Happy Birthday NAS Whidbey Island!

Midshipman candidate Levi Ellis, left, and Culinary Specialist Seaman Jazmin Rodriguez help Naval Air Station Whidbey Island commanding officer, Capt. Jay Johnston cut a birthday cake Wednesday morning at the Admiral Nimitz HalI Galley in honor of the installation’s 69th birthday. NAS Whidbey was commissioned Sept. 21, 1942. Kathy Reed/Whidbey Crosswind

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island marked its 69th birthday Wednesday at a cake-cutting ceremony at the Admiral Nimitz Hall Galley.

Commanding officer Capt. Jay Johnston was on hand, speaking very briefly to freshman class Reserve Officer Training Corps candidates from the University of Washington who came to NAS Whidbey to help observe the event.

“This is the 69th birthday of NAS Whidbey Island, but it’s also the 100th anniversary of naval aviation, so we’re glad to have you here to help celebrate,” Johnston told the officer candidates.

The cake, baked and decorated by Culinary Specialist Seaman Jazmin Rodriguez, was chocolate and vanilla, and featured a hand-sculptured EA-6B Prowler in one corner. Rodriguez volunteered to make the cake, but said she was a little nervous.

NAS Whidbey's 69th birthday cake was baked and decorated by Culinary Specialist Seaman Jazmin Rodriguez, and featured an EA-6B Prowler made from edible modeling chocolate. Kathy Reed/Whidbey Crosswind

“This was only the second cake I’ve ever done,” she said.

After a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” by the ROTC candidates, Capt. Johnston, Rodriguez and Midshipman Candidate Levi Ellis cut into the confection, which was then served to those having lunch at the galley.

NAS Whidbey Island was commissioned Sept. 21, 1942, under the command of Capt. Cyril Thomas Simard. The base’s first squadrons of aircraft were the F4F Wildcats. NAS Whidbey currently has 19 active duty squadrons and two Ready Reserve squadrons in addition to a Search and Rescue Unit and has more than 50 tenant commands.