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Save The Control Tower - Home of our Vietnam Era Veterans

In 2013 I asked the Mayor of Tustin, The Tustin Area Historical Society and The American Leagion to help host a tour of the south hangar. Its purpose was to give people a chance to see inside the hangar but also to open it up for people who served there as military and support workers. As it turned out, it became more of a reunion than a tour. In some cases for older workers in the 1940's and 50's it was a farewell to past old friends. We even had one of the last living World War II blimp pilots there!

It was then I realized we needed to save both hangers and not just save one hangar that was being talked about. So after the tour I launched to help get the message out. The Navy still owned both hangars and they were working with the City of Tustin and the County of Orange to help transfer the ownership of the hangars.

So from 2013 to 2023 we have waited for the time we could work together with the City in their efforts. Now, unfortunatly, there is only one hangar left. Therefore, the website will be renamed and eventually we hope the site will be named

Our three-pronged plan:

1. Save the The Control Tower and establish it as a museum dedicated to the men and women who served at the station and those who worked there. Website would be

2. Look for ways to keep the columns on both sides of the North Hanger as an entryway welcoming vistors to an area hosting events. Example: A connecting arch with the U.S. Navy insigina on one side and the U.S Marine Corps on the other side and across the middle large letters saying "FREE
DOM'S PORTAL." Website would be

3. Look for ways to save the South Hangar. Website would be

Moving forward, we are currently (11/10/2023) in the process of forming an exploratory group to come up with ideas on how to save what we can and support the City of Tustin in its efforts to keep everyone informed of its progress.

Pete Beatty
Veteran of the Year CA 70th Assembly Dist 2012
Tustin Man of the Year 2014
Past President Tustin Area Historical Society
American Legion Post 227, Historian

The Control Tower was built in 1964
Control Towers generally fall into three general operational areas: local control or air control, ground control, and flight data/clearance delivery. Other categories, such as landing area control or ground movement planner, may exist at extremely busy heliports, while each tower may have unique helaport-specific procedures such as multiple teams of controllers (crews) at major or
complex heliports with multiple helipads.

Location Named: Marine Corps Air Facility Santa Ana 1951 / Marine Corps Air Station Tustin 1979 /

For information on how to help. Pete Beatty 714-504-4088 e-mail

Video Links and Photos
Los Angeles
Voices of Tustin performing Armed Forces Medley at the Tustin Hangars
Google News
LA Times – OC Let Its History Rot / What Happens Next? / Fire Flares up again

City of Tustin help: Email: or call 714 426-2444

What’s Happening with the Historic Tustin Hangars?
2019-2020 Orange County Grand Jury (PDF)

Wikipedia - Marine Corps Air Station Tustin
City of Tustin - The Tustin Hangars
The Tustin Area Historcal Society and Museum - Website - Vintage Photos - Current Photos - History - NAS-Santa-Ana-History.pdf (79 pages) - Vintage Photos - Current Photos - History
ocregister - Nov 3, 2015 - What will become of blimp hangar? - Jul 16, 2014 - These Massive Hangars in Orange County Once Housed WWII Airships - MCAS Tustin by Paul Freeman / NAS Santa Ana by M.L. Shettle / NAS Santa Ana by Justin Ruhge

Libraey of Congress Marine Corps Air Station Tustin (PHOTO, PRINT, DRAWING)

Visiting with Huell Howser
California's Gold Huts and Hangers – California’s Gold (602) - (28:49 sec)
Visiting MCAS Tustin – Visiting (722) - (30:52 sec)
Visiting Tustin – Visiting (1509) - (27:58 sec)

Efforts underway to "deconstruct" World War 2 blimp hangar in Tustin - Link


Naval Airship Pilot" Part 1 -- Cdr. Don Morris' presentation- (9:46 sec)
Naval Airship Pilot" Part 2 -- Cdr. Don Morris' presentation - (9:
34 sec)
Naval Airship Pilot" Part 3-- Cdr. Don Morris' presentation - (9:
58 sec)

Rigid Airship Design - (
8:24 sec)
Airship History Series Cold War - (1:
4 sec)

Airship History Series: Airships Fight A Cold War
[4/6] - (1:0
4 sec)

Airship History Series Intro

Hindenburg Class Airship - Operation and Design
Hindenburg Disaster - Real Footage (1937) | British Pathé
The Complete Hindenburg Disaster Radio Broadcast (38 min.51 sec.)
Hindenburg Disaster A Moment In Radio History - Hindenburg Disaster (Enhanced Audio)

Zeppelin's round-the-world flight in 1929
Cardington, Beds. "Zepp" Arrives - Giant Airship Joins R100 At Air Base (1930)

(USS Macon)
USS Macon Construction & First Flight (1) - USS Macon Construction & First Flight (2)
Giant Airship 'Macon' (1933)
U.S.S. Macon On Manoeuvres (1934)
USS Macon & Sparrowhawks

(USS Akron)
Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk Biplane On USS Akron (ZRS-4)
U.S. Navy Dirigible USS Akron Memorial Film After 1933 loss of Airship 59614

Tour of the US Navy airship ZPG 3W

Blimps Fly in Formation
WW2 "K" Type Blimp, Carrier Landing Operations, 02/24/1944 - 02/28/1944 (full) flight operations.
Us Navy Blimps On Training Exercise (1943)USS Macon Construction & First Flight (1)

Aeros Corporation - Wikipedia
AirSign Thermal Blimp - Thermal Airships verses Helium Airships - (888) 645-3442

Visiting with Huell Howser | Tustin | Season 15 - PBS 2
2008 Hot Air Airship / Thermal Blimp / Luftshiff (No.1)
US Navy Blimp Arrival

(Hot Airship Championships)
8th FAI World Hot Air Airship Championship (Part 1)
8th FAI World Hot Air Airship Championship (Part 2)
2010 / 9th FAI World Hot Air Airship Championship (part 1)
2010 / 9th FAI World Hot Air Airship Championship (part 2)

We go for a ride in the only Zeppelin NT in the USA & talk to the CEO of Airship Ventures
As of November 14, 2012, Airship Ventures ceased

LAist 89.3 FM - Links re: Tustin air hangar
SoCal History: The Significance Of The Tustin Airfield Hangars
AirTalk audio segment:  . AirTalk web write up

Save the Hangar & Save the Control Tower Exploratory Group
Tustin, California

Pete Beatty - Founder: Save The Hanagers & Save the Control Tower / U.S. Army Veteran / Vietnam era
Brian Delahaut - Co-Founder: Save The Hanagers founder & Save the Control Tower / Retired Marine Corps Colonel
Richard Nelson - Tustin Area Historical Society, 2024 President
Gretchen Whisler - Tustin Area Historical Society - Past President

Steve Giddings - Post Commander / Tustin American Legion Post 227 / U.S. Army Veteran
Guy Ball - Local Historian and Author
Rudy Swigart - Retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant
Former Marine Corps JAG officer (to be named)

Non profit Support:
Tustin Area Historical Society (primary)
Tustin American Legion Post 227
Add your group here!

Local Businesses Support:

Cox's Market Plaza
BLUE BUOY Family Swim School
your company here!

The MCAS Control Tower.
The church is gone!
One of the goals of the Exploratory Committee is to save and preserve the MCAS Control Tower as a multi-use bulding (for a museum, local meetings, student tours etc.).
The church was torn down and the wood carted away.
During the Vietnam War, many Marines were married there only to have services there later on, remberering them after they were killed in Action
October 1, 1942: Naval Air Station (NAS) Santa Ana commissioned

1949: Naval Air Station (NAS) Santa Ana decommissioned

1949-1951: Used as a civilian airfield, blimp storage, and air museum

May 1, 1951:
Re-commissioned as Marine Corps Air Facility (MCAF) Santa Ana

September 1, 1969: Renamed Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter) (MCAS(H)), Santa Ana

April 3, 1975: Hangars entered into the National Register as a historic district

April 23, 1976:
Base annexed by City of Tustin

June 1, 1978:
Renamed Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter) (MCAS(H)), Tustin

1991: MCAS Tustin recommended for closure by Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC)

July 3, 1999:
Closed in accordance with Base Realignment and Closure Act

OUR HISTORY: Honoring a Military Legacy

Preserve, Protect and Educate

Overseas military operations - Website - About
US States and Territories. - Website - About
Website - About
Website - About
Website - About
Website - About - Closed Basses

1926 – 1942 Website - About
World War II - 1941–1947- Website -About
Founded 18 Sept 1947 Website - About

Orange County Veteran Resources

LTA (Lighter Than Air) About
Marine Corps Air Station Tustin (H) About
World War II (SAAAB) - 1942–1946 About

Tustin American Legino Post 227
Tustin American Legino Post 227 History
LTA (Lighter Than Air) About
Marine Corps Air Station Tustin (H)
Helicopter Air and Ground Control
North Hangar - Welcoming Portal
(South Hangar)
Tustin Preservation Goals: 1st, 2nd and 3rd steps
2 - - (North Hangar)
3 - - (South Hangar)
Name change with city approval
2 -(North Hangar)
3 - - (South Hangar)

For information on how to help. California HQ: Pete Beatty 714-504-4088 e-mail - e-mai

Honoring our Fallen and Celebrated Heroes
Please Help Us Remember The 28 Tustin Heroes Who Never Came Home
Preserve, Protect and Educate
California HQ: 714 504-4088 - email - email