Fuchu US Airbase Heyday

MJG Haikyo, Military Installations, Tokyo-to 187 Comments

Since publishing my 2008 explore and photos of the abandoned US Air Force base in Fuchu, Japan, it’s been one of the most popular pages on this site. See it here. It has attracted hundreds of veteran airmen from the 50’s onwards to comment and reconnect with old friends and colleagues- some of whom at times sent me photos from the Base’s heyday to include in a heyday page.

This is that page. Thanks to 4 airmen in particular- Carl Lindberg, Cliff Cockerill, Bill Lambert, Dale Lingenfelter, and Donn Paris for taking the trouble to scan and send the photos from this most memorable time in their lives, but also thanks to everyone who got in touch with me or just commented on the main page to share their stories and memories.

Without further ado- on to the photos (comparison photos in ruin are mine).

Carl Lindberg

Photos in and around Fuchu AS, AUG65 to AUG67

“Fuchu became my first duty station, after I completed Tech School at Lowry AFB. I was assigned to the PACOM Elint Center (in the back of the base, across the street from the Hobby Shop & Education Center). I lived in the barracks close to the Airman’s Club and BX Cafeteria in the SW corner of the base. I have attached several photos of personnel and facilities from my time at Fuchu.”

Carl Lindberg, Shoreline, WA

calladvise@AOL.com

Carl in front of the Airman’s Club

Carl & friends on the road towards Tokyo

HQ 5th Air Force, Fuchu AS

Higashi Fuchu Train Station, looking towards Tokyo

Carl hitting a foul ball across from NCO Club

Carl’s 56 Plymouth parked by my barracks

That’s a barracks at left, wholly covered in ivy.

Bill Lambert

“Have are a few photos I will share from 1961-1963.”

Bill Lambert
billlambert@frontiernet.net

This was outside main gate. What was the G.I. name for the strip? Haun or hawn?

I worked on bottom floor, last window you can see on the right. 1956 Communication Group.

This is me in front of my barracks. My room was the next set of windows on left. The chow hall was directly behind us.

Overgrown shot for above.

You got to remember these girls! The Gay Little Hearts……… When they played the Airmen Club, it was packed. Do you have anything on them?
Had the right person brought them to the US, they would have made it big.

Inside Airman’s Club………Beer 10 cent & cigarettes 12 cent l-r James Burley-Jerry Palmer(The golfer Arnold’s brother) Frank Allison-James Bodiford(beer to mouth)-?-?-me – Michael Comer

Not the Airmen’s club, but one of the interior dorms in ruins now.

Dale Lingenfelter

“Here’s a couple pictures taken just out side my barracks in Fuchu, Japan…..1956, I was stationed in Fuchu from Jan 1956 to Nov 1957.
Two great years in my life!”

Dale Lingenfelter
s1ooner@yahoo.com

Bicycling in front of the dormitories.

Upgrade to motorbike.

Cliff Cockerill

“I was stationed at Fuchu 3/53 – 3-56.. Worked in Tech Control in the 1956th AACS squadron.”
Cliff Cockerill

cliffc@olypen.com

Fuchu Base entrance.

A nearby area, asphalt now covered in grass.

King Laundry just outside the gate

Looking down the strip just outside the gate

1956th AACS Communications bldg.

Communications Center for the 1956th AACS

Chow Hall for 1956th AACS

Cliff Cockerill near the station

Donn J. Paris

“Stationed at Fuchu from ’65-’67, I was surprised (shocked!) to discover what had happened to it.? Sadly, I took few pictures of the Station itself, but I have done some searching around and have rounded up some information on the Station as it was…”

bparis@centurytel.net

Station outline with identifying index (from James Bodiford, provided by Charles Whitson.)

Aerial view of Fuchu AS, circa 1959 (from Jim Brownie)

Adjusted image from Google Earth to match layout of the aerial pic

Thanks again to everyone who posted and shared their comments and photos.

If you’d like to see more photos of the base as it is nowyou can see them here.

And you can see more photos of Japanese ruins here.

Comments 187

  1. HEY-G A N G “”””””””””””””WAS-THERE-IN-56′-57′-IN-AND-OUT-THRU-TACHIKAWA”””W O W””””
    NEED-I-SAY-M O R E ????????WHILE-AT-FUCHU-THERE-WERE-:BOVA,FROM-BATLTIMORE, BEMEISDERFER,
    FROM-PENNA., FERRIA-FROM-NYC, ONE-FROM-THE-SHOW-ME-STATE??(MO)AND-MAYBE? RAY-TAYLOR-
    OF-TUSCALOOSA,ALABAMA””’WE-HORSE-BACKED-HALF-WAY-UP-MT-FUCHIAMA-MOUNTAIN-AND-CLIMBED-
    TO-THE-TOP””’TOOK-ALL-DAY”””’HAD-A-GREAT-TWO-YEARS”””””””””’
    THE-PHILA-KID”””””””'(NOW-THE-RETIRED-VIRGINIAN)””””’BEST-WISHES-TO-A LL ”””””””””’PDM..

  2. Tim: I was going thru some photos I had of Fuchu and think I may have found you and some others whose names I don’t recall. Maybe you can fill in the blanks. Hopefully I’ll figure out how to post them for all to see. I left out any where airmen were with their dates since I don’t know who was or wasn’t married at the time.

  3. Tim: When one of those typhoons hit I was at Tachikawa AB waiting for an emergency leave flight back home. The storm grounded us and rather than send us home (Fuchu in my case) they bused us into Tokyo and put us up at the Tokyo Hilton with food chits and all. Kobe steak was on the menu that night. Day or two later we were back at the base for our flight to the U.S.A. Don’t recall if we flew domestic or Flying Tiger, probably the later. Either way it beat the DC6?? in which I first flew to Japan. Something like 33 hours all told with stops at Hickam and Wake. Those were the days for sure.

  4. Joe: Just ran across your note. Fuchu holds many good memories for me. Sad to see what it has become today. Intend to plan a trip to Japan in the next two yrs. and travel down memory lane. Experiences from there aided me many times in the latter yrs. Am retired HS teacher and travel when I can. Only person I ever saw after leaving was Tanaka in Hawaii when I lived there. Great to hear from you and know that some of us are still around.

  5. I was at Fuchu 1967-1971 with the Civil Engineer Squadron. For changing from uniform to civilian clothes i had a dorm room by the tennis court. But would eat dinner at the chow hall after work then take a train to Shinjiku 6/7 days a week for 2 years. Then I took the train back to Hagashi Fuchu station every morning and had breakfast at the chow hall before going to work at 0730.
    But, I did enjoy Fuchu/Tokyo. At one point was so tired of running the clubs I nearly walked off the train platform onto the track going back to the base. At the time, a one way ticket to Shinjiku was 80 yen, two large Kirins were 160 yen, entrance to disco was 200 yen which came with a beer and then a ticket from Shinjiku back to Fuchu the next morning was 80 yen.
    So, for a 1000 yen a day at 360 yen to a dollar I had $100 in savings when I left Japan. Best money I ever spent and I wish I could do that again.

  6. I was stationed at Fuchu from March 1965 thru March 1967 at HQ 5th AF. Seeing these pictures and reading the various comments brought back many memories. The airman’s club was great although I doubt any service clubs still have a stag bar! It’s hard to believe fuchu and Tachikawa no longer exist, best two years of my life. Shinjiku was always great, you never knew what was going to happen. The yen to dollar rate allowed an airmen to have experiences we wouldn’t be able to have at today’s rates. It’s good to know so many others fondly remember tjeir tour.

  7. I was stationed at Fuchu from March 1965 to March 1967, I served with Hq 5th air Force. seeing pictures of King Landry, the Airman’s Club as well as the front gate and the Han brought back a lot of good memories. I find it hard to believe that Fuchu and Tachikawa are both gone. I used to pal around with John Dolan and Jerry Fine. The exchange rate between dollars and yen made Shinjiku, Tokyo and the Han affordable . Our barracks was located between the chow hall, the cafeteria and the Airman’s Club. Probably the best first assignment a young airman could wish for. It’s good to know others have great memories of Fuch Air Station as I do!

  8. I was station at Fuchu ’63-65. I agree this was great first duty assignment. I worked with a tenant organization (OSI). Our headquarters was located between the PX and the chow hall. Sorry to hear the loss of Tachi and Fuchu. RIP.

  9. Fuchu was a great place to be stationed. I worked Plan-55 from Jan ‘67 until Sep 68. The base was like a park,so neatly trimmed . I enjoyed frequent trips to Tokyo. Climbed. Mt. Fuji a friend from Louisiana who worked P-55 maint. Left Japan sent to 1876 Comm. squadron Viet Nam,left there Sept.’69. Separated from service; went home to New Orleans and received B.A. and M.Ed. from University of New Orleans, taught Jr.High math and science . That was more difficult than Viet Nam.

  10. Served from 1966 to 1970 at Fuchu as a Tech Controller (E5). Nice part of my life! While I was there, I found a Toyota Corona 2-door hard top and installed a Ford 289 engine that I got from Camp Zama motor pool. One bottle of JD was all it took to get the 289. I built this terror at the Kanto Mura Hobby Shop…..I terrorized Koshu Kaido in the late 60’s. After discharge from the AF (May 1970), I was sponsored by Mr. Toshio Taisaku so I could remain in Japan. He owned the Hock Shop on the Han in front of Fuchu Air Base. Then I worked for AFFES (Fuchu and Yokota) and attended Sophia for a double major. Returned to Torrance, CA and helped established TRD in 1980 as the first American working for TRD. I made many friends with the TOSCO group down in Tsunashima and then kept friends with them, all the time suggesting to open a Performance Division of Toyota in USA. My dream came true when TOSCO (Mr. Ishzuka-Boucho) asked me to go to USA to open TRD! What a nice surprise…..From here go to http://www.superstreetonline.com/features/ssts-0809-21-questions-with-luckey-dodge/…….you will see the rest of the story.
    bye——–Luckey

  11. Just a note to say that having visited recently, all of the buildings were cleared away over Summer, the satelittes still remain however with the recent clearing of man well known haikyo one has to wonder how much longer they’ll be there for.

  12. I was in Tech Control 67-70. Spent two years in main control, then transferred and was part of the crew that brought Autovon station on line. Loved the time there and had many friends- Curtis Holland, J.B. Huff, Howie Estes ( was my trainer) and many others. Especially remember the night the USS Pueblo was captured and the frantic activity that it produced. Would enjoy going back to see the base again.

  13. Assigned to Fuchu from 1966-1968. 1956CG PAFCO Relay until Pubelo then reassigned to 5AF Command Post Comm Center. Worked in Weather Relay until I got my clearance. Never worked there, but took a Plan 55 class upon arrival. Many great memories. Bowling Alley had the best cheeseburgers/fries…. On Sunday, we would make a run to the Officer’s Club for some home made hot donuts.

  14. I was stationed at Fuchu/1956th Comm Gp 1970-1972. Lived in the barracks directly across the street from the Bowling Alley. Worked at NMCO and Fuchu/STC. Friends with Jim Radar and Larry Grauel.

  15. My dad, Pat Miles, was stationed at Fuchu in PEC, 1966-1970. I was born at Tachikawa in 1967 & my sister in 1969. We lived in Grant Heights. Believe it or not, I actually have memories from Japan, somewhat vague, such as standing on a huge lawn looking out a chain link fence.

    I well remember being in the hospital (again, Tachikawa, I believe) for an Adenoidectomy, despite this occurring when I was only 2. I remember struggling because they were forcing a rubber cup over my face & the air inside it was burning my throat. A woman dressed in green told me: “Hush! This is is a hospital & there are sick people here!” I thought to myself “I AM a sick person, here!” … and everything faded away.

    My parents loved everything about Japan. To this day, if my dad makes the stuffing for Thanksgiving, he puts roasted Chestnuts in it. He has a Mt. Fuji stick. I remember my parents laughing about how the earthquakes always seemed to happen during my bath time & they would have to scoop me up out of the kitchen sink to run outside. I will try to post some photos later, my dad took hundreds of pictures while they were there.

  16. To
    Luckey Dodge,

    This is Skip Miler.
    I was there same time you were, worked in basecomm. Actually helped you a couple of times when you put the 289 in the Corona. Remember cutting the back end off a Corona 4 door to weld onto the hardtop in the Kantomura hobby shop and shortening the rear axles. I drove a little Toyota Public pickup truck which had been an orange and grey Hitachi service truck I bought from the junkyard near front gate. Then I painted it yellow, put on dual carbs from the S800 and installed Triumph TR3 buckets seats I got from that British guy, Pete Bellamy I think. He’d turned the TR into a race car with a 327 engine. Before the Publica I had a big red 56 Buick convertible.

    Got assigned to Thailand after Fuchu. Went to Tokyo a couple of times in 70s to teach English. Then from 1980 lived in Japan continually for next 20 years. Still in daily communication with many of the guys, we even visit occasionally, especially the guys that played in the Gallant Offering band. Would love to hear from you.

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