The Banana River Naval Air Station was built on the eve of World War II. The windswept promontory where it was located had once been the haunt of pirates and privateers. Just off its lonely coast is where the last naval battle of the Revolutionary War was fought. Not much had happened in Brevard County since then. The beaches of Merritt Island were difficult to reach by land, so few settlers tried. That meant that when the war came along, there were miles of undeveloped land for the military to put to use. Soon little old Banana River had added everything from Navy blimps to German prisoners of war to antisubmarine patrols to its mission.