In 1846 during the Mexican-American War, a detachment of Marines from the second-class Sloop-of-War Cyane landed to raise the American flag above the Plaza in what’s now called Old Town. As a result of that war, the U.S. acquired San Diego and the rest of California. At that time, today’s Marine Corps Air Station Miramar was part of an enormous rancho. Cattle grazed on the mesa now covered by runways. During the 1940s, both the Navy and the Marine Corps occupied Miramar. East Miramar (Camp Elliott) was used to train Marine artillery and armored personnel, while Navy and Marine Corps pilots trained on the western side. The bases were combined and designated Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in 1945. After several years of realignment Miramar came close to being sold back to the City of San Diego but after an absence of 50 years, MCAS Miramar is once again the home of the Marine Corps’ West Coast air power.
The MCAS Miramar Air Show is the largest military air show in the country hosting over 30 performers and bringing in an estimated 500,000 spectators. The Gold Demonstration Team had the honor of opening the three day event by flying in the American Flag every morning and also flying with the team was the Navy Parachute Team “Leap Frogs”. The two teams joined forces to show the people of San Diego what real precision skydiving and target accuracy is. The team also was scheduled to perform a twilight jump on Saturday evening and was invited by the Blue Angels to jump out of there C-130 “Fat Albert”. This was the first time for some of the team to ride in Fat Albert and experience the extreme take off and Zero Gravity roll over which brought smiles to everyone on board and was a great start to the night performance.
The team was welcomed and appreciated for their performances by the citizens of San Diego and the commended by the MCAS Miramar Commander Colonel J.P Farnam by receiving a copy of the original art work from the air show poster. Over all this air show was great success and an awesome place for the team to be for their last trip to the west coast.