In March 1942, Vernon Howe Bailey spent three weeks at NAS Jacksonville completing a series of 22 drawings and watercolors. Mr. Bailey had been commissioned by the Navy to go to several Naval installations to make an official record of activities through his drawings. He was impressed with the activities he saw while at the station, particularly with a plane taking off every few minutes.
Mr. Bailey had come to the station with a long history himself. He was the first artist authorized by the U. S. Government to make drawings of America's war effort in World War I. He did drawings on activities taking place at gun shops, munitions plants and navy yards. Those prints were shown in the French War Museum. He also had done a series of watercolors for the Vatican.
Mr. Bailey's time spent at NAS Jacksonville documented activities throughout the station, including aircraft rework at the Assembly and Repair Department, the band, activities sailors were performing. such as parachute rigging and even a print of the Commanding Officers house. When he finished his series, all of the prints were presented to the Commanding Officer, Captain Mason. These prints provided a rich record of the early war efforts of the station. The original watercolors are catalogued today at the Washington Naval Yard in the section where a large cache of historical paintings are kept. .