Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Cuyama Auxiliary Field
(Gardner Auxiliary 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 owner.

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.
For more information go to http://www.airfields-freeman.com/CA/Airfields_CA_Bakersfield.html#cuyama
Extract of January 1945 Directory of Airfields

Extract, War Department Inventory of Owned, Sponsored and Leased Facilities, December 1945


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