NAS Atsugi

1 May 1964 to January 1965…

Naval Air Facility Atsugi is a naval air base located in the cities of Yamato and Ayase in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, just south of Tokyo. It is the largest United States Navy air base in the Pacific Ocean and houses the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 5, which deploys with the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73). Service members stationed at Atsugi work in conjunction with the Kamiseya Naval Radio Receiving Facility.             During the U. S. occupation after World War II ended, the base handled the overflow of Army troops from nearby Camp Zama. It was not refurbished to handle military air traffic until the Korean War. The Seabees (Navy construction battalions) came to the base in 1950 and prepared it for re-opening that December as Naval Air Station Atsugi.       NAF Atsugi was a major naval air base during both the Korean War and Vietnam War, serving fighters, bombers, and transport aircraft. One of the aircraft based at Atsugi in 1957 was the U-2 spy plane piloted by Gary Powers, which provoked an international incident when it was downed over the Soviet Union. Lee Harvey Oswald once was stationed at Atsugi..                                                                                                                In 1972, the United States and Japanese governments agreed to share ownership of the base.

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57 thoughts on “NAS Atsugi

  1. What a great 8 months we had at Atsugi starting with protests the day we arrived which prevented us from leaving the base on liberty. Six of us bought bicycles (me, Jerry Crutchfield, Mike Bury, Ray Hamnett, Bill Wilson & John McFarland) and rode them on our first trip to Yokohama. Jerry was our guide since he was the only one who had been to Yokohama before. We ventured out on other trips also but were confined to one day trips since we were all on Cinderella liberty! Some great memories abound even today of our trips to see the “Gay Little Hearts”, the five sister band that were sensational! I still have all their autographs in my scrapbook with lots of pictures. The 64 Olympics occurred during our tour and I lucked out and was on mess duty at the time. On 24 and off 12 so 2 Navy guys and I made quite a few train trips to Tokyo on our day off and enjoyed the Ginza and sights. A few times we encounterd Japanese college students who bought us snacks and drinks just to sit and talk with us as they wanted to learn ‘American slang’. Leaving Japan for Okinawa was exciting but we thought we would return. Due to actions in Vietnam starting up we never did get back to Japan. I’m thankful for the many pictures in my scrapbooks that bring back memories of some great times and friendships. SEMPER FI!!

    • Hi! I was there in 64. I worked supply in Mag 11 from 64 to 65. I remember the Olympics. I still have a lighter that I bought there that celebrates the 64 Olympics. I met a very special girl there that worked for the Adimiral on the Navy side of the base. I promised to come back for her. Well, that didn’t happen and I have felt very bad ever since. I was Lance Cpl Rick Hyman. I am still hoping to find one of my friends from Marshall, Texas. His name is Ray Harris. A good Marine and a great person. I am sorry that I lost contact with him. I often regret leaving the Corps in October of 66. My life has been good. I am 70 now and got a new motorcycle for Fathers Day. I live on the Oregon Coast, fish, crab, and hunt. I guess life without regrets would be a life not lived.

  2. I remember Jerry, but not sure where? Probably MACS-8 in Sept 61, I transferred to MACS-9 in Iwakuni, Japan. Got my orders day before the Cuban missle crisis, went to Jacksonville to catch the bus. I must have been only marine in town except for mp’s who were quick to check my butt out. I remember going into one of the bars for beer, while waiting and it was completely deserted as were all the rest. I was in iwakuni transit barracks when Kennedy was killed, waiting for orders to go home. So is Atsugi where MACS-8 went when they rotated overseas? When I came back I ended up at Cherry Point in MASS-1 (was it?),God I forget squadron, until discharged in May of 64. I was short and too spoiled to be a grunt (God bless them, I live in Arizona and I’m no stranger to working in 120 degree+ heat, so when I see those boys ln all that gear in that heat over there in Iraq and Afghanistan, my hats off to them, Semper Fi . I ramble a lot, have’nt ever run into anyone I knew in the service until now.

  3. I am a 1964 MAG 11 Marine. I really didn’t want to leave there. The government won and I was sent back to Camp Pendelton to serve out the rest of my time. I left my heart in that tiny town and I miss it to this day. Oh yes, I had my special girl there and still think about her often. After hearing about the pollution problem that had an effect on the area I was heart sick. The people there played a great part in how I live my life today. I will always honor them as my friends and hope only for the best things happen for them. If anyone remembers me I would love to hear from you (if it is good). I worked in Supply, hung out at the EM club, drank with Emerson, Root, and R.R. Harris. Semper Fi!

  4. In Atsugi in 1959-60 with MACS-8. MOS 3371. I had a good time and drifted a lot, but enjoyed my time in the Corps very much. One guy stands out in my mind as he taught me a guitar lick I remember to this day. His name began with an “S”? but I just can’t recall it. Was a radar guy I think. Just looking back and remembering things past…………Smitty
    Atsugi60 has been my email for over twenty years.

    • I remember a Navy petty officer who played the electric guitar and who I met down at the USO at Atsugi. I was in Marine Barracks from 1960 to 1962. His name was Stuart (Stu) I can’t remember his last name but he could play pretty much anything. I was impressed with his fingering on tunes by the Ventures. I played a little rhythm guitar at the time and he taught me quite a bit, like the fingering for the Ventures tune “Walk Don’t Run”. We eventually formed a little band that played around at the O clubs and EM clubs.
      CPL Jim Marino USMC

  5. I was stationed at NAS Atsugi from April, 1960 to June 1961. MACS-8 rotated to Atsugi from Page Field, Parris Island as a unit. I had to extend my enlistment 6 months in order to stay with my unit. If I hadn’t extended, I would have been sent to Yuma, Arizona to finish out my enlistment. When we went overseas in February of 1960 we spent the first 3 months in the Philipines at Cubi Point as the runway at Atsugi was being repaved. We were all loaded on the USS Point Defiance and sailed to Yokahama where we were off loaded and trucked to Atsugi. I remember we were behind a Honey Wagon for part of the trip, my first introduction to the Japanese night soil fertilization system! I enjoyed my time with MACS-8 and my service with the Marines. Joe Calcasola and I attended the reunion at Mystic, CT a few years back. Sorry to find only 2 other marines from our time at that reunion. Would love to hear from anyone from Page Field/Cubi Point/Atsugi, MACS-8.

    Semper Fi,

    Elliot A Phillips, eapndp@aol.com

  6. I was with Mag 11 in 1964. I miss Atsugi and I miss a lot of the Marines that I served with. ‘Semper Fi’
    RICK HYMAN

  7. I was with Mag11 in 58 and 59. I had the opportunity to watch the U2 spy plane take off every morning between 6 and 7AM and return every day by 01100. A fascinating experience.
    Enjoyed my entire time there.
    Ernie Ciferri – Semper Fi

    • I was with MACS-1, MAG-11 in 58 and 59 and also watched the U2 take off and land on a daily basis from the communications compound right next to the airfield, in that compound stood a platform fastened to 4 telephone poles , about 45 feet high, I would very much like to find a photo of that platform as I was tasked to climb it at the beginning of Typhoon Vera. I need a photo to prove that the platform existed.

      • Was this platform at the Ground Electronics transmitter site on the base? (In the housing area and on the left at the end of the road straight in from the main gate.)

  8. I arrived at Atsugi in spring of 1961. MACS-8 was previously at Page Field, Parris Island.
    The U-2’s were flying out of Atsugi when we arrived from Cubi Point, but were soon removed very quietly. Local girls at the bars always used the term “you also”, instead of “you too”, a local referance to the bad publicity following the Gary Powers affair.

  9. Terry SCHEIDT, 1957/59

    My goodness, how things fall into place. I was a search operator at Kami Seya on a watch section. Remember Gene Townsend. Remember always seeing the U-2’s
    landing but never realized what they were doing. Used to track them deep into the
    Soviet air spaces and the Migs going after them. Only after Gary Powers got shot
    down did I realize those mysterious planes. Ah, so many years ago.

    Will always remember though, Aloha and take care.

    • I GRADUATED IN 1956 FROM PLT. 281, MCRD SAN DIEGO. DI’S WERE S/SGT CHARLES W PIERCE, CPL JOHN POPE, SGT JD REXRHODES. SERVED AT MARINE BARRACKS ATSUGI, JAPAN. CAPT LOUDER WAS THE PLATOON COMMANDER, (NAVY CROSS KOREA).MAG-11 61-62 (REMEMBER OSWALD?)
      MY TIME IN JAPAN WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED AS I SPENT ABOUT 7 YEARS INCLUDING A TOUR AT MCAS IWAKUNI JAPAN IN 1974-75. I RETIRED IN 1977 AND WENT BACK FOR A VISIT, THE OLD JSG’S ON THE GATE REMEMBERED ME AND YELLED, SMITTY SAN,(CHOKE). THEY WERE ALL YOUNG GUYS IN 1957. I SPENT 7 MONTHS AT KAMISEYA RADIO STATION WHERE A YOUNG 1ST LT. NAMED ALFRED GRAY, HE WAS CT MARINE AT THE TIME, LITTLE DID WE REALIZE HE WOULD BECOME CMC. I SEEM TO REMEMBER A CHARLES CAMERON THERE ALSO WHOSE NAME APPEARS ON THE WEB PAGE. I WENT TO MARINE BARRACKS A LOT IN YOKOSUKA WHERE COL. L. CHAPMAN WAS C.O. LATER CMC. I VISTED THE BRIG AT CAMP MCGILL WHERE STRAY PRISION INMATES WERE KEPT AFTER 3RD MARINE DIV MOVED TO OKINAWA. MADE A LOT OF TRIPS TO N. CAMP FUJI WHEN IN MAG-11, WE HAD A REFUELER UP THERE FOR HELOS.
      WENT ON R&R TO CAMP ZAMA FROM PROV MAG 39 , QUANG TRI RVN, HAD THE TIME ONE COULD HAVE.
      ANY ONE KNOW ME? ,EMAIL billsmith309@gmail.com. THANKS FOR LETTING ME POST THIS. SEMPER FI, “SUNNY” BILL SMITH

  10. I thought I was with MACS-8 or 9 at LTA El Toro, and then I transferred to MACS-1 at Atsugi. We boated to Japan and then flew to Cubi Point because the runway was being repaved. We were living in the “white huts” on the side of the mountains. You could see them from Olongapo where I spent most of my time. Still have fond memories of the ice cold San Macgoo at Arioleas in town. We boated back to Japan after 8 or nine months. While there though MACS-1 went stateside and was relieved by my old outfit from LTA El Toro. I’m fairly certain of this, because I remember Sgt. Delgado checked in and when he saw me the first thing he yelled was “hey Suggy (my nickname) remember Oswald. He defected to Russia.” Oswald was in our MACS at El Toro and then he defected to Russia and then later was involved in the Kennedy killing. While at Atsugi I spent a lot of time in Yamato. That’s what we called the town out of East gate. On the Navy side was a s_ _t hole named Sagamiaoska. After about a year I came back stateside and was discharged. I’m having trouble with the number 8 or 9 but I’m certain of the rest, This all happened in 59 ,60 and 61. Semper Fi.

    Jim Sugden Cpl E4

    • My turn at Atsugi was with MATCU66, (6621) it sat at the end of the runway across from the huge Super Constellations surveillance prop planes and next door to the ‘ready pad’. Spent some time in “Yamato” out side the Marine gate. Remember the converted jeep taxies, Asahi beer. Princess coffee shop (Jeanie & Mike). I was in the November rotation draft that arrived around the holidays. No liberty until we were ‘counseled’ but we took a trip to St Frances Catholic Orphanage that turned out to be great.

  11. Hi Jim,
    I was there about the same time. I was with Mag 11 and worked in Supply. My first station after school in Millington, TN was LTA Santa Anna. Huge hangers to secure blimps.
    Rick (Spooky) Hyman CPL USMC

    • Rick, did you go to Subic when they resurfaced the runway at Atsugi or did you spend your time stateside?.. My first station after radar school was LTA El Toro or Santa Ana, what ever it was called. Yeah, those were some big hangers. I heard the choppers could hold maneuvers in them. I think it was MACS-9 there. I had gone to high school in Norwalk, CA, just down the road from Santa Ana, so I was right at home there. But when the chance came to go to Japan I jumped. Good times all.
      Jim

      • Hi Jim, I got there after the field was re-done. I think that it was early 64. Great memories and some sorrows.

  12. I was at NAS Atsugi 1960 – worked for Special Services getting the movies for the base – When the ships come in and take all the good ones, all you hear are gripes – but I really enjoyed my tour – had more than a few beers in Sagamioska, also – went to TI after a year and got Separation papers – never even got a chance to say “bye” to the guys—Will Hein – the only “deuce” on the base–USN

    • Were you there when they held anti American demostrations around that time?. Great big parade outside the base and it was led by a 1957 Plymouth convertible. I only went to Sagamisoka once. Was afraid I was going to catch something just by breathing. Spent most of my time in Yamato or jumping the train and going to the big town. I know I’m spelling it wrong but we always went to Itsachakajo. I think it meant 4 1/2 street in Yokohama.

  13. There was a riot when a Navy Nuclear Sub pulled into a bay in the south. I can’t remember the name of the bay, but we were there to unload supplies from a ship and had to do without food for awhile because of the demonstration. Thank God for Torries and Asahi. Whiskey and beer.

  14. I have so many good memories of Japan. Don’t know where to start. My fist tour in Atsugi started in April 1957, Marine Barracks. More as we go along, Semper Fi.

  15. GOT TO ATSUGI, MAY 1961. CAME OVER ON TRANSPORT GENERAL MANN FROM SAN DIEGO. WAS ATTACHED TO VQ-1 BARRACKS NO.7 . BRANDENBURG AB1 WAS IN CHARGE THEN OF 7. SMITTY WAS AT BKS. NO.1 BY MAIN GATE. I WAS A AME 3 WHEN I ARRIVED. WAS AN AME2 WHEN I LEFT IN JAN.63. TRANSPORTED N0 9 A3D BACK TO ALAMEDA FOR O.H. LT. NEW WAS PILOT. REALLY ENJOYED YOKOHAMA, RICKSHAW ROOM, WAS A VERY INTRESTING PLACE. SUNTORIES CLUB IN YOKO WAS GREAT TOO. WAS PC ON A3D’S AND CREW MEMBER ON THE SUPER CONNIES. WAS ASSIGNED TO THE AME SHOP. FRONKO AME1 WAS IN CHARGE OF THE SHOP. LT. SAMPSON AND LT. MEROLIDY WERE DIVISION. 360 YEN TO A DOLLAR WAS THE RATE THEN, YOU COULD GO ON LIBERTY OVER THE WEEKEND FOR TEN DOLLARS OR 3600 YEN AND DO WELL. MY NAME IS ANDY BRONDAS.

    • I stood security watch at Kami Seya. (1961 to 1962 Marine Barracks) I used to hate the out of date (elevator music) they played to mask the sound of crypto communications, etc. Andy I think VQ1 Barracks was right next to Marine Barracks and the Barracks for PHITRON 1 was across the street. Seemed like those noisy A3D ‘s went right over our barracks. We were next to the fence and the highway outside and if they were practicing touch and go’s it would drive you nuts trying to sleep in the off duty section.

  16. In looking up information on the status of the Atsugi NAS, I ran across your website. Interesting information since I was there while on my second tour of the far east aboard the USS Hancock CVA-19, I was sent temporary to Atsugi, as a member of a three member team to support aircraft electronic maintenance for the Hancock officers who needed the hours to maintain their wings. We spent the three weeks there while the Hancock was in port at Yokosuka. While there, I was privileged to go on a four hour flight for our V-6 Division Commanding Officer to get his required hours. I also remember the U2 plane parked across on the far side of the flight line. At that time, I was an ATN2.

  17. Hello. Yes, Atsugi was good duty and still is until 2018 when the Hornets there move to Iwakuni MCAS. I plan on taking a trip there next year if health rules. I was in Mag 11 across the field from you. Francis Powers flew the U2 from Atsugi when he got shot down.
    My personal email is, billsmith309@gmail.com
    VR

    • I was at Atsugi 62-63 with VMF AW 114. We were in the hanger that the u2 was kept. All the windows were painted black and taped over. Atsugi had some good bars and good places to eat. It was a great 8 months. We spent a month at Naha and 3 months in Taiwan in the field. That was great living next to rice paddies with that perfume all the time. My email is ralston114@ttwc.com

      • I WAS AT ATSUGI 1962-63, MAG 11 REFUELERS, GASED UP JETS FOR YOUR SQUADRON, ALSO VMF323, THE DEATH RATTLERS, FUN IN YAMATO AND YOKUSKA.

  18. Hi: I am wanting to find anyone who might remember my father. He was stationed in Atsugi for 10 years, I think. His name was John R. Grubbs. He and a few other sailors started a band called “The Swinging Doors” while he was stationed there. Would love to know more of his time there. He loved it there. He passed away March 4,2008. He was a great man 🙂 Mary

    • Hi Mary. What year was your daddy there? I was in a band also called the String Dusters 1959-60. We were Marines, but worked for the Navy in the tower there. Our band had 3 marines, and 3 sailor airdales. Good duty.

  19. Atsugi 60-61 Marine in Base Ops on Navy side. Andy’s comment about Rickshaw Room in Yokohama brought tears to my eyes – beautiful young girl there–daughter of owner. Also Italian Gardens on main drag down from PX headed toward Motomachi. Others mentioned Isazaki-cho and 4 1/2 street. Bars there were great. MANY memories of my tour at Atsugi and the girl I left behind. Ah, those were the days, my friends. Spent ten years in Japan (out of 30) at various bases. All good. Still go back every couple of months from Hawaii to see old friends. Not much remaining of the old days at the base other than the theater and Japanese style chapel. All the old barracks have been long razed and converted to high rises. Old control tower gone. Main gate still the same. O Club is now all-hands club. Club Alliance at Yokosuka (the huge one outside the gate long gone – now small one inside the gate). But overall, Japan is still a great place for the serviceman.
    Oh yes, another memory of the old days–Sanno Hotel. It went back to the government and they built us a new one in Hiroo. The old one was getting a bit seedy by 1985 (or 84) when the new one came into being.
    Semper Fi – Gary

    • Took the train from Sagami Otsuka to Yokohama 3 times a week for 2 years to my JuJitsu School (Ko Bu Kan). Never forget once at Christmas in 1961 time seeing this young Japanese man on the sidewalk in Yokohama dressed up like Santa Claus. I doubt he weighed 100 pounds and hard to envision jolly old “St. Nick”. But without a doubt, we had nothing but good times while I was there from May 1960 to September 1962 and got back to Camp Pendleton just in time to “secretly” mount out the whole re-enforced Division on a 32 ship task force to Cuba during the missile crisis before it all became public.
      After loading ships with aviation fuel, ammunition and 18,000 troops, Tanks, 4 by trucks, artillery and amphibious vehicles we steamed South from North Island, San Diego “loaded for bear” and under combat conditions (defensive formation and no night lighting) down the Coast and through the Panama Canal and then as task force 2 circled the Island of Jamaica taking 2 days out to make a practice amphibious landing on the Island of Vieques just off of Puerto Rico. Task force 2 with Camp Lejuene troops and war ships from East coast ports circled the island of Haiti and Dominican Republic also on stand=by.
      Obviously as many spies as there were around, especially in the Canal Zone, they knew we were coming and that no doubt helped President Kennedy in his stand-off with Kruschev to let him know we meant business and this would be no “Bay of Pigs” fiasco invasion..

  20. I was assigned to the brig at marine barracks Atsugi in 1959-60. Also was on the Marine Corps rifle and pistol team during that time. Fortunate to travel all over Japan and Okinawa with the shooting competitions. I also spent my spare time in Sagamiotska! Being a farm boy from Missouri, I had never seen anything like that!! And took advantage of all the town had to offer!!!

    Semper Fi – Wayne Loudermilk.

    • I was stationed at Marine Barracks at Atsugi 1960 to 1962 (26 months) learned to speak Japanese fairly well because we not only stood guard on base posts, main gate, Mag 11 gate and down at Kamaseya communication post, but we also had to patrol Yamato and Sagami Otsuka etc. with Japanese military police officer. I also played bugle in our Drum and Bugle Corps performing on base and off base for PR purposes. I too played in a small band (rhythm guitar with a sailor who could play lead electric guitar like the Ventures, who were one of the original “surfer bands” bucks and the exchange rate was 365 yen to the dollar. There was a great tailor not far outside the main gate where we had tailor made suits made for $40.00 to $60.00 dollars. The exchange rate was 365 yen to the dollar and a bottle of any kind of whiskey was around $2.60 to $3.00 at the PX, cigarettes were $2.25 a carton of 10 packs. So for the minimum salary we got we could do very well. Got a new and great commanding officer in 1961, Colonel D.H. Simmons and I worked for him in headquarters company for the most of 1962 until I went back stateside to Pendleton. Definitely good duty and a positive experience. Jim Marino

  21. Just about everything you mentioned in this post as I bring you back the same memories so anyway thanks a lot for stirring it up and hopefully one of these days I’ll get back to see the old Japan the way it is now. Semper Fi

  22. I was looking at the comments on MACS-8 and found out by clicking on the MACS-8 on the top of the page I went to a website with a lot of Photographs of MACS-8 from inception till about 1965. On Page 2 I started recognizing places, like the white huts and Yamato and the camp as I knew it. Then I started recognizing people that I remembered like Fry, Bessenbocker, Perry and lo and behold there was me, at the bottom of page two. Wish I had a time machine.
    Cpl. E4 Jim Sugden
    Semper Fi

    • Jim, yes you can access my Flickr photo stream page by clicking on the “More Photos” blue text on the upper right of the home page.. When you or anyone wants to see more MACS-8 photos in my collection just click on “Albums” and you can pick whatever MACS-8 albums you want to view.. Kent Miller, MACS-8 Blog NCO..

  23. Hi Jim;
    You were at Atsugi the same time as I was in 1960-61. I was a Radar tech and extended my 4 year enlistment in order to rotate to Atsugi with the rest of my friends from Page Field on Parris Island. I still have my MACS-8 book we all got a copy of when we left Japan in May of 1961. I met MSgt Miles in the Bahamas in 1982. He was on vacation with his wife and I was working on the Missle Test Project with RCA. Skip Mimms was working at MTP when he was lost when his fishing boat was swamped at Grand Turk Island. His body was never found. I was also notified in 1963 of Cpl Collatz passing while working at Southern Greenland. I was at Thule, Greenland at the time working for RCA Iternational Service Company on the BMEWS Project. Joe Calcasola and I got together about ten years ago while attening a MACS-8 Reunion at Mystic, CT. We both live in Florida and see each other from time to time.

    Well I better run . Stay well and Semper Fi, Sgt Elliot A Phillips

  24. Stationed at Atsugi Feb. 1962 to Oct. 1964. Was postal clerk at the post office.
    Met my wife at Italian Gardens in Yokohama,celebrated our 52nd anniversary this year. Those were fun times. Also enjoyed Enoshima Beach.

  25. I WAS STATIONED IN ATSUGI, 1959-60. I WAS A BUCK SERGEANT WITH 7 OTHERS, AND WE WERE ASSIGNED WITH THE NAVY IN THE TOWER. GRAVY JOB. I SAW THE U-2 OVER ON THE MARINE SIDE FLY OFF MANY TIMES. WE DID’NT KNOW WHAT IT WAS UNTILL I GOT OUT OF THE CORPS. I WAS WAITING ON ORDERS AT EL TORO 1958, AND LATER FOUND OUT OSWALD WAS THERE. I DID’NT KNOW HIM, BUT HE JUST CAME BACK FROM ATSUGI. I STARTED READING BOOKS ON J F K, AND READ WHERE HE WORKED IN RADAR ON MARINE SIDE. BOY, NAVY CHOW, AND MY OWN ROOM IN THE NAVY BARRACKS. I SHOULD HAVE SHIPPED OVER FOR MORE.

  26. Atsugi Marine Barracks was running the brig. I was there in 57,58,59. We had had a Cpl. named Thomas in 59 who was a big bad ass. When he worked the gates the dependents were terrified. The brig rats marched at a half step all the way to the chow hall. Those were the days.

  27. I was stationed at Atsugi from Oct 64 thru October 65.
    With Mag 11. I played on the baseball team and football team that won the Far East Championships. The football team was undefeated. Had a great friend LCpl Lenny Irvine. I’m 74 now and hanging in there. God has blessed me with some wonderful years. Semper Fi

      • You were there after my tour of duty (60-62) but reading all these comments brings back a lot of memories. I too played on our football team that went to play the Japanese college all stars in the Turkey Bowl in Tokyo on Thanksgiving. There was a weight limitation of 185 lbs. on our mixed Navy/Marine squad, so I got to see some action at only 170 lbs. at the time. As a member of the Barracks Drum and Bugle team one of the duties I had at Marine Barracks was to March down periodically with the colors detail from Marine Barracks to the flag pole in front of the Naval Base Administration building and play to the colors when we raised the flag at 0800 sharp. Unless you have played the bugle you cannot imagine what that required particularly on a cold morning. Our flag detail would often pass the column of half stepping prisoners from the brig someone commented on here. The brig was right next to the Marine Barracks administration building and was the responsibility of the Marine Barracks as well. I always thought that public spectacle was to serve as a warning to everyone not to misbehave. on their way down to the navy mess hall. I had many funny experiences working the main gate on the Navy side and a few good ones across the field at the Mag 11 Squadron gate. One time after a plane crash the Mag 11 C.O. had instructed us Marine Sentries to take down the names of all officers returning from liberty after 2200, Imagine checking the id’s of a cab full of half drunken fighter jet jockies on their way back onto the base late at night. My memories of the planes were also vivid. The A3Ds were loud and obnoxious and sounded like angry bees. The F8U Crusaders with their shark painted noses were the opposite. The were sleek and when they took off after a rain storm in pairs and kicked on that powerful after-burner the 15 foot blue exhaust flame would kick up a rooster tail of water off the deck and they could climb almost straight up out of sight. Lots of fond memories from my buddies at Marine Barracks Atsugi and the many Japanese I met over the 26 months I was there. Even in the bars in Sagami, Otsuka, and Yamato. The mamasans in the bars always knew the Marine Barracks patrolman (MPs) even though we could wear civilian cloths on liberty, so they were always extra nice to us. No bar had an “off-limits” status but in order to be open to US military they would have to have a little blue and gold “on-limits” sign posted by the door. The mamsans always knew when a carrier was putting in to Yokuska and the sailors who had been at sea for months would be heading up to Atsugi with a pocket full of money and their planes for service, repairs and to practice touch and go landings on our runway which was equipped with an arrester cable system.
        CPL Jim Marino USMC

  28. I actually was stationed at Atsugi from 11/63 – 11/64. I played on the football team that went undefeated and won the Far East Championship. We also went to play University’s in Seoul, Korea which we also won. Then I played on the baseball team with coach Chaplain Chuck Alexander and we won the Far East Championship. A great time in my 4 1/2 years in the USMC. I was LCpl Bob Leaver. Semper Fi

  29. more from Ted (Tex) Cpl Luedke
    I would gawk at the F4F Phantoms as they took off. What a sight … 2 at a time rising a bit off the runway, sticks back and climb a bit and then hit the afterburners. The Crusaders were slick too.
    My tour was short as I went to Fatima in Okinawa to help outfit the new tower, as the Koreans rattled their sabers. Trips to the Ginza in Tokyo where I bought my Minolta SR 7 single lens reflex. Still working on digitizing about 1,000 slides. These entries do bring good memories rushing back.
    tluedke@boxlt.com Our 242nd was yesterday, met with old jar heads with Marine Corps League 993 and a great meal today, Veterans Day, at Olive Garden … Springfield, MO

  30. Got to Yokusuka in April 57, my name (Flores) was stapled over and I had to wait until all of the troops disembarked before they found the error. Went on to Atsugi, MABS11, MAG 11. Was attached to base comm center up til Nov. When I went to the Philippines for OPERATION STRONG BACK. Set up group comm in a remote area called BASA. Was there during a hurricane like rain storm where everything was flooded. After about 4/5 weeks we went to Subic Bay (green hut area). Had many San Miguel beers at the SAWALIE CLUB (hope I spelled it right). We were getting ready to rotate back to Japan, when we were notified to make sure we had our 782 gear as we were going load ship. WHAT!!! As usual no one gave us any info as to what was going on. At that time the U.S.S PRINCETON docked and started to load ordinance for their fighter A/C, now we were really concerned as to what the “H” was happening. As it went the Comm Sgt informed us that we’re going to board the PRINCETON when the loading was complete. And would be attached to TFG 70 something. My memory fails nowadays. Any how we set up a comm center aboard ship to inform the MARINES aboard the ship that rebels were trying to overthrow PRESIDENT SUKARNO. The photo squadron was ordered to begin flights to photo landing areas should they be needed. The task force was being readied to protect any U.S. citizen and the American Embassy. Thank the LORD all was settled by SUKARNO ‘s army defeating the rebels. Shortly afterwards there was an all hands announcement by the Capt. due to our rapid response to the SUKARNO affair, we were given the O.K. to proceed to AUSTRALIA. We were ecstatic knowing we were on our way to Australia and were going to have to cross the Equator, but what we did not know was ceremony that one had to go through to go from a SQUID to a SHELLBACK, but it was all in fun as we all got a certificate signed by King Neptune and the ship’s Captain. So we all started to get our uniforms cleaned and pressed, shoes spit shined, when the “bottom fell out” we were ordered to turn around and proceed with the utmost speed to Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka. In order to aid flood victims. We were just navigating though the Malacca Straits when the order came. Once we docked in Trincomalee and unloaded food and medical supplies and proceeded to the other side of the island at COLUMBO their major port at the time and unloaded more food and medical supplies. When had a 24 hrs liberty there. Then went back to SUBIC BAY and prepared to return to Japan. It is now April 1958, we left Japan to participate in OPERATION STRONG BACK, we would be back in 3 weeks. YEAH RIGHT! Anyway I rotated back to the U.S. in May and was stationed at Pendleton until my discharge.
    Corp. P.E. Flores,
    OO RAH, AND SEMPER FI.

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