Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Los Al Bearcat

Today's photo is an official U.S. Navy 8x10 glossy of a Grumman F8F Bearcat sitting in front of the control tower at NAS Los Alamitos.

NAS Los Alamitos was one of the busiest Navy training bases during and after WWII., and even today, as an Army Airfield, Los Alamitos is one of the busiest airports in SoCal.

While there is no date information included on this print, the fact that the F8Fs didn't come online until after hostilities ceased, and were quickly replaced with jets when Korea heated up, it is likely that this photo was taken in the late 1940s or very early 1950s.

Big thanks to reader Logan Hartke who helped id the airfield after my first abbreviated post of this entry, along with this link to a history of Los Al: http://www.calguard.ca.gov/sli/Pages/History.aspx


  1. That's NAS Los Alamitos. That building's still there.


  2. Thanks for the credit on the photo! As for the date, it's likely 1945 or 1946. The aircraft doesn't have the red bars on the national markings. In fact, being primarily a base for training reservists, it's likely that it was prior to June of 1946 since it's lacking the orange fuselage band. Someone Tommy Thomason might be able to tell you more, though. http://thanlont.blogspot.com/

    1. Interesting insights on the potential dates. The thing I was wondering was when the Navy started replacing their "Beware of Props" to "Beware of props and jet blast"...you can read the last few letters of "blast" at the bottom of the tower, behind the 55 gallon barrels.

    2. Interesting point and something I hadn't thought of. Good luck finding documentation on that, though! Again, if anyone would know or even have a chance, it would likely be Tommy.