Naval Aviation Monument Park
A plaque dedicating the park to Naval aviators.
Bronze statue of Eugene Ely, the first pilot to fly a plane off of a ship deck.
A bronze statue to commemorate Naval Aviators during WWII.
A bronze statue of modern-day pilots.
Eugene Ely's historic first flight from the deck of a ship. Library of Congress.
Backstory and Context
The first statues is of Eugene Ely, first pilot to fly off the deck of a ship on November 14, 1910--and later to land a plane on board the deck of a ship, paving the way to the world's first aircraft carrier.
The second statue depicts two WWII aviators rushing through a door to get to their planes, memorializing the contributions and sacrifices of thousands of naval pilots throughout the bloody conflict.
The third statue is of three modern-day pilots, one of which is a female, and was the first statue to depict a female naval aviator. To honor the ever-growing contribution of female combat personnel in naval aviation service, the stature clearly depicts her as an equal to the males in the piece.
The fourth statue depicts the homecoming of naval aviator, his arms open wide as his family rushes to greet him.
These four statues make up the Naval Aviation Monument Park in Virginia Beach, seen daily by thousands of beachgoers and tourists.