Having lived in El Toro from 1988-2001, I can remember driving around the El Toro MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) and seeing the base housing. I also remember the old fighter jets on display alongside Irvine Blvd as it cut through the base housing.
Today, Irvine Blvd no longer cuts through there since they re-routed the road, and for the most part, it's hard to even notice El Toro MCAS these days.
Only once did I ever set foot inside El Toro MCAS. My father, being in the Navy, was able to go into military bases and shop at the commissary and exchange, and one time when I was about 10 years old, we went in there. But I don't remember much at all.
The OCTD Bus used to drive into the base as it took passengers from Irvine into El Toro (the community). My wife remembers travelling with her grandmother on the bus enroute to El Toro.
We found some memories submitted by OCThen readers and wanted to group them here, and start a new thread about folks who lived on El Toro MCAS base housing...
Hi Steve - I stumbled across this site, and glad I did. As far as I can remember, my family moved to El Toro sometime in 1965/1966 - our father was an enlisted Marine. We lived in base housing - Wherry Housing, and later moved towards the end of the housing area on Trabuco Road. Next to our house on Trabuco was a field full of carrots, and we used to sneak in there to pick carrots and take them home. And, I don't even like carrots! We later moved to Stanton, off of Beach Blvd, then to Santa Ana on Custer Street, across Santa Ana on Wilshire, then to Cypress, Irvine, Westminster, and finally Garden Grove when I left California and joined the Army. I have many memories of growing up in Orange County, many good, but some not so good. If it weren't for the high prices, millions of people, and the horrendous traffic, I would love to live there again. It was a special time growing up there, and it makes me sad when I go there now and see all those places we hung out as kids all paved over, concrete jungles, etc. Some call it progress...does anyone remember when Featherly Park was out in the BOONIES!!!! :)
By Lee, at June 11, 2007 2:31 PM
Thanks for this web site, Steve! I wasn't born here but my family and I arrived in Orange County in the summer of 1958 when I was almost 7. There were orange groves and eucalyptus trees everywhere and most cities were "islands" between one orange grove or ranch to another. My dad was stationed at El Toro Marine base, becoming the Manager of the Staff NCO club. He used to book entertainment acts for Friday and Saturday nights. I remember my dad getting us a signed copy of a photo from Tex Ritter (John Ritter's dad) after he performed there one night.
We even lived in the military housing on base for a couple of years while I attended 4th and 5th grades. Stanley Cook, the son of the owner of "Cook's Corner" was the pitcher on our little league team. Another pitcher, Dan Peavey, was such a baseball fanatic (he had the best collection of baseball trading cards that I ever saw), that he impressed Joe Dimagio enough that he came to visit us at the El Toro Elementary School in 1962. Our team even took a photo with him that was blown up and mounted in our school cafeteria. I wish I knew what happened to it.
By Gary Zaremba, at August 17, 2006 7:40 PM
I just found this website and man was it interesting. I was born in Santa Ana California and it says Orange County on my birth certificate. I was born at St. Joseph hospital which I believe was a military hospital. I lived on El Toro base within that community for years. Some of my fondest memories were there on Longstaff way within El Toro. My dad was a marine and worked there on base during my childhood. I was born in 1968 and had many friends there. I was little so I don't remember alot of the hot spots there in Orange County like most people that have left comments but I do remember that I loved the Santa Ana winds and I have longed to go back ever since I moved in 1976. My father was transferred to DC after we left the good old state of Cali...and later retired out of DC. I often wonder if my house is still there where I grew up at with that huge nectarine tree in the back. If anybody out there lived on El Toro military base during the late 60's and early 70's comment this site.
By Patricia "Cole" Vail, at May 21, 2007 12:23 PM
Click on "Post a Comment" at the end of this article, and share your memories of El Toro MCAS.