1 Feb 1966 USS Wasp entered Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Puerto Rico to evaluate damages caused by a storm.
29 Mar 1967 USS Wasp completed her repairs at Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Puerto Rico.


Major General Lewis Puller fastening his life preserver before boarding a helicopter, Roosevelt Roads Naval Base, Puerto Rico, 26 Jul 1954

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. EN3 Mike Gebhards says:
10 Jun 2014 05:20:01 PM

served there in 1966-67 on board YTB 788. under BMC Richard Whalen,EN1 Sumner M. Bowers, and EM2 Gil Sowa. Had a good crew on the 788. was on board, when USS Columbus stbd. anchor took out a port light in the galley. This happened at the British drydock on base.

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Ceiba, Puerto Rico
Lat/Long 18.2381, -65.6278
Roosevelt Roads Naval Base Photo Gallery
Major General Lewis Puller fastening his life preserver before boarding a helicopter, Roosevelt Roads Naval Base, Puerto Rico, 26 Jul 1954

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Winston Churchill