Moron AB pg 2 - The Early Years (1958 - 59)

All Photos Courtesy of Barry Heinzel


800x491 Moron sign Barry Heinzel on the right 1960

The 3973rd Air Base Group of Moron Air Base was activated in June of 1957. Construction was still under way and aircraft did not arrive until 1958 when the first B-47s were assigned. The young airman in front of the Moron Air Base sign above is Barry Heinzel. Barry was a member of the 3973rd CDS from May 1958 to May 1961. He was an A2C who worked in Pass and ID and Base Patrol while stationed at Moron. These photos, which were scanned from his 35mm slides, show the construction of the base and the beginning of the Reflex operations. We appreciate Barry's valuable contribution to the early history of the 3973rd CDS of Moron AB, Spain.

500px Inside aMATS aircraft May 4 1958

Inside a Military Air Transport plane, May 4, 1958.

500px View of the airmans mess hall

May 1958 at Moron Air Base. A view of the airmen's mess hall, NCO barracks to the right, water tower with red and white colors in the back ground. Base construction well under way by Brown, Raymond, & Walsh.

500x330 Entrance of base from new Pass n ID office

View of the base entrance from the new Pass & ID office

500px View from airmans barracks 1958

May 1958 view of Moron AB from the airmen's barracks with the control tower on the left and flight line full of construction equipment. The motor pool building is under construction on the right. No air craft stationed at Moron at this date.

500px May 1958 view from airmen's barracks, motor pool area seen

May 1958 photograph from the airmen's barracks with the motor pool construction on the left and the hangers under construction in the background.

500px Quonset hut. Half was Pass ID office, half OSI Jan 1959

January 1959. The early location of the Pass & Id office. A Quonset hut. One half of the hut was used for the Pass & ID office, the second far end was used by the OSI (Office of Special Investigations) office. A single eight foot wood wall inside separated the two offices. Directly across the street to the right another Quonset hut housed the Provost Marshal office. There would be daily activity between the offices in the two huts.

1000px View of Quonet huts from snack bar July 1958

About July 1958. A view of some of the many Quonset huts which dotted the base from the snack bar area of the service club building. At this early date at the base, many of the buildings were under construction, and some had not even been started. The huts provided work areas for the various offices, post office, etc. On the right the pool is under construction. In the background to the left of the construction equipment are earth mounds where the munitions were stored.

1000x335 Construx of hangers along flight line 1958

May 1958 Moron Air Base. Construction of the hangers along the flight line.

1000px Barracks left, BOQ in bkgd, officers' club

May 1958 Moron Air Base a view of the airmen's barracks on the left and the BOQ in the back ground with the officers club on the right. Lots of parking, but few automobiles around in May of 1958. Before quarters were constructed, the air force personnel and others who were working at the base were put up at hotels and other places in and near Sevilla, Spain. They would ride a train from Sevilla to Moron and then back to Sevilla in the evening. There was a train station located on the road just outside of the Moron base proper. The train station was not in use in May of 1958.

1000x315 Chapel construx

May 1958 Moron AB. The Base chapel is under construction, as was much of the balance of the base at this time. Church services were held in one of the large metal warehouses elsewhere on the base. The snack bar and theater were also located in the same warehouse at this time. The Pass & ID office, Provost Marshal office, post office, OSI office, clothing outlet, pool tables and numerous other base facilities were located in temporary quarters. Many of the temporary quarters were Quonset huts. Headquarters building is located on the right. Note the wide open spaces. Moron Air Base was truly out in the middle of nowhere.

1000x335 Airmen's barracks 1958

Airmen's barracks 1958. Temporary home for many airmen over the years. Note the open windows. No air conditioning, but there was heat during the winter months. During the heat of the summer at night, guys would go up on the roof in hope of cooler air. While the air was cooler, the roof itself was still hot from the sun. Note the 1950s automobiles in the parking lot. The officers club is located in the background right.

1000px Construction of 3rd barracks 1959

Construction of third barracks 1959

1000px Base w NCO barracks 1958

May 1958 Moron Air Base a view of the base with the NCO barracks on the left, the airmen's mess at center and the airmen's barracks on the right. A second airmen's barracks was constructed a year or so later in the back of and to the left of the current barracks. Note the railroad track in the foreground. This connected to the Spanish rail near the entrance to the base. Moron had its own engine which had a name of "Back and Forth", as that is all it did, was to go back and forth from one end of the base to the other.

1000px Spain tour countryside June 1958

June 1958. Moron Air Base to Cordoba, Spain bus tour. The bus stopped on the road for a view of the county side and a chance to take a photograph or two. Note the contrast between the U.S. Air Force Mercedes bus used for tour transportation and the two mule powered cart passing by. The use of mules and horses to pull carts was not an uncommon sight for airmen in Spain in 1958 and the years after.

500px Dec '58 airmen play music at base club

December 1958 Music provided by a group of airmen at the service club.

380px Tall- Entertainment at service club 1958

December 1958. A bit of entertainment at the service club at Moron. One of several dancers, male and female, who would come to Moron Air Base a couple of times a year. The same group also entertained at the Christina Hotel in Sevilla.

500px Exportadora April 1959

Exportadora area, April 1959 located in Seville, Spain. Exportadora contained various buildings to include a base exchange, base chapel, commissary, fire department, gun sales, liquor sales, temporary Pass & ID location, and dairy or the mechanical cow as it was called. That's the milk processing plant. There's a sign that says "AF Base Exchange Seville." In the parking lot is a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia with M190 series license plate. The M190 series were allocated to the US military for registration of their vehicles. Other series in use in during the 1958-1961 years include: M110, 120, 130, 150, 190, 200, 210, 220 and others. Note the wrap-around windshields on many of the cars.


Military Air Transport Service MATS c Jan '59

Military Air Transport (MATS) service, circa January 1959

1000x435 Grass cutting detail February 1959

February 1959 - Grass cutting detail.

1000px Family housing 1959March 1959. Officers family housing units which were located at the far southeast side of the base. Housing was reserved for key personnel at the base, to include the base commander, etc.

BOQ on left, officers club on right early '59

March 1959. BOQ on the left and the officers club on the right. On the left, in the background with the stack, is the backside of the infirmary building.

1000px Open house June 1959

Open house, June 1959. Note the four F-100s over the nose docks in the back ground. Numerous civilians walking around on the streets. Back side of the motor pool on the left. Power plant middle center. Several supply warehouse building to the right of the power house.

1000px Air show with F-100s flying over, couple spectators June 1959June 1959 - Air show with F-100s flying overhead.

Moron AB from the main road

Moron AB - View from the main road, July 1959

1000px Main access road to base lrge squareNovember 1959. The main access road to the base. On the base the road was named "D" Avenue. Left to right: Warehouse supply buildings, motor pool, MARS station, old main gate shack, in the center of the road the new main gate is under construction, water tower, Pass & ID / Provost Marshal office, the "Peace is our Profession" sign, Headquarters building, communications bunker, barracks and chapel in the background.

1000px View from main access closeupView from main access road close-up

1000x390 F-100s flying over Moron AB

F-100s flying over Moron Air Base, June 1959. This is a view from the roof of the barracks looking towards the control tower on the left, the motor pool on the right, and a portion of the runway at the far back of the photograph. Note the 1950s era Ford in the foreground. 

Wide open spaces 2

November 18, 1960 at Moron Air Base, Spain. Wide open spaces. The base was spread over a very large area... 40 some miles southeast of Sevilla, Spain out in the middle of nothing, other than farm fields. The photograph taken from the back of the new Pass & ID / Provost Marshal building located next to the Headquarters building. View looking towards the water tower. Motor pool on the left, mess hall on the right. The sign title is Moron Commanders Award.

Intersection of 1 Street n D Avenue Jan 1960

Intersection of 1 Street and D Avenue, January 1960

B-47s at the ready

B-47s at the ready, January 1960

500px Barry Heinzel 1960

Barry Heinzel, 1960

500px Heinzel, Barry n office crew Pass n ID office, c 1 Jan 1959 Moron

Early January 1959. Barry Heinzel (far left) in the Pass & ID office.

500px Bar on the road to the beach at Cadiz 1958

An Airman's Recollections - Bar on the road to the beach at Cadiz. September 1958. "A frequent stop on our week-end trips to the beach at Cadiz, Spain was this bar located just outside Jerez, Spain. Some 20 years later on a trip to the area with my wife, I was able to locate the same bar, although the highway and surrounding area had changed considerably. Week-end trips from the base on a U.S. Air Force Mercedes bus were common. This photograph is of a typical Spanish bar located along the highway from Moron Air Base to the beach at Cadiz. Note the GIs lined up to get a drink and a little snack which came with the drinks. You could also order fried beef on a bun which was about as close to a hamburger that you could get at the time. The beef was usually tough, but we were usually hungry and it did taste good. You had to keep the flies off. The man in the foreground with the black band on his arm is NOT a member of a political group (as I thought when I first arrived in Spain). He is in mourning over a death in the family. This was very common in the years that I was in Spain. The Spanish women would dress in black for years to express their mourning over a death in the family. Note the Coca Cola menu board listing items and prices."