Quonset Point, Rhode Island, is located on a small peninsula in Narragansett Bay. It is located within the Town of North Kingstown. Quonset Point is about 8.7 nautical miles (13.8 kilometers or 8.6 miles direct) northwest of the Port of Newport and about 11 nautical miles (15 kilometers or nine miles direct) southwest of the Port of Bristol Harbor, both also in Rhode Island.
The US Navy's Naval Air Station Quonset Point is now used for industrial purposes and is home to General Dynamic's Electric Boat Corporation that is a major company for hull-fabrication and outfitting for submarines. Quonset Point is served by rail, with a spur from the Northeast Corridor of Amtrak. The Providence and Worcester Railroad provides freight services, delivering freight to the Seaview Railroad within the Quonset Point Industrial Park.
Proud to call itself the birthplace of the United States Navy, a guard was stationed at Quonset Point during the Revolutionary War to watch for British warships entering Narragansett Bay that might raid Rhode Island's coastal cities. In the late 1800s, Quonset Point was the Rhode Island Militia's state camp ground. Later, it was a base for the Rhode Island National Guard. Troops fighting the Spanish American War were trained at Quonset Point.
In 1940, Quonset Point was selected by a Naval Board as the location for a new base. Covering over 500 hectares, the base was used as a Naval Construction Training Center for the Seabees. When the training center was deactivated, almost 200 hectares of that property was transferred to the Naval Air Station at Quonset Point.
The Naval Air Station played an important role during World War II. Land- and carrier-based anti-submarine squadrons trained at Quonset Point and departed from there to hunt for German U-boats. Their efforts saved many merchant marine ships. The Quonset Point base also played an important role in research for airborne radar and electronics. During the war, the Naval Air Station Quonset Point was the base for pilots from the US, Canada, and Britain. Twelve carrier-based squadrons were created there.
After World War II, the Naval Air Station Quonset Point continued its role in anti-submarine activities, now involved with USSR submarines in the Atlantic Ocean. It also conducted overhaul and maintenance services for many famous aircraft, including the A-4 Skyhawk.
From 1956 until 1973, Quonset Point was the home base for the US Navy's Antarctic Support Squadron that participated in Operation Deep Freeze, part of the international scientific exploration of the Antarctic that is still operating. In 1973, the NAS Quonset Point was closed.