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Tachikawa Airfield

Tachikawa Airfield

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Encyclopedia
is an airfield
Aerodrome
An aerodrome, airdrome or airfield is a term for any location from which aircraft flight operations take place, regardless of whether they involve cargo, passengers or neither...

 in the city of Tachikawa
Tachikawa, Tokyo
is a city located in western Tokyo, Japan.As of February 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 178,064 and the density of 7,303.69 people per km². The total area is 24.38 km²...

, the western part of Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. Currently under the administration of the Ministry of Defense, it has also served as the civil aviation with Japan's first scheduled air service.

Operations


Currently the Ground Self-Defense Force's Camp Tachikawa occupies the western portion of the airfield. The main unit there is the GSDF Eastern Army Aviation Group. It operates helicopters, and also commands the anti-tank helicopter units at Camp Kisarazu
Kisarazu Air Field
is a military aerodrome of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force . It is located north northwest of Kisarazu in the Chiba Prefecture, Japan.-Operations:...

. Equipment at Tachikawa includes the UH-1H/J Iroquois
UH-1 Iroquois
The Bell UH-1 Iroquois is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft engine, with a two-bladed main rotor and tail rotor. The helicopter was developed by Bell Helicopter to meet the United States Army's requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter in 1952, and first flew...

.

The Tachikawa Disaster-Preparedness Base sits on 115 ha (284.2 acre) of land. In addition to the airfield, it includes emergency medical-treatment facilities and stores of emergency supplies. Agencies with a presence at Tachikawa include the Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office (Japan)
is an agency in the Cabinet of Japan. It is responsible for handling the day to day affairs of the cabinet. The Cabinet Office is formally headed by the Prime Minister. There are usually three Vice Ministers and three Parliamentary Secretaries in the Cabinet Office.-Organization:-External...

, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (Japan)
The , abbreviated MLIT, is a ministry of the Japanese government. It is responsible for one-third of all the laws and orders in Japan and the largest Japanese ministry in terms of employees, as well as the second-largest organ of the Japanese government after the Ministry of Defense...

, Japan Coast Guard
Japan Coast Guard
The , formerly the Maritime Safety Agency, is the Japanese coast guard. Comprising about 12,000 personnel, it is under the oversight of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and is responsible for the protection the coast-lines of Japan...

, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Japan)
The ' a cabinet ministry in the government of Japan responsible for oversight of the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries. Its acronym is MAFF.-History:...

, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Police
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department serves as the police force for the entire Tokyo metropolis. Founded in 1874, it is headed by a superintendent general, who is appointed by the National Public Safety Commission and approved by the prime minister.The Metropolitan Police, with a staff of more...

 and Fire departments, National Hospital Organization (an Independent Administrative Institution
Independent Administrative Institution
An Incorporated Administrative Agency or in lay terms an Independent Administrative Corporation or Independent Administrative Institution is a newly designed type of legal body for Japanese governmental organizations regulated by the Basic Law on Reforming Government Ministries of 1998...

), and Red Cross
Japanese Red Cross
The ' is the Japanese affiliate of the International Red Cross.The Imperial Family of Japan traditionally has supported the society, with Empress as Honorary President and other royal family members as vice-presidents. Its headquarters is located in Tokyo and local chapters are set up in all 47...

.

Also in Tachikawa are Camp Higashi-Tachikawa of the Ground Self-Defense Force and the Tachikawa Depot of the Air Self-Defense Force.

The alternate center for Japan's national government is located on a portion of what used to be Tachikawa Air Base. The center includes billeting, offices, communications and control centers,hospital and a full cafeteria. The center is for the national government to use if forced to relocate or as a command center to direct a response to a significant national disaster or emergency.

Japan's National Emergency Response Center is located in a complex of underground bunkers and tunnels that were developed for the Japanese military for use during World War II to hide and protect airplanes from the US bombings. These tunnels were taken over by the US Military and used for storage while the base was in operation from 1945 to 1977, when the base was given back to the Japanese Government as well as the disposition of the bunker complex. The underground complex is located under what was the Tachikawa Air Base housing section, this area is still restricted to the Japanese public for any kind of business/building or farming as of 2009. From November 1977 to present day the tunnel and bunker system have been enlarged to accommodate up to 5,000 people and to sustain them for a period of one year if necessary.

Origins


Tachikawa Airfield's origins begin on 14 March 1922 when a flying squadron of Maurice Farman aircraft, one balloon squadron and a material depot unit moved to Tachikawa from Tokorozawa, Saitama
Tokorozawa, Saitama
is a city in Saitama, Japan. It is located in the central part of the Musashino plain, about 30 km west of downtown Tokyo. Tokorozawa can be considered part of the greater Tokyo area; its proximity to the latter and lower housing costs make it a popular bedroom community.-Location:Tokorozawa...

 Prefecture. This small group was commanded by a Colonel Arikawa, Engineering Corps and the flying squadron commander was a Captain Torkugawa.

Civil aviation from the airfield commenced in 1929 with the inauguration of the scheduled commercial service to Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

. Japan's first scheduled air service linked Tokyo and Osaka with a three-hour flight. The operations continued until 1933, when it transferred to Tokyo Airfield, now Tokyo International Airport
Tokyo International Airport
, commonly known as , is one of the two primary airports that serve the Greater Tokyo Area in Japan. It is located in Ōta, Tokyo, south of Tokyo Station....

 at Haneda.

Tachikawa's next component was formed in November 1933 when the moved to the airfield. Six years later it was renamed the Tachikawa Aircraft Company Ltd
Tachikawa Aircraft Company Ltd
was an aircraft manufacturer in the Empire of Japan, specializing primarily in aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. It was based at Tachikawa, in Tokyo Prefecture.-Tachikawa Aircraft:...

. In addition, Hitachi
Hitachi
Hitachi is a multinational corporation specializing in high-technology.Hitachi may also refer to:*Hitachi, Ibaraki, Japan*Hitachi province, former province of Japan*Prince Hitachi and Princess Hitachi, members of the Japanese imperial family...

, and Showa Aircraft Industry built plants in the vicinity.

With the departure of the civil aviation in 1933, Tachikawa returned to being an Army airfield. Its warplanes were transferred to a base in Kashiwa
Kashiwa, Chiba
is a city located in northern Chiba Prefecture, Japan. As of February 2011, the city had an estimated population of 404,820 and a population density of 3520 persons per km²...

 in the northwestern corner of Chiba Prefecture
Chiba Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region and the Greater Tokyo Area. Its capital is Chiba City.- History :Chiba Prefecture was established on June 15, 1873 with the merger of Kisarazu Prefecture and Inba Prefecture...

 in 1939.

In 1937, two pilots, Masaaki Iinuma
Masaaki Iinuma
was a Japanese aviator.Iinuma was born in Toyoshina , and was a graduate of the Imperial Japanese Army flying school at Tokorozawa....

 and Kenji Tsukagoshi
Kenji Tsukagoshi
was a Japanese aviator, and explorer.Tsukagoshi was born in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture. His father was a lawyer and his mother was British. He gained fame as the navigator on the , a Mitsubishi Ki-15 Karigane aircraft, sponsored by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun...

 departed Tachikawa with a Mitsubishi Ki-15
Mitsubishi Ki-15
The was a Japanese reconnaissance aircraft and a light attack bomber of the Second Sino-Japanese War and Pacific War. It began as a fast civilian mail plane. It was a single-engine, low-wing, cantilever monoplane with a fixed tailwheel undercarriage; it carried a crew of two. It served with both...

, heading for London. Their mission was to congratulate King George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

 on his coronation
Coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

. The aircraft was named the Kamikaze
Kamikaze (1937 aircraft)
The was a Mitsubishi Ki-15 Karigane aircraft, sponsored by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun. It became famous on April 9, 1937 as the first Japanese-built aircraft to fly from Japan to Europe...

.

During the late 1930s and throughout World War II, Tachikawa Aircraft employed growing numbers of workers, it produced more than 6,000 aircraft. It produced fighters, troop carriers, and bombers. Prototypes were designed and developed at the manufacturing plant. The Imperial Japanese Army built technical schools at Tachikawa, one of which was the Tokorozawa Army Aviation Maintenance School, established in 1935. The school was moved to Tachikawa in April 1939 when the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Fifth Air Wing moved to the airfield. Cross-trainees, college graduates and Air Academy graduated went to this school to become aviation technical maintenance officers. It also co-existed with the Fourth Aviation Training Unit which provided basic training for Japanese Army Air Force flyers.

Near the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Tachikawa was subjected to intense bombing by United States Army Air Force XXI Bomber Command
XXI Bomber Command
The XXI Bomber Command was a unit of the Twentieth Air Force in Guam for strategic bombing during World War II.- Lineage:* Constituted as XXI Bomber Command on 1 Mar 1944, and activated the same day.-Assignments:...

 29th Bombardment Group
29th Bombardment Group
The 29th Flying Training Wing is an inactive United States Air Force unit last based at Craig AFB, Alabama. It was inactivated when Craig AFB was closed as a budget reduction action after the Vietnam War....

 B-29 Superfortress
B-29 Superfortress
The B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing that was flown primarily by the United States Air Forces in late-World War II and through the Korean War. The B-29 was one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War II...

es during April and June 1945. The Shintentai, an anti-aircraft kamikaze
Kamikaze
The were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy as many warships as possible....

 group, defended the airfield and its manufacturing facilities, however most of the airfield was rendered unserviceable by the bombing raids, along with most of the structures and support facilities of the airfield by the time the first United States Army forces moved in on 5 September 1945.

Postwar era



After the war, the United States occupied the base, with the airfield being a shambles. Given its proximity to Tokyo, Tachikawa Airfield was designated as a transport base, with a mission to provide transportation for priority passengers and cargo in and around the Tokyo Area; to support the Occupation Government in Japan, and provide strategic transport to the United States.

Air Transport Command
Air Transport Command
Air Transport Command is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its mission was to meet the urgent demand for the speedy reinforcement of the United States' military bases worldwide during World War II, using an air supply system to supplement surface transport...

 (ATC) was given the assignment to get the airfield cleaned up and operational. ATC established the 1503d Army Air Force Base Unit (AAFBU) to manage the cargo and personnel operations at the airfield, and by 1 January 1946 the base was ready enough to permit C-47 Skytrain
C-47 Skytrain
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain or Dakota is a military transport aircraft that was developed from the Douglas DC-3 airliner. It was used extensively by the Allies during World War II and remained in front line operations through the 1950s with a few remaining in operation to this day.-Design and...

 and C-46 Commando
C-46 Commando
The Curtiss-Wright C-46 Commando was a transport aircraft originally derived from a commercial high-altitude airliner design. It was instead used as a military transport during World War II by the United States Army Air Forces as well as the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps under the designation R5C...

 aircraft to operate from the base. Larger C-54 Skymaster
C-54 Skymaster
The Douglas C-54 Skymaster was a four-engined transport aircraft used by the United States Army Air Forces and British forces in World War II and the Korean War. Besides transport of cargo, it also carried presidents, British heads of government, and military staff...

s began using the base by April 1946, and a day/night lighting system was installed and in operation by November 1946.

In 1947, Air Transport Command began to support the Seventh Air Force
Seventh Air Force
The Seventh Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Pacific Air Forces . It is headquartered at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea....

 Service Command Japan Air Material Area (JAMA) at Tachikawa, which eventually became the major tenant unit at the base, and by 1948 was providing depot-level maintenance for aircraft in Far East Air Force and logistical support from Air Materiel Command. In July 1949, JAMA was redesignated Far East Air Material Command (FEAMCOM)

The western sector became Tachikawa Air Force Base, while FEAMCOM took the eastern part. They became a single base again in 1956. With the inactvation of Air Transport Command in 1948, Military Air Transport Service
Military Air Transport Service
The Military Air Transport Service is an inactive Department of Defense Unified Command. Activated on 1 June 1948, MATS was a consolidation of the United States Navy Naval Air Transport Service and the United States Air Force Air Transport Command into a single, joint, unified command...

 redesignated the 1503d AAFBU the 540th Air Transport Wing, later 1503d Air Transport Wing. The wing became the host organization at Tachikawa Air Force Base upon activation.

The 1503d ATW became the main MATS organization in the Western Pacific, supporting numerous tenant organizations such as the Air Rescue Service
Air Rescue Service
The Air Rescue Service is a disestablished organization in the United States Air Force. Previously a subcommand of the Military Air Transport Service , a USAF major command , ARS was redesignated as the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service on 1 Jan 1966 when MATS was redesignated as the Military...

; Air Weather Service, and Far East Air Force theater Troop Carrier Groups (later Wings) which transshipped supplies and personnel from the MATS Aerial Port at Tachikawa throughout the 1950s. The first major mission by the 1503d was the evacuation of large numbers of Americans out of China in 1948 after the Communists defeated the Chinese Nationalist forces during the Chinese Civil War.

In addition to the MATS operations, Far East Air Force operated numerous Troop Carrier units from Tachikawa, providing theater airlift within the command flying C-46 and C-47 transports during the late 1940s under the 6000th Support Wing.

Korean War


The Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 saw operations increase, with Troop Carrier units carrying out the evacuation of American civilians and then transporting the torrent of Allied military men and material flowing into the war zone. Around the clock planes arrived and departed. A typical flight might carry 35,000 pounds of hand grenades to South Korea, with 80 wounded personnel arriving to be transported to the USAF Hospital on the base. For thousands of servicemen whose tours took them into, through or out of Tachikawa, the USAF hospital became the best barometer of American military activities in the Far East.

Cold War


After the Korean War, the Far East Air Force 6100th SW became the host unit at Tachikawa in 1953, with MATS and Air Materiel Command becoming tenant organizations. MATS flights arrived and departed 24 hours a day operating C-118, C-121, C-124, and later C-135 jet transports from Hickam Field, Hawaii or being staged through Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

. From Tachikawa, outbound MATS flights headed to Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base is a former United States Air Force base on Luzon Island in the Philippines, located 3 miles west of Angeles City, about 40 miles northwest of Metro Manila. Clark Air Base was an American military facility from 1903 to 1991...

 heading to Saigon, Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

, and on to Karachi Airport, Pakistan or to Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

, Wake
Wake Island
Wake Island is a coral atoll having a coastline of in the North Pacific Ocean, located about two-thirds of the way from Honolulu west to Guam east. It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior...

 or Midway Island in the Central Pacific Region.

Disaster struck Tachikawa on June 18, 1953 when a U.S. Air Force C-124 Globemaster II
C-124 Globemaster II
The Douglas C-124 Globemaster II, nicknamed "Old Shakey", was a heavy-lift cargo aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California....

 transport experienced an engine failure on takeoff, crashing shortly after. The accident claimed the lives of 129 people, and was the deadliest air disaster in history at the time. (See List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–1959).)

With a runway only 1500 m (4,921.3 ft) long, Tachikawa was not adequate for the largest aircraft, and the U.S. decided to extend the runway into the neighboring town of Sunagawa (now part of the city of Tachikawa). The July 8, 1957 Sunagawa Riots resulted in cancellation of the plan.

As United States military forces began to increase in Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

, more and more equipment moved into first Tan Son Nhut Air Base
Tan Son Nhut Air Base
Tan Son Nhut Air Base was a Republic of Vietnam Air Force facility. It is located near the city of Saigon in southern Vietnam. The United States used it as a major base during the Vietnam War , stationing Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine units there...

 in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, then to Don Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base
Don Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base
Don Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base is located approximately 25 miles north of Downtown Bangkok.It is the main operating and command base for the Royal Thai Air Force...

, near Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

, and in early 1965 to the huge new Cam Ranh Air Base
Cam Ranh Air Base
Cam Ranh Air Base is located on Cam Ranh Bay in the province of Khanh Hoa, Vietnam. It was one of several South Vietnamese Air Force air bases built and used by the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War...

 with the jet C-141 Starlifter
C-141 Starlifter
The Lockheed C-141 Starlifter was a military strategic airlifter in service with the Air Mobility Command of the United States Air Force...

 transports.

In 1964, operations from Tachikawa began to phase down as its location in the urban area of Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 made heavy transport operations undesirable. In addition, Tachikawa's short runway made jet transport operations difficult. As a result, the Air Force chose to develop nearby Tama Airfield (the present-day Yokota Air Base
Yokota Air Base
, is a United States Air Force base in the city of Fussa, one of 26 cities in the Tama Area, or Western Tokyo.The base houses 14,000 personnel. The base occupies a total area of and has a runway...

) with more and more heavy transport operations going there.

The 1503d was reduced to Group Level, and operations at Tachikawa focused more on Aeromedical Transport operations from the Philippines, and supporting MATS units at deployed locations in the Pacific. C-130E troop carrier units from Pacific Air Forces continued to operate from the airfield. With the inactivation of the Military Air Transport Service in 1966, the aerial port facilities were turned over to the Pacific Air Forces 6100th Support Wing (formerly 6000th), which had taken over base support duties from the 1503d ATW in 1953. Military Airlift Command
Military Airlift Command
The Military Airlift Command is an inactive United States Air Force Major Command of the USAF which was headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. It was constituted on 1 January 1966 and active until the end of the Cold War, when the Air Force table of organization was revised...

 operations were reassigned to Yokota Air Base.

In the late 1960s, more and more transport op rations were shifted to Yokota, and by 1969 the use of the airfield ended with the exception of light aircraft use. On 3 October 1969, Fifth Air Force
Fifth Air Force
The Fifth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Pacific Air Forces . It is headquartered at Yokota Air Base, Japan....

 announced that the flight activity at Tachikawa would be halted until the end of the year. During the 1970s Tachikawa's mission changed to being a support base, primarily USAF military housing for Tokyo and the large USAF hospitial remained.

On 23 January 1973, the Kanto Plain Consolidation Plan (KPCP) was endorsed by the 14th U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee, both the U.S. and Japanese Government agreed to return of Tachikawa Air Base. KPCP was a primary Fifth Air Force program which consolidates major USAF activities at five facilities in the Kanto Plain (Tachikawa, Fuchu Air Station, South Camp Drake, Kanto-Mura Dependent Housing Area, and Johnson Housing Annex) into Yokota Air Base. Following the completion of the USFJ Facilities and Areas Adjustment Program (1968 to 1971), the plan was developed through the U.S.-Japan Joint Committee and its Facilities Subcommittee. As the first implementation of the KPCP, Yamato Air Station (Tachikawa AB school annex and unaccompanied personnel dormitory area) was returned to the Japanese Government on 30 June 1973.

After the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, plans were made to close Tachikawa for budgetary reasons. The base was officially closed on 30 September 1977 (Special Order GA-45, Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces, 27 September 1977); on 30 November 1977, Tachikawa Air Base was formally returned to the Japanese Government.

Major USAF units assigned



  • Japan Air Material Area (JAMA), c. 1947
Far East Air Material Command (FEAMCOM), 1 Jul 1949
Far East Air Logistics Force (FEALOGFOR), c. 1953
Northern Air Material Area, Pacific (NAMAP), 1 Oct 1955
Air Material Force, Pacific Area (AMFPA), c. 1958-c. 1966
  • 315th Air Division (Combat Cargo)
    315th Air Division
    The 315th Air Division is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with Pacific Air Forces, based at Tachikawa Air Base, Japan. It was inactivated in April 1969.-History:...

    , 24 Apr 1954
315th Air Division
315th Air Division
The 315th Air Division is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with Pacific Air Forces, based at Tachikawa Air Base, Japan. It was inactivated in April 1969.-History:...

, 1 Aug 1967-15 Apr 1969
  • 54th Troop Carrier Wing, Sep 1945-25 Jan 1946
  • 71st Reconnaissance Group, 25 Oct 1945-15 Jan 1946
  • 433d Troop Carrier Group, 11 Sep 1945-15 Jan 1946
  • 375th Troop Carrier Group, Sep 1945-25 Mar 1946
  • 317th Troop Carrier Group
    317th Troop Carrier Group
    The 317th Troop Carrier Group is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 317th Tactical Airlift Wing, stationed at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina...

    , 15 Jan 1946-21 Sep 1948
317th Troop Carrier Wing, 18 Aug-2 Dec 1948
  • 374th Troop Carrier Group, 5 Mar 1949-18 November 1958
374th Troop Carrier Wing, 5 March 1949-1 July 1957
  • 61st Troop Carrier Group, 26 Mar-18 Nov 1952

  • 1503d Army Air Force Base Unit (Air Transport Command), 1 Jan 1946
540th Air Transport Wing (MATS), 1 June 1948 (MATS Pacific Division)
1503d Air Transport Wing (MATS), 1 Jul 1948
1503d Air Transport Wing (Medium) (MATS), 1 Jan 1956
1503d Air Transport Wing (Heavy) (MATS), 1 Jul 1957
1503d Air Transport Group
1503d Air Transport Group
The 1503d Air Transport Group is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last was assigned to the 1502d Air Transport Wing, Military Air Transport Service, stationed at Tachikawa Air Base, Japan...

, 22 Jun 1964-8 Jan 1966
  • 65th Military Airlift Group (MAC), Jan 1966-Aug 1967
  • USAF Hospital, Tachikawa, 1 July 1953-15 May 1971
  • 2710th Air Base Wing, c. 1948-c. 1958
  • 6100th Air Base Wing, c. 1958-30 Jun 1961
  • 6000th Support Wing, 1 Jan 1946-30 Jun 1961
6100th Support Wing, 1 Jul 1961-30 Jun 1970
  • Under the control of:
347th Tactical Fighter Wing (Yokota AB), 1 Jul 1970
6100th Air Base Wing, Provisional (Yokota AB), 15 May 1971
475th Air Base Wing
475th Air Base Wing
The 475th Air Base Wing is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last duty station was at Yokota Air Base, Japan, where it was inactivated on 1 April 1992....

 (Yokota AB), 1 Nov 1971-31 Aug 1977


A.Consolidated with 347th USAF Dispensary, Yokota AB.
B.The 6000th Support Wing and the 6100th Air Base Wing combined to form the 6100th Support Wing.
C.The 6100th Air Base Wing reactivated at Yokota AB as provisional status, replacing the 347th TFW.


Japanese use


The Japanese government put the land to a variety of uses. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
The , or JGSDF, is the army of Japan. The largest of the three services of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, the Ground Self-Defense Force operates under the command of the chief of the ground staff, based in the city of Ichigaya, Tokyo. The present chief of ground staff is General Yoshifumi Hibako...

 established a base there, as did the Japan Coast Guard
Japan Coast Guard
The , formerly the Maritime Safety Agency, is the Japanese coast guard. Comprising about 12,000 personnel, it is under the oversight of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and is responsible for the protection the coast-lines of Japan...

, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department serves as the police force for the entire Tokyo metropolis. Founded in 1874, it is headed by a superintendent general, who is appointed by the National Public Safety Commission and approved by the prime minister.The Metropolitan Police, with a staff of more...

 and the Tokyo Fire Department
Tokyo Fire Department
The is a fire department headquartered in Ōtemachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. The TFD was formed on March 7, 1948 and is responsible for protecting the Tokyo Metropolis Area. The Fire Department is the largest urban fire department in the world. Providing services to the 23 Wards of Tokyo and parts...

. Consolidation resulted in the establishment of the Tachikawa Disaster-Preparedness Base. Part of the land has been redeveloped as Fare Tachikawa. The central part of Tachikawa Airfield is now Showa Memorial Park
Showa Memorial Park
is a national government park in Akishima and Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan. It charges an entrance fee.It was established in 1983 as part of a project to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Shōwa emperor....

, a spacious facility named in memory of Hirohito
Hirohito
, posthumously in Japan officially called Emperor Shōwa or , was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order, reigning from December 25, 1926, until his death in 1989. Although better known outside of Japan by his personal name Hirohito, in Japan he is now referred to...

, known posthumously as Emperor Shōwa. It opened in 1983.

Source


This article incorporates material translated from 立川飛行場 (Tachikawa Hikōjō) in the Japanese Wikipedia, retrieved on September 7, 2008.

External links


I was stationed to FEAMCOM 1955 & 1956 at that time FEAMCOM AFB was under AMC the Air Material Command, Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio
I endured JN (Japanese National) riots in both years. I worked in an airborne radar depot maintenance shop. I participated in riot training.