If you've ever been through western Oregon, chances are that you have passed Tillamook. But it's not just the cheese company that has made the location famous - the historic air museum there holds an important piece of American history.

Why is Oregon home to the huge hangar?

The massive hangar near Tillamook, Oregon, was built to house submarine-hunting blimps. 

During World War Two (WWII), the United States Navy built 17 massive wooden hangars to store K-Class airships. The Navy used these blimps to patrol the seas for enemy submarines and escort ship convoys during crossings. Two of the massive wooden structures were built at Air Station (NAS) Tillamook. The air station in Oregon was built to protect and serve the coastlines of Oregon, Washington, and California. 

The hangars could house several airships
The hangars could house several airships

Hanger B was completed in 1943, and Hangar A was built in just 27 days. However, a fire in 1992 burned down Hangar A.

The hangars at NAST (Photo: TAM)
The hangars at NAST
(Photo: TAM)

K-Class Airships called the hangar home

The airships were part of the ZP-33 Squadron, which had eight K-Class Airships. These blimps were 252 feet long and 80 feet wide and would be filled with 425,000 cubic feet of Helium. The blimps could travel 2,000 miles and could stay in the air for three days. 

K Class Blimps (Photo: TAM)
K Class Blimps
(Photo: TAM)

After a proud legacy of protecting the west coast during WWII, NAS Tillamook was decommissioned in 1948 after the Japanese surrender. The huge hangar can still be seen at the Tillamook Air Museum in Oregon


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