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MCAS Tustin (Santa Ana, Ca.)

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  • MCAS Tustin (Santa Ana, Ca.)

    For those of you wondering what is happening to the Marine Corps Air Station Tustin, it's in shambles! After a weekend visit to LA, I decided to take the family down to see the old stomping grounds. What a shock.

    The street signs on Red Hill still say MCAS Tustin, but the MP shack and gate are long gone. So is the "new" base housing (ca. 1990). The hangers are still there, but delapatated. Windows are broken out, the paint on the concrete supports peeling away. There are brand new condo's and townhomes on the old Compass Road. You can have a great view on the hangars for $1 mil.

    Most of the barracks and buildings are still in good shape, except for the medical building and the MP/Admin building next door. The chruch is still up, but they don't let visitors on there any more. The city closed access to the site.

    The HMT-302 hangar is gone, along with the smaller buildings that were on that side of the base. HMH-465/466 hangars are still there, but the flightline is almost all gone. Just big piles of dirt/concrete. The flightline shacks are still on one piece.

    At the main gate, there are new buildins there, that appear to be a college. The ATC tower is still up as is the runway and spots. Covered in weeds, but still there.

    I will post the pics in coming days. Here is a memory for all you prior Tustin folks.....

  • #2
    MCAS Tustin

    Steve,

    I was on a business trip to the LA area a couple of months ago and stopped to have lunch with an Old Tiger from HMM-262, Col. Paul Johnston, down in Lagun Hills. Paul was one of the last Base Commanders (if not the last one), so when we shared some fond memories of the old "MCAF Santa Ana", I decided to drive over to the base to stir up some of those fond memories from 1968. The images in my mind were shattered as I drove up to the Main Gate. The civilian guard told me that the base had been turned over to the city, that the barracks, etc. were to be made into low-rent housing and that some of the squadron areas and the old base housing area had been completely demolished. He did mention that the hangars were to be preserved as a historical site. Just as you, he refused me entrance to the base, saying that I needed written permision from some unreachable city official.

    The dry-yellow grass was two to three foot high everywhere and the entire place looked more like some slum area rather than the military instalation which trained so many heros of our nation, many of whom gave their lives for us. Frankly, it brought a lump to my throat.

    I wonder what El Toro looks like today?
    Joseph "Jake" Jacobs
    HMM-262 Combat Helicopter Association

    Comment


    • #3
      http://www.popasmoke.com/notam2/showthread.php?t=3987

      All unfortunately, MCAF/Tustin was bulldozed and demolished some three years ago.

      If interested, please see the above link on the HMH-463 Squadron page.

      Mike
      Last edited by Mike Amtower; 11-08-2006, 15:54.

      Comment


      • #4
        LTA Santa Ana/Tustin

        They gate guard said:
        He did mention that the hangars were to be preserved as a historical site.
        I'm really glad to hear at this part of your visit. My wife and I were visiting Doctors in L.A. and San Diego last month, and could not get up there due to scheduling conflicts......At least the old hangars will be there for our kids and grandkids to see and talk about.
        Semper Fidelis
        Joe


        Phu Bai tower:
        YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
        Remember, These are "A" models!
        YW-11 BuNo-151939
        '65 Model CH-46A

        Comment


        • #5
          MCAF Tustin

          Sat on the starboard side of the communter train from LA to Oceanside this past spring and got to see all the building going on and the two blimp hangars. Then it was behind me, once again...like it always was when I came and left.

          Comment


          • #6
            More MCAS Tustin Pics as promised

            Attached are some more pictures and information.

            Unfortunatly, only one hangar (#1) was marked as an Historical Landmark by the gov't. Therefore, hangar 2 will be demolished. The plans for the base continue to change daily. What is known is that there will be a huge homless shelter created out of the newer barracks that sat just east of the flightline or south of the chowhall. In addition, the Tustin High School is moving there and a new one is being built. Several of the barracks will be kept and made in to dorms for a offsite college in the area.

            The entire base development is being called the Tustin Legacy (http://www.tustinlegacy.com/). Sad, just so sad. Enjoy!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Pics Part 2

              Enjoy......

              Comment


              • #8
                Pics 3...

                Last one...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Unable to Express !!!

                  Many have commented on their feelings about MCAF & El Toro going down. As one that was in the First Marine Unit to occupy Hangar one , than LTA early 1951 VMO-2. Cannot express how deeply I feel at the closings. Also El Toro I came in the Marine Corps before it was built & than My WW2 Sqd VMTB-232 Came back from Guadalcanal reformed with TBF A/C & I joined them at New Hebredise Island MAG-11. Returned there in 1945 in F4U A/C for ACSG (Carrier Support GP). Than again in MAG-25 1954. MCAF assigned there again 1957 -1961 before retiring in 1963. As the first on LTA there was a Civilian Store & beer joint where the PX was later built. We SNCOs of VMO-2 built the first NCO club in the old Navy Laundry building. It was later built up to a very nice Club. Howard Hughes still had items stored in part of the Hangar & the Navy Reserve was still operating their Blimps in the other end of the Hangar. HMR-161 formed back than & shipped out on the railroad from Hangar one to San Diego enroute to Korea 1951. Also the memory of the Tsgt Carr shooting two Msgt at the NCO Club forget the exact year think it was 1959-1960?? Forgot the name of the Msgt That died but Msgt Rowe shot in the chest 45 Cal Pistol survived. So many memories ,a big part of my life & also for my familiy. As We Were !!! Semper Fi Paul Moore

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Walking History Lesson!

                    Paul,
                    Sir,as always, your posts have that level of accuracy and feeling that most of us can't imagine, since you were there! Most interesting bits of information regarding LTA and El Toro.
                    Shot in the chest with a .45 and survived? Not many did or could!

                    Happy Birthday to you and all of our brothers and sisters on this 231th Birthday of our beloeved Corps!
                    Semper Fidelis
                    Joe


                    Phu Bai tower:
                    YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
                    Remember, These are "A" models!
                    YW-11 BuNo-151939
                    '65 Model CH-46A

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Maybe no knowledge of ............

                      Joe,

                      You didn't know "Skid" Rowe!

                      He was the Senior SNCO in HMH-463 during our tour at Marble.

                      I've seen a pic of a wash tub of iced down Schlitz at a squadron party, with a sign stuck in it stating: "Skid's BEER!"

                      He was one tough old Marine!

                      Crusty is the term that first comes to mind.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Skid Rowe

                        Mike,
                        I knew a lot of folks, not necessarily all by name. I would recognize you 40 years from now, should we both live that long, but I might call you Bill! LOL!
                        Semper Fidelis
                        Joe


                        Phu Bai tower:
                        YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
                        Remember, These are "A" models!
                        YW-11 BuNo-151939
                        '65 Model CH-46A

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          CRS - disease

                          " .... but I might call you Bill! "

                          I'm the same way, Joe. Names elude me after a while ... now numbers, that's a different story.
                          Those I remember forever!

                          Maybe it's due to my occupation .... you know 'puters.

                          I've said in the past, if I had to make my living as a saleman, I'd starve to death! That is where
                          you have to have instant recall on names.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mcas/tustin

                            I am involved in the group that is attempting to SAVE the North Blimp Hangar #1 to build a military museum and salvage most of the Buildings and Housing Units at the Former Tustin Property
                            We are currently using much of the land for the film and TV industry. We have partnered with several individuals that are also interest in saving as much of the property as possible. The property has been used for many features - Pearl Harbor, JAG, HBO's From the Earth to the Moon, etc...
                            We have an interest in developing many Military feature films and TV shows that will require some of the current exteriors. Most of today’s productions can recreate the look and feel in soundstages, such as the one being developed in the former Helicopter Maintenance Hangar and hopefully soon inside the North Blimp Hangar. The South Blimp Hangar, we have been told is severely damaged from lack of maintenance and the Santa Ana Winds, the City of Tustin (current owner) and the county Fire Marshall have locked it down. The original configuration of the @1600 acre property has been altered for residential, commercial, mixed-use and common areas "The Tustin Legacy". The proposal for a GREEN BELT of Parks and Waterways are in development around the North Blimp Hangar and diagonally through the property from Edinger/Jamboree to Barranca/Red Hill. K thru 12 schools are to built on the property as well as several college campuses and a Sheriff's Training Facility. Jamboree/Barranca is building "The District" of Tustin, similar to "The Spectrum" of Irvine. The District will be the home of Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and many small stores and outlets.

                            I look forward to sharing information with all who have great memories of this facility.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tustin - Spring 1968

                              Found this in an old shoe box. Look at the cars in the parking lot in front of the barracks. Today, that would be called an antque car show - Aaaagggghhhh!!!!
                              Last edited by accs; 01-01-2007, 13:47.
                              Joseph "Jake" Jacobs
                              HMM-262 Combat Helicopter Association

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