Richmond NAS was a military blimp base established during WW2. During its short active history, airships launched from enormous hangars to patrol the Florida Straits, effectively countering the threat German submarines posed to American shipping concerns. On one occasion, this patrol even led to a dramatic confrontation with a U-Boat off the Florida coast. After its sudden and near-total devastation in a 1945 hurricane, the site and facilities were reborn, first as a UM satellite campus then as a covert CIA operations center. The remnants of the base, as well as several exhibits, are now displayed within the Gold Coast Railroad Museum.