MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina
“RRROOOOAAARRRR!” Welcome to MCAS Cherry Point and the Sound of Freedom! Cherry Point was constructed in 1941, commissioned in 1942, and is currently home of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Located in and around Havelock, North Carolina, Cherry Point is home to one of the best all-weather fighter plane bases in the world and runways long enough to be alternative sites for the Space Shuttle to land in an emergency. MCAS Cherry Point was named for the local post office, which was situated in a grove of cherry trees.
Cherry Point has a long and storied history in United States Military history. Planes and pilots from Cherry Point have served our nation continuously since World War II, where it was a training center for the United States Marine Corps and also served as an anti-submarine warfare center, sinking 2 German “U-boats” off the coast of North Carolina in 1943. During the Korean and Vietnam wars, Cherry Point sent thousands of trained aviators and servicemen overseas to fight in the air and jungles of Southeast Asia. More recently, Cherry Point was a vital part of the nation’s Operation Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom campaigns against Iraq and Afghanistan, providing first-strike capable aircraft and crewmen and follow-up strikes for both operations.
As with all military bases, Cherry Point recognizes the value of its servicemen and women, and goes out of its way to provide a community based lifestyle for its personnel. Partnered with the city of Havelock, North Carolina, Cherry Point has several upcoming activities planned for base residents and the community. The Cherry Point Air Show will be held on May 15th through the 17th this year. This annual event has fun and games for the young and young-at-heart, as well as an area for local businesses to showcase their wares. Several aerial demonstrations and stunt flying take place over the 3 day weekend, with a huge fireworks display scheduled for 9:00 Friday night.
Cherry Point is located in Craven County, North Carolina, which is home to some of the finest hunting and fishing areas in the state. Other activities available for Cherry Point personnel include some of North Carolina’s best golf courses such as River Bend and Quaker Neck, as well as paintball ranges located just north of the base near Trenton, North Carolina. Havelock and surrounding areas offer fine dining, movie theaters, and several clubs and organizations for active duty and retired Cherry Point personnel. The city of New Bern is full of historical sites and Tryon Palace, which has tours available on a regular basis, as well as several excellent restaurants and local shops. The Crystal Coast beaches at Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle are just a short 20 minute car ride down US Highway 70. Being stationed at Cherry Point MCAS is definitely one of the prime postings for any United States Marine.
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