Elizabeth City, North Carolina

USCG Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Ok, so, No...the picture above is not a picture of the base. But, it is the oldest house in E-City. Elizabeth City is the place where all of the Coast Guard Aviation training takes place, and Chris has already been there for a few months and knows the ins & outs of the city. Although they seem to spend most of their weekend time off in Virginia, E-City seems like a lovely town to raise a family in. It is a small, quaint town but has all of the necessities...Starbucks, Walmart, University, Mexican Food...all the necessities. Within an hour drive you can be in Norfolk, Virgina which is the local "Big City." In Norfolk they have a large mall, nightlife, and just about anything else you could need. If you drive 3 hours north you come to Washington DC.

The cost of living in E-City is low, and therefore we could possibly buy a house. We could probably even have money left over to put away!!

Concerns: Well, if there is ever a desire to possibly train future ASTs, then we will be returning to E-City because this is where the school is located. As in many cities, crime is also a factor...as we were leaving town the headline of the front page of the daily newspaper said "Gang members Expanded to 200 Members." And, although coming from LA where gang members practically are running the city, to see it on the front page is somewhat disturbing.


  • Listed as one of the "100 Best Towns in America"
  • Beautiful Town
  • Slower pace of life...much slower than California
  • Southern Hospitality
  • Lower Cost of Living - we could buy a house
  • Virgina is nearby - I could get a job
    E-City State University is SUPER CLOSE, so I can go back to school
  • Fewer Illegal Immigrants than in Southern California
  • Sweet Tea
  • Southern Accents


  • Far away from Family & Friends
  • Humidity
  • New town, new people
  • Large Air station
  • Could possibly get stationed to an airplane

Air Station Elizabeth City was commissioned on August 15, 1940 with four officers, 52 enlisted men and ten aircraft including three Hall PH-2 seaplanes, four Fairchild J2K landplanes, and three Grumman J2F amphibians. Located sixty miles north of Cape Hatteras, N.C., north of Albemarle Sound and along the east coast's northern most ice-free river, the old Holowell Plantation near Elizabeth City was selected by the Coast Guard in 1938 for its potential strategic value as a seaplane base.

During World War II, the air station was under U. S. Navy control conducting Search and Rescue (SAR), anti-submarine and training missions. Since then the air station's missions and assigned aircraft have shifted and grown with changing national priorities and technologies. In 1966 Air Station Elizabeth City expanded after absorbing the air stations in Bermuda and Argentina, Newfoundland.

In addition to the air station, Elizabeth City's Coast Guard complex includes the Aircraft Repair and Supply Center (AR&SC), Aviation Technical Training Center (ATTC), Support Center and Station Elizabeth City.

SAR Stats:

  • Since 1995 the Air Station has averaged over 360 search and rescue missions each year. In the last 60 years the Air Station has launched on over 20,000 missions, day and night, fair weather or foul, to rescue or assist over 10,000 people. In December 2000, two Jayhawk helicopters and a C-130 Hercules crew flew through a raging winter storm to save 34 lives off of the sinking cruise ship, Sea Breeze. In September 1999, the Air Station rescued 463 people on one SAR case during the Hurricane Floyd flood. In November 1998, Jayhawk helicopter crews, now shipboard qualified, made a rescue 250 miles beyond Bermuda.

Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) - E4, with dependents

  • $ 1170.00

The book The 100 Best Small Towns in America by Norm Crampton lists Elizabeth City at 65th. The book is published by Macmillan General Reference, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. "The best scores went to towns that ranked lowest in crime and highest in these categories: growth, per-capita income, per capita bank deposits, proportion of young adults, number of physicians, public school expenditure per pupil and proportion of college-educated residents."

Located where the narrows of the Pasquotank River open up and the river begins widening out on its course to the Albemarle Sound, Elizabeth City is the economic and commercial hub of the northeastern North Carolina mainland. Although it was founded in 1793, it did not take on economic importance until the Dismal Swamp Canal was completed in 1805. The Canal linked the sounds and rivers of northeastern North Carolina with the port of Norfolk, allowing area planters and lumber companies a safe and quick method of transporting their goods to market.

Today, the Canal is a means of transportation for thousands of pleasure boaters on the Intracoastal Waterway, and Elizabeth City has become a favorite stop. The town's waterfront has experienced a revitalization that includes new docks and boat facilities, shops, and most recently, the Museum of the Albemarle's new facility. The Museum interprets over 400 years of local history and is a wonderful introduction to the heritage of the region.

The United States Coast Guard operates training and rescue facility here that has been the focus of many daring rescues by sea and by air. Rescue teams from the station have been featured in the national spotlight on many occasions, including several daring rescues during the famous ''Perfect Storm'' of 1991.


  • Population: 19,056
  • 39.6% for White Non-Hispanic residents
  • 56.6% for Black residents
  • 1.5% for Hispanic Residents
  • % of Residents Living in Poverty (2005): 25.1%
  • Violent Crime is 1.45 times the National Average
  • Property Crime is 1.31 times the National Average
  • Estimated Household Income (2005): $23,800
  • Estimated Median Property Value (2005): $80,300
  • Estimated Rent (2005): $500 - $700




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Anonymous said...

Elizabeth City is a Beautiful Place...but, since we're just leaving A-School, I think I'd like to try something else before coming back here.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I don't like E-City. The cost of homes here is outrageous. Many coasties have bought homes here and regret it. We transferred here in 2008 and in 2007 I was looking up prices of homes which enabled me to very familiar with homes for sale in the area. Well it is 2010 and some of those homes are still for sale. Also, these costly homes aren't really nice. I've been in some and I often fill sorry for the other coasties because they bought a house that is supposed to be fairly new and it looks worn because of the cheap materials. They are all cookie cutter no matter what subdivision you live in. The homes that are much different are older. Even they cost a pretty penny. Also, if you have been to Kodiak that is what this place reminds me of when it comes to medical appts. or having some procedures done. While there is a hospital here, there are times when you are referred to a doctor in Virginia. Another thing if you want to travel you have to drive an hour to Norfolk or another half hour to Newport News. Cheaper flights are at 6 or 7 in the morning which means you would have to head out there at 4 to get there at 5 to make sure you are there on time. There have been times where I have come pretty close because of traffic going to Newport News which may have been a breakdown in the tunnel going that way and the only way. This place is very boring. No good entertainment comes here. If you have kids and decide to head to Virginia to shop or do something nice, you'll see that you are spending alot of money on lunch and dinner depending on what you are doing. Also, my main thing I hate is that this city is far east North Carolina. A car ride out of state to any other state west isn't pleasant. It take 6 1/2 hours to get out of NC to head to the gulf coast. Also there aren't any nice parks here. The supposed nicest park here with a walking trail, skate ramps, and picnic area is called Funjucktion because it is next to a landfill. In the summer it stinks. Also, don't be fooled about moving to the supposed best subdivision to move in called Queenswood. Many coasties move in that subdivision it is like Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives. It is near that landfill too. The homes are costly and range from 230s-300 They are not that nice in the inside. When I compare them to other cities I plan to move to I am wowed because the missing features in these homes at high cost is nice flooring and countertops, no crown molding, basic apartment style floor plan (everything to the right of the main entrance) All the kitchens are the same size cheap cabinets. It is not just this subdivision many others that coasties move to. There are areas where your cell phone doesn't work such as Weeksville, Hertford, Nixinton, and some areas in Camden. I can't wait to move. Many people move to those areas because the city's electric bill is very high during the winter. My bill in the winter is 400 dollars. This past winter a friend and her husband had financial hardship because the electric bill was costing them 700-800 a month. This place doesn't give extensions or let you pay half. They will cut your electric off 10 days after the due date. You can opt to come to this "beautiful place", "nice town", "peaceful town" if you want to it is going to literally cost you.

Anonymous said...

I am not in the Coast Guard so I cannot compare the Air Station w/ any other CG Stations. I will tell you straight out, were Navy. But as for the base, we only go to the beach and the hobby shop. It is a small beach, but it is much better than traveling 45-115 min to OBX w/ a 4 yr old to swim in the ocean. The beach has lifeguards, picinic tables and a small playground. We are there everyweekend of the summer, May to Mid Sept. The exchange is very samll and like Anonymous (June 2010) said, there is not much to do in this town. But instead of ranting and raving about the 'problems' w/ this area, I will let you know that there are smaller things going on. It is a COUNRTY town, not a big city or coastal area. It is in the South; slow, ice tea, rednecks, lost phone reception and Carolina BBQ. Which is a ton different than Memphis style where it is wet. The summer months has Potato Festival, Tuesday Night movies at the Waterfront, Fireworks on the waterfront which are actually better than Chesapeakes. Speaking of Chesapeake, yes that is where you will have to go to do BIG shopping, or go online. The only thing that EC has is Wal-Mart, a small Penny's and Belk. Many smaller family own stores that are quaint. As for houses, I bought mine brand new in 2007. I got an acre lot, 2200sqft, 3BR 2BT w/ a full upstairs to do what I please w/. My price $225K. Now that is not much for the price, but compared to the Hickory area of Cheasapeak, or anywhere up there, it is significanly lower. And my house is not shabby, or "same size cheap cabinets" or "everything to the right of the main entrance". I have some crown molding, but I didnt want much. As for the City, you are surrounded by country. If you are city folk looking for city tihngs, this is not hte area to find that. If you are country, this is the area. 40 min from EC you have Dennis Anderson's Grave Digger shop and mud bogging park. 15 min north of EC dirt track racing and tractor pulling. Tons of areas to 4Wheel. Then there is boating and fishing. Now do I love this area, heck no. Would I live here forever, No! But am I satisfied with what I got where I am, YES! Sometimes people have no choice on wehre they will go or be stationed, but they make the most of it they can. There are tons of things to do in this area, NENorth Carolina and Hampton Roads (VA), if your willing to look for it. You are not going to be a local that knows everything about this area, but if you ask the right people you will be directed.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I will be moving to Elizabeth City Air Station this fall 2014. Our child will be nearly two by then. We are coming from a horrible station, Greenville, Ms. The crime was awful, I couldn't leave our house without my husband. Please tell me this place isn't like this.. I was so looking forward to somewhere decent. We are from the south and I love country life but I want safe country life.

Anonymous said...

My husband is retired USCG. We have both recently retired and are leaving the area. We have a truly lovely home in the quaint, historical town of Edenton, not far from Elizabeth City. If interested, please click on the link below to check it out:
Thanks and hope everyone has a successful relocation!

Elle G said...

Thanks for the post. My husband is going to A-school here soon for 6 months. I'm hoping to find something safe and affordable. (but now I think I'm glad I have a c&c)
Nowhere is Mayberry, but I hope to make it work.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was the most least desired station. We've never been, but only have heard negative things about it.