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#86765 - 03/09/10 08:29 PM Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz
Jim Costello Offline
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Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 105
Loc: New York City
During my last 3 visits to Madrid, I met serveral persons who were involved with the air base in Torrejon.

The first time in June 2009 was in Gingers restaurant near Plaza Santa Ana. My wife and I were reading the menu of the day. The menu was in Spanish and we were attempting to translate it with a Spanish/English book. The server couldn't help us. A man sitting alone two tables away told us that he understood English and came over to our table to translated the menu of the day for us. This gentleman told us that he was in the Air Force of Spain assigned to the air base in Torrejon.

The second time was in October 2009, my Spanish son-in-law and I went to a barber (hair dresser) in Torrejon for a hair cut.
Daniel the hair dresser told us that he was a barber at the air base and cut the hair of the American military personnel.

The third time was in February, 2010, when my daughter and son-in-law took us to Rancho Texano restaurant for lunch to celebrate Presidents Day, a holiday in the US. My family in Torrejon went to Rancho Texano last Thanksgiving day to have a traditional meal with turkey, etc. They said that on Thanksgiving day the restaurant was very crowded and enjoyed the food.
The host at the restaurant told us that Rancho Texano was started by a Greek man who was a cook for the Americans at the air base. The restaurant was started in the 1960s and the owner is about 80 years old and still active in the management of Rancho Texano. The place has 40 employees.

Since I served in the US Army, I became interested in the history of the air base. I google US Air Force base in Torrejon de Ardoz, found several sites and one of them had 150 pictures of the air base, Madrid and Torrejon.
Several members of the MadridMan site were stationed at the air base perhaps they may want to share some of their experiences of their time in Madrid. Thanks
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Jim Costello
New York City

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#86767 - 03/10/10 02:46 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Jim Costello]
MadridMan Offline


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Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
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#86768 - 03/10/10 06:22 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: MadridMan]
gazpacho Offline
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Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 807
Loc: Macomb, MI U.S.
Jim,

I was stationed at Torrejon from 1977 until 1980. It was a good place to be stationed. I remember the Spanish barbers there quite fondly. All were characters. After a haircut one always asked me, "shave? shampoo? Senorita? They were great.

Gazpacho
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"I swear -by my life and my love of it -that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

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#86778 - 03/12/10 12:03 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: gazpacho]
pedmar Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2354
Loc: Morbihan, France
i visited the base many times, and play baseball with the servicemens kids, they had their own team and played in the Madrid league vs Condepols,Piratas,Rayo Vallecano, Colegio Abraham Lincoln,and of course the Real Madrid, before until 1970 there were a team from El Corte Ingles, they merge with the Real Madrid team.

When the base closed, F14 moved to Palermo ,Italy, many serviceman decided to stay in Spain, and many retired there. I met their family but with the passing of time,and jumping ship to New Jersey,then FLorida, lost contact with them. ONe was a sargent who was an umpire in the league, but damn so many years forgot their names.... I finally left Madrid in 1974 (lived from 1970-74), and did not return until the soccer/football world cup of 1982 it was already another country for the better i may add.

If anybody comes up with more history I would like to hear it too.
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#86779 - 03/12/10 12:12 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: pedmar]
pedmar Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2354
Loc: Morbihan, France
wow thanks Madridman ,those are wonderful sites!!!great pictures too.
To correct, believe the planes were F4 not F14.
and we played baseball at the Parque La Elipa, where they played still today the Madrid league.
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#86780 - 03/12/10 12:46 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: pedmar]
pedmar Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2354
Loc: Morbihan, France
amazing sites, brought back so many memories, yes , did you read the 64 class site about the rules for dressing, yes exactly correct, that was a different Spain, and Madrid we are going to see together soon ::)
thanks so much for the sites Madridman ,and thanks for Jim for starting the thread.
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#86787 - 03/12/10 10:18 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Jim Costello]
Jim Costello Offline
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Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 105
Loc: New York City
Hi Gazpacho, thank you for your service to our country.

How many troops (enlisted and officers) were assigned to the air base when you were in Torrejon?

What was the town of Terrejon like. How did the Americans and Spaniards get along outside the base.

Did you remember the Rancho Texano restaurant.

Appreciate sharing your memories of the air base.
Thanks
_________________________
Jim Costello
New York City

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#86792 - 03/13/10 10:41 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Jim Costello]
gazpacho Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 807
Loc: Macomb, MI U.S.
Jim,

I have no idea of how many officers and enlisted people were stationed with me in Torrejon Airbase. I couldn't share that information if I did. If I were to guess, I'd say maybe a thousand.

Torrejon de Ardoz was at least 25% smaller than it is today. The Raestro, on Wednesdays, was on the other side of the main drag through town. Now it's held in a type of fairground on the other side of the main highway. Which surprised me the last time I visited in 2002. I visit Torrejon, the town, not the base, every time I return to Madrid, which has been 1994, 1999, and 2002 to see the apartment the wife and I lived in. The train station in Torrejon is also much newer and much bigger than before. It was nothing more than a hole in the wall in 1980.

As for the Rancho Texano restaurant, I'm also not sure. There were a couple of restaurants that other Americans as well as I visited off the main highway going to the base. On was famous for their spare ribs. It might have been this restaurant. I didn't have a reliable car during most of my stay, and also, as an enlistem man, not much money either, so I just caught the bus going to Madrid and didn't have the means of going to restaurants along the was unless friends were going there. In Torrejon, however, I remember walking to the Kingston Pub which had an incredibly good Irish coffee. I've never been able to recreate one one tenth as good.

As far as I know, Americans and Spaniards got along very well. The Spaniards are a very respectful people, and I still see that. They didn't and don't like trouble and I've never seen a violent act initiated by the Spaniards. I suppose, because of the language barrier, between most Americans and Spaniards, misunderstandings were hard to initiate.

I disagree with pedmar, though I'm sure he has a good side of the debate, whether Spain was better then or now. I thought it was better back in the days. Things were really inexpensive and more secure. But he's right about one thing, the aircraft that I worked on were F-4C's and D's the Phantoms.

Gazpacho
_________________________
"I swear -by my life and my love of it -that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

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#86794 - 03/14/10 08:20 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: gazpacho]
pedmar Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2354
Loc: Morbihan, France
i said better now because it is a democracy not like before, lots of injustices which of course enlisted people from the US could not see, I did, I live it, and I fought it.

more secure of course, when if you speak they jail you, the local people not you. Inexpensive yes it was several years back ,everything goes up in price unfortunately,salaries too althought less ::)


and I agree the base people and the Spaniards around us got along well, and the people from the base that I spoke with ,many of them were Hispanic Americans also though it was a heavenly place. Many retired there so I heard but never could confirm, I had to move on to the US and reunite with my father. Those were the days.
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#86795 - 03/14/10 08:24 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: pedmar]
pedmar Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2354
Loc: Morbihan, France
sorry to all if I brought the political twist to the thread but when you are growing up in communist and fascists dictatorship none is good but democracy.
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#86798 - 03/14/10 01:50 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: pedmar]
eskimo joe Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 225
Loc: st cyrus , scotland
When I was a kid I remember going to the airbase a few times , we had a few American friends who worked there . The store had all the American brands but they meant nothing to me .The biggest surprise was the school asosciated with the base had a grass soccer pitch , there wasn't many of them about .
We also used to listen to radio Torrejon all the time in the car .
The ribs place is still there (well rebuilt after ETA blew it up. They have resturants all over Madrid now. They are decked out like an American style place , but the ribs are still good .

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#86800 - 03/14/10 09:13 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: eskimo joe]
gazpacho Offline
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Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 807
Loc: Macomb, MI U.S.
Pedmar,

I get the feeling that if I'd initiated my side of the debate, I'd be shut down right away on this website, yet your side seems always to get a free pass. Let's just say that I, and my wife who lived there longer than I, disagree with your opinion/observation. I've been back to Spain a few times recently, and just don't find it as special as it used to be.

gazpacho
_________________________
"I swear -by my life and my love of it -that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

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#86802 - 03/15/10 05:25 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: pedmar]
MadridMan Offline


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Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10016
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
That's right. Let's try to keep politics out of it and discuss the US Air Base for what it was, an air base in Madrid. Thanks.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#86804 - 03/15/10 06:57 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: MadridMan]
eskimo joe Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 225
Loc: st cyrus , scotland
Is Spain better now rather than then , for me yes, you can now get torta de casar outside of Extremadura .
I dont think it has anything to do with politics, I think you can liken it to music . Most people prefer the music of their youth compared to the music nowadays. It might not nessacarily be better , but it was what they liked at an important time in your life , and associate it with being better.

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#86806 - 03/15/10 08:58 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: eskimo joe]
teachertraveler8 Offline
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Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 468
Loc: Detroit, Michigan
I like your comparison, eskimo joe. I live with teenagers now and have to listen to their music a lot. I find that much of it, I actually enjoy (plus it helps me to understand where they're coming from) So, I would add that being open minded to music and other things can be a very enriching experience. My first visit to Spain was in 1991 and from then till 2009, Spain has gotten much better. (although I loved my first visit very much) It just seemed cleaner to me this past year.

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#86807 - 03/15/10 09:05 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: teachertraveler8]
MadridMan Offline


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Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10016
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Very well put, eskimo joe. Thank you.
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#86808 - 03/15/10 10:12 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: MadridMan]
gazpacho Offline
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Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 807
Loc: Macomb, MI U.S.
Fine.

teachertraveler8, let's not try to keep our minds so open that all our brains fall out.

Gazpacho
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"I swear -by my life and my love of it -that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

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#86809 - 03/15/10 12:12 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: gazpacho]
Rodolfo Offline
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Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Stockton,Ca.
I have very fond memories of the base as I stayed there for a week or so back in the Summer of 82'. An American family member was stationed at the base, so one year our family spent 3 weeks with with him and his. I clearly remember being woken-up every morning at 5:00 by the jets roaring over head.

It was my first visit to Spain. Over the course of our 3 week stay, we visited: Valencia, Cordoba, Sevilla, Alicante and La Roda de Albecete.

By the way, the family member that was stationed there met and married his wife in Madrid. They had two kids and they are still living in Madrid, now, working for the US Embassy. It's wonderful to have family in Madrid! When we visit we feel like we have a home away from home.

I'm amazed to hear so many have had some experience with the old base.



Edited by Rodolfo (03/15/10 01:04 PM)
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#86810 - 03/15/10 01:11 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Rodolfo]
Rodolfo Offline
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Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Stockton,Ca.
I forgot to mention that when we were in Madrid last October, my uncle wanted to take us to his favorite restaurant in town. I thought for sure he would be taking us to a traditional place in town. No, we went to La Casa de las Castillas!

Very good food but not local fare.
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Rudy

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#86811 - 03/15/10 09:24 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Rodolfo]
gazpacho Offline
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Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 807
Loc: Macomb, MI U.S.
There are a couple of other regular, or were regular posters that served, like yours truly, at Torrejon. I just don't remember who they were. I suppose I could do a search. Maybe MedicineMan?

Ah yes, I thought so Desert Dweller and TJGuy.

Gazpacho


Edited by gazpacho (03/15/10 09:29 PM)
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#86815 - 03/17/10 07:22 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: gazpacho]
pedmar Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2354
Loc: Morbihan, France
Well glad we got off the politics, its still has wounds in Spain not heal for those Spaniards who cant forget.
As to if it was better for you then than now its a matter of opinion not worth arguing it over. I still think Spain is special to be there and live like I had and keep coming back to it every year and lately every month.
So enjoy Spain and especially Madrid and surely Torrejon Air Base.
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#86830 - 03/18/10 01:45 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: pedmar]
gazpacho Offline
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Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 807
Loc: Macomb, MI U.S.
Well.

The breads gotten much better.

_________________________
"I swear -by my life and my love of it -that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

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#86852 - 03/20/10 02:35 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: gazpacho]
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1286
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
Good words Pedmar , Buenas palabras !

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#86884 - 03/24/10 10:45 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: steve robinson]
MedicalMan Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 102
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
I was not stationed at Torrejon. I was at the NATO Base in Pozuelo De La Alarcon. I just left there in 2007 and it is one of the highlights of my 25 years in the Navy. There are still a few American service members stationed at Torrejon, but they work directly with the Spanish Air Force. My 3 years of living, working and playing in Madrid will always be one we will talk about for the rest of my life. We plan on returning in the years to come to see our beautiful city again.....but living in Honolulu, Hawaii right now is not bad either....:)
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#87180 - 04/28/10 03:30 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Jim Costello]
Jim Costello Offline
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Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 105
Loc: New York City
Another coincidence regarding the former United States air base in Torrejon de Ardoz. In my first message on this trend I wrote about meeting three persons who were involved with the air base. The first was a barber who cut the hair of US military personnel, the second was a member of the Air Force of Spain, and the third was the owner of the Texaco Rancho restaurant in Madrid.

On Tuesday evening, April 27, 2010 Martha, my wife, and I were at the New York University, King Juan Carlos I of Spain center (in NYC) for a symposium, "Spain 1975-2010: The Present After the Future".

While waiting for the program to begin we were talking with other guests about Spain. Martha told them that our daughter went to NYU, studied in Madrid, and now resides in Terrojon de Ardoz. A man who introduce us to his wife said that they are from Madrid and now live in New York City. He told us that when he was young he had a friend in the USAF stationed in Torrejon and he would go to the base to learn English. The man continued to tell us how the top officers of the base helped him with personnel references. The man is a retired medical doctor who appreciated the help he received from the USAF members at the air base in Torrejon.

Another man then joined our conversation and when he found out that we were talking about Torrejon, he said in a loud voice,
"I was born in Torrejon". He said his American mother came to work at the air base in 1953 and meet his father a Spaniard. They got married and continue to live in Madrid. This man is a professor at New York University, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literature. What a small world,
_________________________
Jim Costello
New York City

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#87185 - 04/29/10 03:50 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Jim Costello]
pedmar Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2354
Loc: Morbihan, France
indeed a small world, and great you had those encounters there. sure was nice.thanks for sharing it.
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#87644 - 06/22/10 02:22 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Jim Costello]
Jim Costello Offline
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Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 105
Loc: New York City
On my last holiday in Madrid in June 2010, I meet ten members of the United States Air Force who were assigned to the former air base in Torrejon de Ardoz. These men were at the air base between the 1960s to the 1980s. Some of them retired from the USAF while in Torrejon and others retired from different stations but returned to the Madrid. They met Spanish women and now live in the Madrid and Torrejon area. The men belong to 2 organizations the American Legion Isabel La Catolica Post and the Association of former members and friends of Torrejon Air Base.

Jose the barber who worked at the air base comes to their place (mail room in Torrejon) and cuts their hair. I had a good time talking with them about the air base, Madrid/Torrejon and they enjoyed talking about the USA.
_________________________
Jim Costello
New York City

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#87745 - 07/06/10 08:30 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Jim Costello]
Eddie Offline
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Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 1739
Loc: Phila., PA, USA
Several years ago, at NavSta Rota waiting for a SpaceA hop back to CONUS, I met a lady who was a Dependent of an Officer assigned to the NATO Detachment at Torrejon AB. Torrejon may have closed as an Active Air Force Base; but it still housed (or houses) a NATO Detachment with USAF Officers assigned.
BTW
I was stationed at Torrejon AB Mar., 1960 - Dec., 1961, married a Spanish girl from Madrid: coming up on 49 years married

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#87747 - 07/06/10 02:50 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Eddie]
gazpacho Offline
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Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 807
Loc: Macomb, MI U.S.
Eddie,

I bet Spain was really nice then, and really inexpensive. I also was at Rota for a day trip in 1997, right before I got out of the Reserves. While the crew was only interested in staying on the base, about four of us enlisted men decided, well, I decided actually, to catch the next train to Seville. We walked around for several hours, had some Spanish food, well, all but the crew chief who had to eat at Burger King. It was so nice to be the only one in the group that even spoke a minimal amount of Spanish.

Glad to hear your marriage worked out. I married a Philippina girl while stationed at Torrejon. We just celebrated our 30th anniversary. Great memories.


Gazpacho
_________________________
"I swear -by my life and my love of it -that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

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#87826 - 07/12/10 09:26 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: gazpacho]
Eddie Offline
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Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 1739
Loc: Phila., PA, USA
Originally Posted By: gazpacho
Eddie,
I bet Spain was really nice then, and really inexpensive. I also was at Rota for a day trip in 1997, right before I got out of the Reserves. While the crew was only interested in staying on the base, about four of us enlisted men decided, well, I decided actually, to catch the next train to Seville. ...

That's similar to what I did my last visit there. We flew to Rota with VR52 (USNR); went to Huelva where (wife's) cousins have a couple of Condos in Mazagon. Unfortunally, they hadn't come down from Madrid yet; so we just did some shopping. We caught a Damas SA Bus back to Sevilla Plaza de Armas) and a Comes SA Bus (from Sevilla's Prado de San Debastian Bus Terminal) to el Puerto de Santa Maria. We stayed at Hotel Santa Maria; saw the Parade of boats from the Hotel Rooftop (it was 16 jul: la Virgen de Carmen). I say 'we.' It was me and a retired Air Force Colonel (O6 ) with whom I had SpaceA'd on an earlier trip to Ireland. But that's a whole nuther story.

About 6-or-7 years ago we had lunch with wife's brother and Family. It turns out that Wife's Sister-in-Law's brother is President of the Bank in Torrejon de Ardoz. I don't know if it's Bancco de Santander or what but Carlos (that's his name) has a beautiful wife.



Edited by Eddie (07/14/10 08:42 AM)
Edit Reason: expand on the theme

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#90908 - 05/07/12 05:28 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Jim Costello]
Rickmadrid Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 1
Loc: Madrid


Edited by MadridMan (05/09/12 01:26 PM)
Edit Reason: to fix and embed intended photos

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#90909 - 05/07/12 11:09 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Rickmadrid]
gazpacho Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 807
Loc: Macomb, MI U.S.
Rickmadrid,

I remember those restaurants that catered to U.S. military personnel. I could see from the bus going from Torrejon AFB to Madrid. They were on a service drive, if I remember correctly. I only ate at one of these once or twice because I didn't have much money then, and usually settled for a bocadillo de calamares in Madrid, and also, because I didn't have a car.

The last time I made it to Spain, 2002, I was amazed at how much bigger Torrejon has gotten. It must be four or five times larger than when I lived there.

The restaurant that served ribs has been brought up many times on this site.

Gazpacho
_________________________
"I swear -by my life and my love of it -that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

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#90910 - 05/07/12 02:35 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: gazpacho]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2354
Loc: Morbihan, France
nice memories indeed like the rest of the Madrid area, much have change. yes Torrejon de Ardoz has change a lot too. Just keep the memories and share them for the younger generation.
Cheers
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http://paris1972-versailles2003.com/

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#91255 - 07/02/12 01:17 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Jim Costello]
Jim Costello Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 105
Loc: New York City
WOW!! This topic has over 10,500 hits, "The United States Air Force base located in Torrejon de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain." The base was operational from about 1953 to 1993 and is now utilized by the Air Force of Spain, the Army of Spain, NATO, and as private airport.

I became interested in the USAF base in Torrejon when my daugher married an officer in the Army of Spain and moved from New York to Madrid. My military experience included being a member of the US Army, NY Air National Guard, Police Department in New York, and the American Legion. During my research I discovered the American Legion has posts in some of the European Countries including one in Madrid, Spain. I also learned that about 200 American military men married Spanish women and live in the Torrejon, Madrid and other areas of Spain.

My wife and I go to Madrid four times a year to visit our family. On each visit to Madrid I look forward to meeting with some of the men who were stational at the USAF base in Torrejon, Madrid, Spain.

Regards,
Jim or Jaime in Spain
jkc1000@aol.com

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#92210 - 06/20/13 07:22 AM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: Jim Costello]
TJ Legacy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/18/13
Posts: 6
Here is an interesting article on El Descanso Bombing...more popularly known as The Rib House on base. A friend and I almost stopped and ate there that night after coming back from Sonseca but when we got there the parking lot was so full we decided to go on to Madrid. Coming back there seemed to be 100 Renault 4 Guardia Civils with their lights on coming behind me and I thought I was busted for speeding on the N-II, but they passed me. When we got to the Rib House, it was just unbelievable.

http://www.writeopinions.com/1985-el-descanso-bombing

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#92225 - 06/23/13 01:56 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: TJ Legacy]
MadridMan Offline


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Registered: 05/06/00
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#93031 - 04/02/14 12:33 PM Re: Former US Air Base in Torrejon de Ardoz [Re: pedmar]
rickmhs64 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/14
Posts: 1
Loc: florida
Beisbol in Spain! i lived in madrid & went to madrid hish school from 57-64 (family stayed until 66). dad was assigned to us embassy. i never thought i would read/hear again about the beisbol league in madrid. our team was a group of americans, great guys, terrible ball players. we totally contrasted to the team of military guys from the torrejon air base that also played the year i was played. the military guys beat everyone. we may have won a game or two but our guys were office folks with embassy or other civilian jobs and not in too good of shape (weekend games rough on them). my dad's best friend was gregorio solis, a cuban that arrived in madrid post-castro. gregorio had played minor league ball in the cardinals system and became a fixture in the spanish league, including managing the national team. i ran into him at the european baseball championships in parma italy, 1971 (i was in the army by then). gracias para las memorias!

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