Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Field No. 6)
by Paul Freeman
The former Cuyama Auxiliary
Field was located 1.6 miles northwest of Ventucopa and 14 miles
southeast of New Cuyama, in Santa Barbara County, California.
It was a Auxiliary field for training activities located at Gardner Field.
The War Department acquired a use permit over 48.00 acres on
30 December 1942 from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).
The former landing field was one of several crude dirt landing
strips constructed in the Cuyama Valley for bomber and fighter
pilot training operations. Cuyama Auxiliary Field was graded
by a couple of bulldozers in one day alongside State Highway
33 sometime in 1943. Local residents reported that the length
of the strip was such that only fighter aircraft could use the
landing field. They also reported that the landing strip was
seldom ever used. No personnel, ground support facilities, or
equipment of any kind was ever located at the site.
After the intensive pilot training requirements were eased following
World Was II, the graded dirt strip was left in place. The site
was relinquished to the U.S. Forest Service on 30 November 1946
by the War Department. On 22 June 1963 under the General Exchange
Act, the USFS exchanged 85.28 acres on the east side of Highway
33 to private owners. The land, which included the 48.00 acres
formerly permitted to the Army, was exchanged to a private land
An orchard now exists where the former Cuyama Auxiliary Field
was located. The property was owned and operated by the Department
of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service for 16 years following the
cessation of Army Air Forces operations. The U.S. Forest Service
does not have any records of the permit and their personnel are
not aware of the existence of the landing field. All signs of
the landing field's existence have been obliterated. It is not
known whether the Army or another federal agency ever conducted
any restoration of the facility; however, there are no indications
of site improvements other than a graded flat landing strip 3,000
feet long by 100 feet wide.