Fuchu US Airbase Heyday

Mike Grist Haikyo, Military Installations, Tokyo-to 274 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 274

  1. Hi Lisa. Fuchu did not have an air field. There was a chopper pad between the Airman’s club and the gate. I was there 4 years and it was not used much.. One night when I left the club talking to the train station I saw a motor cycle rider run into the cable neck high that went around the chopper pad.

  2. My parents were there in the mid 60s – Jerry and Connie Miller. They had 3 sons – Mark, Eric and Tom. I was adopted from Korea as a baby.

    I came across a pic of me with my new mom and had an address 421-C Kanto Mura Fuchu, Japan and dated Oct 17, 1967.

    My oldest brother, Mark, would have been 10, Eric, 7 and Tom, 4.

    Would love any info, stories if anything jogs anyone’s memory.

  3. My family were stationed at Fuchu 1959-1962. My dad was Major Emil Pindzola, worked in the motor pool. My mom was Marthe Pindzola, worked as a Red Cross volunteer. Their 3 children were Stephen, Mike , and Cathy.

  4. I was a Yeoman Second Class Petty Officer (E-5) U.S. Navy, attached to the Headquarters, U.S. Forces, Japan (J-4 Logistics) Jan ’69 to Jan ’72. My wife and I lived at the Military Housing Center, Green Park. I used to spend my lunch break at the Bowling Alley on base at Fuchu AS. They had “red pin” bowling. If the bowling pin painted red came up as the head/#1 pin and you threw a strike (knocking all the pins down), you got a free hamburger/fries lunch. I was a pretty good bowler back then…and didn’t go hungry. I preferred that than going to the Enlisted Club or the Mess Hall. USFJ was my first shore duty after four tours off Vietnam in the Tonkin Gulf on two destroyers (one tour each) and one aircraft carrier (two tours). Green Park was torn down a couple years after I left Japan and turned into a public park. I still have a lot of fond memories.

  5. I worked in the Autovon station, 1979-1983. Met my two best friends (still) there. Some great times. I wish I could visit, again. Loved my time in Japan.

  6. Here is a sad amendment to my photo of five Fuchu AS personnel on the road exploring the Kanto Plain. In my photo, I stood between two of our exploring group, behind that Chevy convertible. Richard Millard to my right passed way several days ago in his home outside of Chicago. And Ned Reynolds on my left passed away several years ago in his Pennsylvania home close to Hersey, PA. And oh,… on a lighter topic. When I returned to the states from Fuchu AS, I stopped by to see my parents and discovered that my Air Force Dad, Carl A. Lindberg Sr. had spent five months at 5th Air Force HQTS at Fuchu AS. After flying his missions in a B-26 Night Intruder from a base in South Korea, he worked at Fuchu AS as they analyzed the use of the SHORAN Nav/Bombing system.

  7. David, by any chance did you meet any of the Navy guys that worked at the PACOM Elint Center (back by the NCO Club)? About a third of the staff were US Navy.

  8. We dad worked at Fuchu as civil service, as far as I knew he managed a phone switchboard. We lived at Kanto Mura, I want to say 427-a, but I was only 10 years old in 1973. We were at Chitose before that when they converted it to remote, my Dad got a job at Fuchu for a year, as they were closing that base. Often miss those days, had a lot of friends, but we did not stay in touch.

  9. Thoroughly enjoyed the photos, and the recollections of the various writers. Brought back many pleasant memories of my time at Fuchu 1963-64. I was an A2C assigned to the 6000th Support Squadron orderly room (first assignment out of tech school). A couple of highlights I recall from the base: (1) working with a great bunch of folks in the orderly room; and (2) playing on the mixed-service team that won the 1963 Fuchu touch football championship. Had gotten spoiled at Fuchu with my single room in the barracks and the “Mamasans” taking care of the barracks chores. When I returned to the States it took some major adjustment because I now lived in one of those open bay WWII era barracks at MacDill AFB. It was back to the real world of “G.I. parties” and inspections! 🙂

  10. I was stationed at Fuchu Aug68 thru Aug70. I was assigned to a small MAC Rescue unit attached to 5AF Operations. (Det 1 41 ARRWg) 6 Officers and 6 Enlisted I was an E4 low man in the unit. I was the admin spec (70250). We were on the 3rd floor of the Hdqts bldg. The mission was to coordinate any and all Rescue Operations in and around the Japan area. It was a great experience for me as I was 18years old when I got to Japan and 20 yrs old when I left. I kept in touch with several people thru the years however most are gone. 1 widow and 1 TSgt left that I still have communication with. I know this was a pretty obscure unit and many may not remember it. I also had a part time job at the NCO club as a waiter. I spent some time in the NCO stag bar as my barracks were right up the street in bldg 105. I was billited with the 6000th Spt Sq. I was on the 2nd floor and the Postal guys were on the third floor. Would like to hear any/all memories about Fuchu. How about this one “Best Hamburgers on the base were at the Bowling Alley.

  11. Fred, I remember you. I worked Radio Maint. 68-73, Scope Control was my baby. I am still in touch with Richard Koch who was your admin guy for Airways.

    1. Hi John,
      I was stationed on Fuchu, Feb. 1972-April 1973. I was attached to the 1956th Communications Group. I was a Crypto guy. I remember there was two good restaurants on the Haun outside the main gate. I remain in Southern Illinois, 85 miles East of St. Louis. I was looking around the internet and came across a site, airforcetogetherweserved.com. I came across a couple guys listed that I knew while there on Fuchu AB, Jim Comalli and John Whitten.

    2. Hi John,
      I was stationed on Fuchu AB, Feb. 1972 to April 1973. I was on the internet searching about Fuchu AB and came across a site (airforcetogetherweserved.com) TWS is a common reference it seems. I was assigned to the 1956th Communications Group-Crypto Maint. MOS. I came across two guys listed: Jim Comalli and John Whitten which I knew while there. I remain in Southern Illinois-85 miles East of SDt. Louis. I was stationed at Scott AFB prior after basic training at Lackland.

      Joe Norris, Waltonville

  12. Hi John,
    I was stationed on Fuchu, Feb. 1972-April 1973. I was attached to the 1956th Communications Group. I was a Crypto guy. I remember there was two good restaurants on the Haun outside the main gate. I remain in Southern Illinois, 85 miles East of St. Louis. I was looking around the internet and came across a site, airforcetogetherweserved.com. I came across a couple guys listed that I knew while there on Fuchu AB, Jim Comalli and John Whitten.

  13. I was stationed at Fuchu from June ’69 till I rotated back to Travis for my discharge in February ’72. BEST DUTY STATION & BEST TIMES > PERIOD ( After a stint at Kunsan in Korea and Tan Son Nhut in Nam, Fuchu was a breath of fresh air. I was assigned to “A” Flight 34th Security Police Sq. and served as the Desk Sgt under Capt Humphries (CO) and SSGT Ronald W Hatfield was my Flight Sgt. Starting with our barracks, it was one-man rooms (which was a treat after living in ten man tents at Kunsan) Softball was HUGE and my buddy from the Coast Guard (Willie Niles) got the NCO Club to sponsor us as a team. We cherry-picked other teams and put together a helluva roster and won a lot of games > The NCO Club gave us cases of Michelob when we won and whatever was old on stock when we lost (We drank a LOT of free Michelob) 🙂 The duty was great > three swings, three mids, three days and then three days off > Loved it! I dated Col Horton’s daughter (Debie) for a long time until he was transferred to Hickam. Give me a shout if you knew me or were there at the same time. The previous poster was correct > BEST DAMN HAMBURGERS WERE AT THE BOWLING ALLEY, and after a few beers at the NCO Club nothing prevented a hangover better than going out on the Hahn for a hot bowl of Ramen before hitting the sack. Alive and kicking outide Annapolis

  14. I was stationed at Fuchu Air Station from July 73 to October 76. I was a communications maintenance technician at Fuchu Microwave. I sincerely enjoyed my tour there at Fuchu AS. I worked with some great guys. We also had some great employees from NEC that led the way when the radios were having trouble. I had a lot of fun catching a train and heading to Shinjuku and then on to Akasaka for the nightlife!!! I was 19 back in 73. I’m just glad that I didn’t get in a lot of trouble over there. I knew enough Japanese to make a good impression when I visited the bars and nightclubs. Again, I had a blast over there. All comments are welcomed.

  15. What fun finding this page! Fuchu was my (deceased) husband’s first duty assignment in 1958 following a year in Korea. We were newlyweds and lived first at Green Park; my introduction to AF life was certainly a unique situation. We spent several nights in a temporary apartment adjacent to the movie theatre. From the bedroom we could hear the cockroaches dancing on the metal countertop in the kitchen, and the theatre speakers were on the other side of our wall. We soon were able to move to a permanent apartment there with no cockroaches, fortunately, until we bought a little house at Grant Heights for $2000! After his job moved to Yokota and the drive was just too stressful, we sold that house and moved to a similar one in Yokota. Japan was an amazing adventure. We came home with a two-year-old daughter, handmade teak furniture which is still beautiful, good friends, and great memories.

  16. My dad, Colonel William Hugill, was assigned command of the 1st MOB for the AACS in 1958. Our family moved here from McGuire AFB in New Jersey. I remember living just off the base and making such great friends with the Japanese boys in the neighborhood and playing baseball. Fabulous memories. From here, we moved to Johnson AFB in late 59. It was closer to Tokyo and finally back to the States in 61 to Robins AFB in Georgia.

  17. ”’WELL G A N G””’CERTAINLY NICE HEARING, AND SEEING FUCHU AIR STATION””’PHOTO’S-ETC.”
    I AM – PAUL MOORE, FROM PHILLY”’LIVING FOR THE PAST 50 YEARS IN THE BEAUTIFUL SHENANDOAH-
    VALLY OF VIRGINIA. ARRIVED 1956 COMM. CENTER’ DEC’ 1955 TILL DEC. 1957 – 2 YEARS”’GREAT LOOKING
    AT THE STRIP, THINKING HOW OFTEN I VISITED PLACES/PEOPLE-THERE””I ALONG WITH FERRIA, BEMISDERFER, AND FELLA FROM MO. TOOK A TRIP TO MT. FUJI, HORSE BACKED HALF WAY UP,
    AND HAD TO HIKE THE OTHER HALF’. HAD A GREAT TIME ON THE LAKE THERE, BOATING AND SWIMMING
    ANY WAY JUST FOUND PHOTO OF US AT THE TOP OF MT FUJI”’IF I CAN GET MY SON TO SEND IT ON
    HERE”’WILL DO SO””’YOU’ALL””HAVE A GREAT DAY””””””””PAUL””””””””’

  18. PAUL MOORE AGAIN”””””TRIED TO SEND PHOTO’ BUT COULDN’T GET IT GOING???ANYWAY I SENT IT
    TO A FEW GUY’S EMAIL ABOVE”MAYBE THEY’LL PASS IT ALONG”””””’NOW ONE QUESTION”- I ARRIVED
    FUCHU 56′-57’…THERE WAS AN ITAILIAN FELLA ARRIVED THERE NAMED:-AL DENITIS-(conte)N.Y.C. HE GAMBLED’ ALWAY’S DOWN THE CORNER AT THE RACE-TRACK-? WENT- AWOL-AROUND JAPAN FOLLOWING THE HORSE’S-? ANYWAY THEY DISCHARGED HIM IN CALIFORNIA’ HE CASHED IN HIS
    BUS TICKET TO N.Y.C. WENT TO THE HORSE TRACK AND WON 2000. DOLLARS-FEW TO NYC AND RETURNED TO FUCHU’ WHERE IN DEC 57′ I RAN ACCROSS HIM BROKE’ WITH A PREGNANT JOESAN,
    AND I WAS SHIPPING OUT,’ BUT GAVE HIM A FEW DOLLAR’S’. DID ANYONE EVER RUN ACCROSS HIM????

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