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Marine Corps Air Station El Toro

Marine Corps Air Station El Toro
MCAS El Toro in 1993
Airport information
Airport typeMilitary
OperatorUnited States Marine Corps
LocationOrange County, California
In use1943 - 1999
Occupants3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Elevation117 m (383 ft)

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Marine Corps Air Station El Toro was a United States Marine Corps Air Station located near Irvine, California.

Before it was decommissioned in 1999, it was the 4682 acre (18.9 km2) home of Marine Corps aviation on the West Coast. Designated as a Master Jet Station, its four runways (two of 8000 ft (2438.4 m) and two of 10000 ft (3048 m)) could handle the largest aircraft in the U.S. military inventory. While it was active, all U.S. Presidents in the post-WWII era landed in Air Force One at this airfield. The El Toro "Flying Bull" patch was designed by Walt Disney Studios in 1944. It survived virtually unchanged until the close of the Air Station.

The land area originally taken by the air station is planned to be converted into a large recreational center, the Orange County Great Park.

The site is currently used as a filming location for the History Channel show Top Gear.

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