U.S. Navy Blimp in Front of One of the Massive Airship Hangars at the Naval Air Station Santa Ana (Later MCAS Tustin). Tustin, California. 1943. Official US Navy photo.
By the end of 1942, there were 12 K-Class blimps operating from Tustin as Airship Patrol Squadron ZP-31, for Zeppelin Patrol 31. Airship patrols along the California coast were conducted 24 hours a day from the airship bases in Santa Ana and Moffett Field in the bay area.
Blimp Hangar at the Former Naval Air Station Marine Corps Air Station Tustin, Northern Lighter-Than-Air Ship Hangar, Meffett (Sic) Avenue & Maxfield Street. Tustin, California. June 30, 1949. Photography by Brian Grogan. Historic American Buildings Survey Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Note, the citation lists “Meffett,” but the name of the street is actually “Moffett.”
Each hangar measured 1,088 feet in length and 297 feet in width, with timber arches set on 20-foot centers. The hangars were 178 feet or over 17 stories tall. The all-wood design was a direct result of the realities of war. While 33 tons of structural steel was used in building the hangars, traditional construction would have required over 4,000 tons of steel.
Lighter-Than-Air Hangar Roof Truss Details. Drawing no. 212817. Tustin, California. Circa 1942. Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
The airship hangars remain among the largest wood-framed structures in the world. This image depicts the intricate work to build the hangars.
Marine Corps Air Station Tustin, East of Red Hill Avenue Between Edinger Avenue & Barranca Parkway, Tustin, Orange County, Ca. Circa 1945. Library of Congress.
An aerial view shows the Naval Air Station Santa Ana base as having the two 1,058’ x 297’ blimp hangars. The two hangars were separated by a large circular landing mat that was about 2,000 feet in diameter, with six smaller landing mats placed around the hangars in a cloverleaf pattern.
Introduction - The Ku Klux Klan and Racial Tensions Before WWII - OC History: Did You Know?
Lighter Than Air - Tustin Hangars: Did You Know? - Orange County Air Corps Training Center
Santa Ana Army Air Base: Did You Know? - Jewish Community Blossoms in Orange County
Jewish Pioneers in OC: Did You Know? - Japanese Internment Camps
Growth of the Mexican Community in Orange County - Barrio Life