[US] George AFB

Unlike the previous site at Boron, this place was a proper air force base and everything. More details below.

The History

Built in 1941 prior to hostilities with Japan, the US Army Air Corps Advanced Flying school was set up to train pilots in almost ideal Mojave weather, with 360 days of sunshine to fly in. The site was closed at the end of WWII, but reopened when the Korean War started, with the air base renamed to George Air Force Base in honour of Brigadier General Harold Huston George, a famous WWI fighter ace killed in an aircraft accident in Darwin, Australia in 1942.

The air base remained open throughout the Cold War offering a training base for the Tactical Air Command, and later the Air Combat Command. In 1992, after Desert Storm had concluded, the air base was mothballed, with the air base transferred to civilian use as the South California Logistics Airfield (SCLA). The military returned in 2009, where the SCLA is used as a training facility for the MQ-1 Predator drone operated by the California Air National Guard.

There isn’t much history of the surrounding residential area, though Ken Block hosted a Hoonigan race through the site in 2016 (see it here: https://youtu.be/ZzdNykgUAO4) and the police/military still use the site for counter-terrorism training. Curiously, a golf course and church as still active on the site, surrounded by a sea of derelict housing.

As an interesting side note, Auxilary Airfield 2 of George AFB is now more commonly known as the Lockheed Martin Skunkworks, home of the USAF stealth aircraft program.

The Visit

After Boron, I didn’t have my hopes up for the quality of this location. Again, arriving almost 15 years after a site closure usually means that most aesthetics have been trashed or stolen. And so I was proved right. With signs everywhere warning against trespass, largely due to health hazard than anything else, one road onto the site was curiously absent of any signage and so I drove past hundreds, perhaps thousands of derelict houses, wondering to myself what a waste. I didn’t have time to visit all the houses but the 10 or so I did wander about were completely stripped and vacant and in some cases falling down.

On another part of the site was a childrens centre which had long been derelict, and some nearby apartments. No history available but long abandoned.

The Photos

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