Every city has its share of rumors. A certain house exists that’s haunted, or there’s a certain spot where cars appear to roll backward when facing downhill. The problem about these mystery spots is that sometimes, that’s all they are – rumors. However, the Del Mar Airport is no rumor – it’s a fact. http://wikimapia.org/1468433/Del-Mar-Airport-site
In the 1920’s, the area was established, and called the “San Dieguito Airfield” and then in the 1930’s, the airfield was used to ferry in the rich and famous for a day at the races. But then, in the 1940’s, things became interesting. That’s right – with the start of World War II, the airfield was renamed as the United States Naval Auxiliary Air Facility, in order to house blimps, and provide a place for said blimps to patrol the coast. That’s right, I said BLIMPS. Perhaps the coolest airships ever! After the war, the property was transferred back to the city for a whopping $1.00, and the area became the Del Mar Airport, which operated until 1959.
Today, there’s nothing left of the Airport structures, and sadly, no blimps either. The area has been reclaimed by the San Dieguito River Park, and is a great place to watch for birds. However, should you be interested in seeing what used to be the Del Mar Airport, head out to San Dieguito Road in Del Mar. Drive East on the road for approximately three quarters of a mile, and you will see a sign stating “Grand Avenue Bridge” on the North (left) side of the road. Pull out, park, and you can walk out upon the remains of the Grand Avenue Bridge. From there, you can gaze out into the expanses of the San Dieguito Lagoon, and imagine the zeppelins gliding to and fro. And, most importantly, you’ll know that the Del Mar Airport, while not booking departures ever again, was no rumor.
See you on the trail!
And, for more interesting historic information on the airfield, check out these sites here: http://members.tripod.com/airfields_freeman/CA/Airfields_CA_SanDiego_N.htm#delmar