Port Washington Aviation History

Republic Aviation Corp.

Republic Aviation F-84F Thunderstreak Postcard

strnad_republicF-84FThe back of the postcard reads:

REPUBLIC’S F-84F Thunderstreak fighter-bomber.  Armed with six .50 caliber guns and more than 6,000 pounds of external armament.  Carries nuclear weapons.  Powered by J-65 turbojet engine with 7,200 pounds of thrust.  Speeds over 650 mph.  Set U. S. transcontinental speed record and world’s non-stop jet fighter distance record.  Serves USAF and NATO air forces.


The aircraft was in production from 1952-1957.  For more information, see the Cradle of Aviation Museum’s webpage about it.

Republic Aviation Corporation Hangar, 1994


In 1994 the abandoned Republic Aviation Corporation plant was demolished.  It looked nothing like it did below, circa 1953.

Top photo from the collection of Guy LaMotta.


I feel very bad about it, like the place has been desecrated.  I spent a lot of my lifetime there, and we built all those historic places.  It should have been preserved, part of it anyway.  But there’s nothing we can do about it.

– Josephine Rachiele

I had a lot of friends who worked at that plant.  I wanted to play the taps as they were taking the building down, as a dedication to them.  I been watchin’ it as it came down.

– Theodore Padova

Republic Aviation Corp. Hangars, 1950s

arch604Aerial view of Republic Aviation Corporation, located on Manhasset Isle in Port Washington from 1950 to 1958.

Republic RC-3 Seabee Pulled By Crane, 1949

arch413This seaplane was owned by Ray Profitt, of Ray Profitt Seaplane Base.  The photograph was taken by Everitt J. Hehn Insurance, of 51 Main Street in Port Washington, in July 1949.

If you’re interested in learning more about this aircraft check out its Wikipedia entry, the International Republic Seabee fansite, or see the post below for an image of the Seabee out of water.

Photo from the collection of Allan Litty.

Seaplane Pulled Out of Water, 1949


Republic RC-3 Seabee that belonged to Ray Profitt, owner of Ray Profitt Seaplane Base, being taken out of the water by a crane.  The photograph was taken by Everitt J. Hehn Insurance of 51 Main Street, Port Washington and is from the collection of Allan Litty.

Here’s a look at the RC-3 Seabee — out of the water!

Seabee by Koocheekoo.This photo is used under Creative Commons license via Flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/koocheekoo/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

Aerial View of Tom's Point on Manhasset Isle

aviation32ANote the Republic Aviation Corporation manufacturing hangar, center, and Port’s Town Dock, top center.

Republic Aviation Corporation, Plant No. 2

fom044Responding to a high volume of orders from the US government, the Republic Aviation Corporation opened a plant in Port Washington in 1951 to manufacture wings for its F84F Thunderstreak and RF-84F and F-105 jet fighter bombers.  Employing over 3,000 people, 10% of them were Port Washington residents.

Photo of the northern hangar seen from the west, circa 1953.  From the collection of the Cradle of Aviation Museum.