Fuchu US Airbase Heyday

January 23, 2012 · Haikyo, Military Installations, Tokyo-to 

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


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

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

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


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…”


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 now- you can see them here.

And you can see more photos of Japanese ruins here.

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121 Responses to “Fuchu US Airbase Heyday
  1. I had visited Fuchu Airbase five years back and was amazed to notice deserted military bases found in the heavy populated Tokyo.All the area looked abandoned except few guards patrolling around the fences.We got the chance to visit the largest prison in Japan very close to that Airbase station.The whole visit was very memorable and unforgettable.This post took me back down to the memory lane and I immediately grabbed the photo album of that visit.

  2. I read about Fuchu Airbase in one of the books. After I read that, I was really interested in visiting the place. My kids were also pretty excited after seeing the pictures. The pictures uploaded here are also great. I like the content here and will be visiting Fuchu Airbase in the near future.

  3. The pictures posted here are really awesome. I remember when I was young, one of my friends’ dad used to work for Fuchu Airbase. When I read this article, I remembered her telling me about his dad’s different experiences.

  4. I came across this article on Fuchu Airbase by accident and appreciate this different,innovative yet quite appealing subject of this article.It is quite warm to see a good response in the form of comments following it. I enjoyed the content,write up and the creativity of this post thoroughly.I don’t know much about the airbase but have heard about its involvement during second world war in brief. I really got overwhelmed with the pictures and am sure they keep reminding us about our past,our ancestors. They are really to be treasured and cherished.

  5. Bob Setliff says:

    Thanks for the memories! I was stationed there 2/64 to 2/67. Worked in building 2 (1st Weather Wing) and lived in Barracks 251 (between HQ and the Bowling Alley) until my family arrived then moved to a Paddy House and later into Grant Heights Base Housing. It is sad to see the condition of the base now!

  6. Sonny Cousins says:

    I was stationed at Fuchu fom ’61 thru ’63 with the 421st Air Police Squadron. Had TDY’s to the P.I. and Nam in ’61 and ’62. What an experience, LOVED every minute. The Japanese people were awsome, so friendly and helpful, especially the school kids, they all had to try their English and heaven forbid me my Japanese. BUT WOW WHAT AN EXPERIENCE FOR A 19 YEAR OLD CALIFORNIA BOY. NO photos yet but still looking, OLD AGE CAN BE A PAIN, but still kicking. Hope this reaches someone who cares like I do. BEST OF EVERYTHING, LATER.

  7. Bill Schulze says:

    I have a question as to where I could get some information. Perhaps you can help. My Uncle was stationed there in 1946 with the 36th fighter squadron of the 5th air force. He was killed on 11/12/1946 when his P51 crashed into the bay. My mother told me that it was thought to be sabotage. Can you direct me to how I could find out what happened?

  8. Jim Guy says:

    I was with the 1956 Comm Sq from Feb 67 to Oct 68 and lived in Barracks 253. Worked in the Base Comm Center until shipping out to Nam.

  9. Phil Blewett says:

    Just found out he was my cousin – played for Fuchu AFB football team circa 1959. Anybody remember him?

    STRATHMAN EUGENE H. STRATHMAN, Major USAF (retired). Gene was born in Cleveland, Ohio on May 19, 1931. He graduated from Brush High School in 1949 and Western Reserve University in 1954. He played football, basketball and track through high school and college. He won four state championships and national championships of Canada, Philippines and Japan. Gene was ranked 22nd in the world as a discus thrower. Gene married Alice Wilhelm and they had three sons; Gene, Mike and Mark. He loved his sons dearly and took great pride in their numerous accomplishments. Gene is survived by his wife Pat Crockett Strathman. He made friends for life. The “Suite Case Six”; John, Bill, Jamie, Billy and Brud have been friends for over 65 years, all having grown up in South Euclid, Ohio. Gene served 20 years in the Air Force and was awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal. Private family services will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Salvation Army, PO Box 412577, Kansas City, MO 64141-2577. Arrangements by CREMATION SOCIETY OF KANSAS & MISSOURI, 8837 ROE, PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS 66207; 913-383-9888.
    - See more at: http://obits.cleveland.com/obituaries/cleveland/obituary.aspx?pid=152522202#sthash.6PolYkLa.dpuf

  10. Andy Rallojay says:

    Was stationed at Fuchu 68-70 at Pacom Elint Center (PEC). It was a tri service command-Air Force, Army, Navy. I was a CTT3 (Navy). The men I worked with were outstanding and I formed friendships that are still intact today. My immediate supervisor was then CTT1 Bill Ringer and he was the best. The Army and Air Force personnel were great, everyone was hardworking and professional. I rotated back to the states in 1970 for separation but prior to my getting out, they moved PEC to Hawaii so all personnel who were up for separation or orders to a new duty station stayed behind and closed out the old shop while everyone else shipped out to Hawaii and started the new shop. I still remember the look on the Chief’s face at Kamisaya when the Air Force staff car rolled up to the transit barracks to pick up a young CTT3 to take him to Fuchu……..I remember when I received my orders to Fuchu, I quietly sat on my bunk and thought to myself….”there is a God”. I still keep in contact with some of the guys from PEC through Facebook.

  11. Jim Comalli says:

    I am surprised and pleased that there are still posts about Fuchu AS. I was stationed there from 6-’69 to 1-’72 and served with the 37th Security Police Squadron. I was the desk-sergeant for “A” Flight and absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed my tour there, (especially after Korea and Nam!!!) I can’t believe these pictures of the base in ruin……it was a such a cool assignment. I was lucky to live in a barracks with one-man rooms, drive a Honda sports-car AND a new Honda 750CC motorcycle, I remember the softball league under the lights across the street from the NCO Club…(many beers were drank there) Hitting the bars on the “Hahn” outside the main gate and finishing the night with the best burgers ever at the bowling alley! I dearly remember my close friends there and feel free to contact me if you are still alive & kicking…….SSGT Hatfield, SSGT Melton, Bob Woolf, Paul, Jess, Willie Niles, Stacie Blizzard, Debie Horton, Mark Schluetter, and soo many others. It was great times and a nice de-tox before re-entering civilian life and college in ’72 with all the anti-GI haters back then!!!

    • Joe Townsley says:

      Hi: So fun reading about Fuchu. I was in the 1956 from 1964-1968. I was wondering if you knew an Airman name Shirts? I believe his first name was Bill. He married and girl who lived in the barracks for Japanese women who worked on the base. She worked at the BX I think. Thanks to all for the memories. Great Base. Joe@LTC-software.com

  12. Jim Comalli says:

    Fuchu AS alumni > you can contact me @ comalli2032@verizon.net I hope to hear from you Fuchu Air Station 1969-1972

  13. Bill Ronnenberg says:

    I was assigned to the 1956 AACS squadron for two year; Fall of 1955 until the Fall of 1957. I only visited the base occasionally as I was assigned to the receiver site. When I returned to the states in 1957 I returned to civilian life..

  14. Mangus says:

    I have pictures from my Uncle William Mangus when he was stationed there in early 60′s ..

  15. Cathy Abington Faircloth says:

    I attended Sophia University in Tokyo from 1964-1967. My dad was stationed at Kadena AFB on Okinawa and as I was on a student visa, I had to have a a “sponsor” in order to stay in Japan. My sponsor and his family were stationed at Fuchu and I used to visit them periodically. I also used to go to the BX when I needed supplies plus would go to the movies at Fuchu. I had forgotten the name of the base when I remembered I had a Tokyo and vicinity railroad map. Found the Keio line, and , bingo! Fuchu!

  16. My father – James Belena (d. 3/19/14) – was stationed @ Fuchu, in 1958-1960(?). Attached to 1956th AAC Group. If anyone stationed there remembers him, please contact me through my web site http://christianbelena.weebly.com

  17. Bob Fry says:

    Stationed at Fuchu from 1964 through 1966 and back as a student in 1967. The best days of my life! Plan 55 maintenance with the 1956th Comm Sq. The most beautiful Air Base in the world. Visited in 2006 as it was being demolished–very sad. Any Plan 55 guys write me at fry44@verizon.net.

  18. Bob Fry says:

    Stationed at Fuchu from 1964 through 1966 and back as a student in 1967. The best days of my life! Plan 55 maintenance with the 1956th Comm. Sq. The most beautiful Air Base in the world. Visited in 2006 as it was being demolished–so sad! Any Plan 55 guys or tennis players write me at fry44@verizon.net.

  19. Robert M. Bransford says:

    Assigned USAF Hospital Tachikawa in 1961. Transferred to Fuchu AS in 1963 and to Green Park in 1964. Commuted from Fuchu to Green Park daily on bike when weather permitted. Otherwise, by bus. One thing I remember about Fuchu was the AF had a ton of old C-Rations that were about to expire, so once a week, the mess hall served a meal of C-Rations. I remember going to General Smart’s office to draw a blood sample for routine physical and dropping it on the way back to the dispensary. “Uh, General, a funny thing happened… “. Fuchu was a good small station. Great Airmens Club, good PX, even a nice Chapel. I sang in a Christmas choir there and we got taken to Tokyo for a traditional Japanese dinner in a garden. Good memories

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