Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Naval Outlying Field, Sweetwater Dam
US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District (21 September 1999)
On December 21, 1944, the Navy acquired by condemnation 135.45 acres of grazing land in Rancho de la Nacion. An Order for Immediate Possession was granted the same day. An additional
5.47 acres of adjacent land were acquired by the same procedure, through an amendment dated January 27, 1945. Total acquisition was 140.92 acres.

The Sweetwater site was used as a practice carrier landing strip under Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) Brown Field. The frequency of use is not known and there }'Jas no evidence to
suggest it was used for any other purpose by the Navy. The Navy constructed a runway and a short access road on the property. No other improvements are known to have been constructed at the site.

The property was listed as excess on September 1, 1946. On April 7, 1947, a Judgment of Dismissal was ordered which returned the entire 140.92 acre site to the original owners. The Judgement contained reuse and height restrictions. The owners maintained a private airport for approximately 15 years. The site has been redeveloped as a residential area and consists entirely of detached, single-family homes. A portion of the site is also occupied by the Daniel Boone Elementary School. No military improvements remain at the site.
US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District (2 August 1999)
Location: Also known as the Sweetwater Carrier Landing Strip, NOLF Sweetwater Dam is located in the Paradise Hills/North Bay Terraces area of the city of San Diego, California. It is approximately two miles west of the Sweetwater Dam, north of Paradise Valley Road, and accessible via Briarwood Road.

History: The Navy acquired a total of 140.92 acres in Rancho de la Nacion, near the Sweetwater Dam, between December 1944 and January 1945. At the time, the land was used for grazing, and no structures had been built on the property. The land was acquired through condemnation from owners Lee and Ethel Lang, Palmer Connor, and Rancho Hills, Inc. The Langs owned a twenty-acre parcel in Section 53; Palmer Connor and Rancho Hills, Inc., owned the remaining acreage. The Navy intended to use the property as an airfield for carrier landing practice, and it constructed an asphalt landing strip on the property for this purpose. A construction proposal for the field, dated June 15, 1944, suggested the building of a 200 by 3,000 foot concrete runway, with 50 foot wide shoulders on either side (made of "stabilized decomposed granite" ), and a 50 by 200 foot parking area (made of the same material as the runway shoulders). An undated drawing of the site gives the dimensions of the runway as 200 by 3,200 feet, and shows a 100 by 200 foot area along the lower southeast portion of the runway, which may have been the aforementioned parking area.

The Sweetwater landing strip was declared excess as of September I, 1946. A Judgment of Dismissal, dated April 7, 1947, returned the Sweetwater property to its owners, with some restrictions. These restrictions required that the U.S. Government recover exclusive rights to the Sweetwater property in the event of any future national emergency. The restrictions also stipulated that the property owners not destroy or remove the landing strip (although they did not have to maintain it), nor build any structure on or around the field which might prevent it from being used as a
landing strip. Additionally, the restrictions included an easement for the County of San Diego to maintain its road through the property. San Diego aeronautical charts show that the field changed from military to private usage at some point between 1947 and 1948. The landing strip was listed as a private airfield from 1948 through the 1950s. A March 1960 chart listed the field as abandoned.

The Sweetwater site is no longer owned or used by the U.S. Government. The area is now a completely-developed residential area, consisting of detached, single-family homes. In addition, the southern portion of the Daniel Boone Elementary School lies within the Sweetwater property. No military structures, or remnants of the landing strip, remain on the property.
Other Online Information
Abandoned and Little Known Airfields


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Updated 8 February 2016