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NAS Los Alamitos

NAS Los Alamitos

Point of Contact - Squadron Duty Officer (SDO)

Refer to the CONTACT LIST under "THE ASSOCIATION" drop down menu.


Patch
  • No data to date

Handle
  • No data to date

Heritage
  • No info yet.

Aircraft
Commanding Officers
  • No data to date

Events
  • 1941: Naval Reserve Air Base (NRAB) Los Alamitos is established

  • May 1942: NRAB Los Alamitos is full operational

  • August 15, 1943: Renamed to a NAS

  • November 7, 1949: Los Alimitos receives first jet aircraft, the FJ-1 Fury.

  • May 13, 1965
    Lt. Rodrick A Laughlin perished in A-4B 142885 15 miles west of Edwards AFB, CA while on an instrument training flight
    Long Beach, CA, Independent article

  • October 25, 1965
    Marine reserve pilot Capt. James V. Martin Jr. ejected safely when his A-4B BuNo 144897 lost electrical power due to control system failure at 10,000 feet about five miles south of the Huntington Beach pier.
    Long Beach, CA, Independent, Tuesday, October 26, 1965.

  • August 5, 1966
    Possible mid-air collision with VA-776 A-4B 139964 & VA-776 A-4B BuNo 144900 - Lt.Cmdr. Edward H Wood & Lt. Joseph Feldman perished near Starks, LA.
    Lake Charles, LA, The Lake Charles American Press article
    Lake Charles, LA, The Lake Charles American Press article
    Wood was the squadron executive officer and (Lt.) Feldman was flying with him and two others, returning from a cross country at New Orleans. The flight got incredibly disoriented flying VFR in the clouds resulting in Feldman bailing out and breaking his neck, and Wood heading straight down. When he tried to pull out, the excessive g forces extended one of his slats and the high speed wind tore it off, turning the aircraft into a corkscrew. Wood couldn't bail out because he had a bad back and used to fly with parachute straps unconnected at the top (I don't exactly remember how you could do this) to allow him movement to ease his stiffness. I was supposed to be number five of this gaggle but my plane crapped out on me on our original departure from Yuma and I had to miss the trip. Good thing for me I did. Feldman was flying number 3 position and Wood #4. #5 was not a good place to be.
    Both were great guys and I remember Joe at the O Club with his beautiful young wife and child one Sunday afternoon after our squadron drill weekend. I was a crossover from the Air Force and always walking around in a sea of confusion about Navy ways. I got to buy drinks one day for forgetting to remove my hat in the club bar. I wound up with Wood's g-suit bag which I carried with me for years on my airline flights (TWA) as a dirty clothes bag. Each time I looked at it, I promised myself i wouldn't get into a situation like Ed did!
    A4s, and memories of those flown west, forever!
    Bob Sackett

  • December 15, 1966
    A-4B BuNo 145045 - Lost on take off - Marine Capt. James H. Moffett ejected injured and rescued.
    Oakland, CA, Oakland Tribune article
    Long Beach, CA, Independent Press-Telegram article
    Redlands, CA, Redlands Daily Facts article
    Long Beach, CA, Independent Press-Telegram article
    Gettysburg, PA, The Gettysburg Times article

  • January 7, 1967
    Cdr. Edward L. Bethel ejected successfully from A-4B 142083 which crashed in an open field while coming in for a landing at NAS Los Alamitos.
    Long Beach, CA, Independent Press-Telegram article

    Santa Fe, NM, The Sunday New Mexican article

  • I was stationed at NAS Los Alamitos between 1964-1967 and attached to the Transit Line. JAN 1967: "I was driving the Follow ME truck and witnessed a A4 make a wheels up landing. As I remember it the wheels watch fired the runway flairs and the tower warned the A/C that his wheels were not down. The nose of the A/C caught the field arresting cable and cut well back into nose. The drop tanks were ground in half. The fantail of sparks was staggering. The pilot jumped out and took off on a dead run and was picked up by the crash truck. I picked up the Duty Operation Officer and a Mechanic from the Jet Line and drove to the plane. We pinned the seat and the officer asked both of us if we saw anything unusual in the cockpit. We both said at the same time YES, the landing gear handle was still in the up position.
    When the crane picked up the A/C a Plane Captain reached in and put the handle down and the gear came out and locked without any power. They pinned the gear and it was towed back to the line with No trouble.
    When I got out of the Navy in July of 67 it was still in the hanger with many cannibalization tags hanging on it. I assume this is the same A/C you list Cause unknown BU# 142083. I was told it never flew again.
    I really enjoy your website and always have had many fond memories of the A4 as I was a P/C on them in the reserves at NAS Alameda, even before going on active duty and we handled hundreds of them on the Transit Line while I was stationed there.
    Mike Slusher (ADJ 4)

  • January 10, 1967
    A-4A BuNo 142171 - Lost on takeoff - LtCdr Ralph E. Shirey perished
    Long Beach, CA, Independent Press-Telegram article
    Long Beach, CA, Press-Telegram article

  • March 7, 1968
    LCdr. David Best, assigned to VA-776, perished in A-4B BuNo 142903 in a crash in the Arizona desert about 12 miles east of Needles, CA while flying a solo training mission.
    Redlands, CA, Redlands Daily Facts, Friday, March 8, 1968
    Long Beach, CA, Independent Press-Telegram, Friday, March 8, 1968

  • September 28, 1968
    Marine Capt. Glenn R. Ballenbach ejected from TA-4B BuNo 142944 40 miles southeast of Nellis AFB while on a trining flight.
    Hayward, CA, The Daily Review article

  • January 11, 1969
    Lt. Ronald C. Boch ejected from TA-4B BuNo 142920 and was recovered, 24 miles southwest of San Diego, CA following engine failure.
    Long Beach, CA, Independent Press-Telegram article

  • July 3, 1969
    Lt. Wesley Wayne Jewell perished when his A/C blew a tire while doing touch-and-gos at NALF Crows Landing and flipped on its side and burst into flames.
    Modesto, CA, The Modesto Bee, Friday, 4 July 1969.

  • August 15, 1969
    Marine Capt. C.R. Downing III ejected when his TA-4B BuNo 144870 caught fire following a practice bomb run in the Chocolate Mountains Range
    Yuma, AZ, The Sun article

  • 1970: Navy reserve training is discontinued on the base.

  • 1972: California Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve units are re-located to Los Alamitos.

  • 1973: Californal Army National Guard becomes field operator.

  • JUL 2000: Los Alamitos Armed Forces Reserve Center is renamed to Los Almitos Joint Forces Training Center.

Awards
  • No data yet.

Photographs


Webmaster note:
Prior to 1970, reserve aircraft belonged to the local NARTU or Reserve Naval Air Station. Except for those squadrons on active duty, as in Korea, no reserve squadron "owned" their aircraft, as they were assigned to the NARTU/Station. In 1970, during that reorganization of the reserves into the "Reserve Force" concept, each new squadron was made independent of NARTU (later called NAR), and assigned either to CVWR-20 or CVWR-30. All squadrons were then made in the image of active duty units, with the reserve unit Commanding Officer owning the aircraft and reporting to the CAG. On this site you will find all era reserve combat aircraft images in the appropriate squadron photo page, and only non-combat support aircraft images in the reserve station photo page.

Exceptions to the above rule are below, as these aircraft's unit assignment is unknown.

Circa 1960: NARTU Los Alamitos weekenders are greeted by a gag prop on Skyhawk BuNo 142194, 7L-17.
Naval Aviation News Photo.

30MAR67:
BuNo 139938,
and A-4A, on the ramp.
Photo by Stephen Miller

JAN 1969:
Los Alamitos BuNo 142210.
Photographer is A. Hanson, from Gary Verver.


Sources
  • John Gabbard


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