George Air Force Base, CA

EPA Superfund ID: CA2570024453

Potential Media Affected

Aquifer Used For Drinking Water Supply, Contaminated Surface / Structure, Indoor Air, Soil, Soil Vapor

Potential Contaminants of Concern

Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM), Aviation, Benzene, Chlordane, Diesel, Explosives, unexploded ordnance (UXO), munitions and explosives of concern (MEC), Gasoline, Heating Oil / Fuel Oil, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) / tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) / and Other Fuel Oxygenates, Munitions Debris (MD), Nitrate, Other Insecticides / Pesticide / Fumigants / Herbicides, Other Petroleum, Other Solvent Or Non-Petroleum Hydrocarbon, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBS), Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHS), Radioactive Isotopes, Tetrachloroethylene (PCE), Toluene, Trichloroethylene (TCE), Vinyl Chloride, Waste Oil / Motor / Hydraulic / Lubricating, Xylene

Source: California Regional Water Quality Control Board – Lahontan

For more information see: George Air Force Base, CA – Hazardous Toxic & Radioactive Waste (HTRW)


I am not a doctor or attorney, and cannot give medical advice or legal advice.

If you, a friend, or loved one has been injured or died as a result of the contamination at a DOD Superfund Site please follow the steps that are outlined at Get Help.

The views and opinions expressed in this website/articles are those of the authors and
do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the U.S. government

17 Comments

  1. I was stationed at George AFB from 1966 to 1969. I was low ranking and lived in the barracks for about 2 months and then got married and lived in Victorville or Hesperia for the rest of my time in the military. My now ex wife was a full time babysitter for a Master Sargent Helton for 2and a half years. During our time at George we had a Stillborn Baby and two Miscarriages. No medical history or family problems with my wife prior to this. Over this weekend is when I first discovered the George AFB problems! This is an outrage. I will be searching Monday for an attorney starting the process to see if I have any recourse. My ex wife has been inconsolable since the moment I shared this information with her. Ray Cook

    • I was at George Air Force base from 1969 to 1971 I was discharged early due to lower back pain and since then I’ve been out I’ve developed high blood pressure, diabetes,psoriasis, Glaucoma, knee pains shoulder and joint pains I applied for disability since 2009 and since then I’ve filed 3 more times each time I’ve been denied if anyone knows anyone that can help me such as any lawyers to help me get disability I waited years before I filed because I didn’t know I had this in me until I started going to doctors. I went to the doctors at George Air Force base complaing that I couldn’t sleep or would wake up tired – Johnny Jones

  2. My name is Terri Kristl Crooks, I was active duty assigned to George AFB from July 1980 until March 1982 living in the enlisted barracks and then as a dependent lived in base housing there until January 1985. This is a review of my story about George AFB and how I found out about “the toxic base” and ultimately won my claim for VA Service connection for health conditions associated with exposure to toxic chemicals, specifically the pesticides used while my family and I were at George AFB.

    My husband was on Facebook approximately 15 months ago, actually on the George AFB page that he is a member of when he came across a page/article that Frank Vera had posted about the “toxic Bases” and the fact that George AFB was on the EPA Super Fund site lists. He called for me to come see what he was reading. At first I was shocked and then the more I read, the angrier I became. For years I had been diagnosed with some significant health conditions that resulted in a couple of major surgeries and the fact that while stationed at George AFB had given birth to a really wonderful all be it premature son. My son was born 13 weeks premature and I had always wondered what could I have done differently or better that would have kept this from happening. Anyways, back to the toxic chemicals. I started to research the chemicals by first going to the EPA Super Fund site and getting the list of chemicals of concern as that was the easiest way to start. I became obsessed with finding out about these chemicals, what the potential harm was and based on my own health issues could these chemicals have caused my health issues. I also pulled out the copies of my own treatment records of which I had made a complete copy of just before my husband retired. I made another copy of them and started highlighting the copy with a magic marker for each instance where in the case of my breast cancer where suspicious lumps and surgeries occurred and was able to show that the suspicious lumps started within 6 months of being stationed at George AFB. As for the other health issues, I suffered for 8 years with GYN issues, and finally required a hysterectomy, again the issues all could be traced back to exposure to the chemicals sprayed in the George AFB housing. Once I had all the information from my records together, I searched on line and found VA rating decisions for exposure to these chemicals as well. I actually used 1 rating decision as supporting documentation when I submitted my claim for VA disability compensation. I also GOOGLED and found a copy of a NEXUS letter which is key to winning a claim for disability with the Department of VA. The NEXUS letter is written by an individuals’ primary care physician and provides a statement where the doctor states that there is, “as likely as not” an association between the health condition and the exposure to the pesticides/chemicals.

    Once I had all the documents including the Housing Deed Restrictions (all which are public info, you just need to know where to locate them which can be frustrating and time consuming), my military treatment records, rating decisions that I was able to find on line, I uploaded approximately 100 pages of supporting documents along with my letter to submit the claim for VA disability. The frustrating part of this is the fact that 7 years ago I had applied for disability for the hysterectomy and been denied even though the surgery records for both the hysterectomy and bilateral mastectomies were both sitting on file at the VA hospital in Tucson AZ. I find it interesting that the records are at the VA in Tucson AZ given the fact that I was not receiving any form of VA disability at the time.

    I waited approximately 9 months and started looking at the Department of VA processing time reports for claims. In their weekly reports they show that they are processing claims in approximately 125 days. I thought that was interesting at that point given the fact that my claim had been pending for 9 months and I hadn’t heard anything so I sent an email to the Secretary of the VA, Robert McDonald and asked him why the disparity in what is being reported for their performance measures and the actuality of what is being done. Within 1 week of sending that email I received a call from one of the VBA Compensation and Pension at Des Moines Iowa, where my claim had been sent even though I live in Florida, telling me that a Comp & Penn examination would be set up for me. The exam would take place in Orlando FL because that was the closest to me. It did take about 45 days for Orlando to have an opening for an appointment because they are so backlogged but I did get my appointment. The good news is that 10 days after my exam, that’s right 10 days; I received a call from Iowa telling me that they had settled my claim and I was being awarded 70% VA Disability for my 2 health conditions and 0% for the scars associated with the surgeries (there are lots of scars from the mastectomies and reconstruction). I was shocked that it all happened that quickly once I had the C&P exam. I will tell you that I am also in the middle of an appeal because I opened this claim “with new and pertinent” information that automatically created an appeal because of being denied 7 years ago. I feel that the VA created a “clear and unmistakable error” and so the appeal is pending. I will continue to send emails to the Secretary of VA, the Deputy Secretary of VA and the Secretary of the Air Force if that is what it takes. For me, it’s not the money, it’s the acknowledgement and the acceptance of responsibility for what was done.

    VA C&P Decision (PDF)

    • Hello Terri,

      I am writing because I have suffered many agonizing years with female reproductive and gynecological problems, had a hysterectomy in 2007 and have never been able to conceive children because of it. I began having significant gyn issues when I was stationed at George AFB in Victorville, CA from 1982 – 1984. I am 52 years old now and at the time I was 19 years old. I have spent years experiencing surgeries, infertility, and endometriosis, etc and never understood why I was having so many problems. I stumbled recently upon internet news articles as well as submissions from other women who stated they have had miscarriages, infertility, and other gyn issues due to toxic waste at George AFB during the same period of time I was there. I further discovered that George AFB is considered a Superfund site and there have been many women who have experienced similar health problems. I have recently filed a claim with the VA and was denied. I am hoping that you can provide me with some information on the NEXUS letter or any other information that may help me.

      Thank you for your story!!

      Patricia

  3. I was stationed at George AFB from Nov. 1987 to April 1990. I had one miscarriage there and started getting headaches that would result in my throwing up. I have had a total of 7 miscarriages and I had a brain tumor removed in 1993 after the frequency went from monthly to daily. I knew of several women that had miscarriages and one mom/baby who died because the hospital did not treat her for a uterine abruption but sent her home to bleed out. Now as an OB nurse I know what a miscarriage can do to a woman and her family besides my own experiences. I have started going to the VA for PTSD related to MST at Chanute and George. I don’t get the appointment system the letters and numbers on the appointment cards mean nothing to someone who has been a civilian for the last 25 years. As an RN, if we gave patients the same treatment I have experienced, I wouldn’t blame them for not coming back. Scare them off and leave them hopeless seems to be the motto of the VA admin. I love my counselor and she is wonderful but she was not aware that I had now idea how to navigate the system. Why and how would I? No classes or understandable instructions. This is very dangerous for people who have mental illness and suicidal issues. I want to be brave, resourceful and resilient. I pray that I can find it in me to face this system and persevere. Gut feeling is that the VA adm. is betting against me. That is a crappy feeling for someone who depended on the military to have your back and has already failed big time.

  4. My name is G. A. In October 1981, at age 17, I was assigned to George AFB, CA (active duty). I attended a briefing by the base hospital as part of the INTRO program for newly assigned personnel. During that briefing, females (both military and civilian) were told to consider not getting pregnant while at George, because they had a “high infant mortality rate”. No reason was given. I was stationed at George AFB for four years. Years later, when I tried to get pregnant, I was unable to. When I became pregnant at age 29, I had a miscarriage. Ultimately, I was never able to have a child.

    I recall the wife of one of my co-workers had several miscarriages and was never able to have a child, as well.

    G. A., MSgt, USAFR, Retired

  5. My name is Brigitte Leehr (Jones), I lived on George AFB from 1976 – 1979. I was a dependent child and we lived on base housing during those years. We were deployed to Lakenheath England in 1979 and within a few months I became ill and was diagnosed with cancer of the Appendix. I was 17 years old. Throughout my 20’s I suffered with ovarian cysts and fibroids and endometriosis and eventually had a hysterectomy in my 30’s. I’m not sure if it’s related but I remember a staple drink for us kids at GAFB was cool-aid made with tap water. My mother also grew some fruits and veggies in our back yard that we ate in spring and summer months. Tap water was always used with cooking and of course bathing etc. Water fountains were always accessible on base. I did have a daughter in my late 20’s she suffers with some autoimmune problems but basically leads a healthy life. My mother ended up with a brain Tumor many years later and remains debilitated in a nursing home to this day. My father passed away many years ago. I am grateful to be living a healthy and happy life now.

    • Hi Brigitte Thank you for sharing your story . I too lived on George as a dependent from 1973 to 1982 we lived on Montana Street we drank plenty of water , played in the dirt and took lots and lots of baths in that water. My mother got Cancer first Lung Cancer she was in remission twice but during one remission my father was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. He died 9 months later . My mother was told the cancer came back the last time and that it had moved from her lungs to her brain …she fought a good fight but died in 2008. a year later my older sister founf out she had inflamitory breast cancer and past away as well. My olde Brother has had Throat cancer but Thank God he is clear as far as we know after chemo…My younger sister Christeen and I have not had cancer but other problems just hoeing and praying nothing terminal or too debilitating happens everyday. I really loved the TIME our family was at George ..when I think of all the memories ..but I never thought the whole time the place was killing off my family.
      Something needs to be done! I will be praying for all of us

  6. My name is D G, I lived at George AFB as a child of an active duty soldier. I lived there from 83 to 91, at 238 Oregon St. I/m 36 years of age and suffer from equilibrium/balance issues. Uneven hearing loss, tinnitus, migraines, depression, and anxiety. No one in my family suffers from all these issues. The current hypothesis is that I have Meniere’s disease. However, there is some doubt about that since my hearing loss is opposite of the usual pattern for the illness. Separate from this around 86-87 our house was tented and treated for termites. Later around 90 I remember being told about asbestos being in our house. In fact my father made the comment that our house was not fit for habitation, and would should be condemned. Not sure where he got this information from. His name is Donald G. and was a private all the way to SSgt during our stay at George.

  7. My name is Lorie Clark, I was stationed at George AFB from 1980-1983. I lived in base housing from 1981-1983. My husband at the time and two daughters lived there. One was born at the hospital and the other in Apple Valley. I have the following health issues: Low Thyroid (hypothyroidism) and medicated for life, Endometriosis, Uterine and Breast Fibroids, Raynaud’s Syndrome, Migraines, Osteopenia and on Fosamax, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety and Depression and lastly Insomnia. I worked in 35th and 37th CRS in Avionics AGE. My older daughter has Migraines, Muscle and joint pain, Anxiety, PMDD, Miscarriage and Dermoid Cyst on her ovary. My younger daughter has Migraines, Fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s, Anxiety and Depression, Sjogren’s syndrome and Miscarriage plus her last and current pregnancy are high risk. I can’t help but think after finding out about the Superfund that these toxic exposures has affected mine and my family’s health.

  8. My brother was station there there was you can tell things change he said he wanted out of calfornia something was not the same so when we got the call in 1981 that something went down and when the guy brings him in his coffen the man bring back said there alot of secrets going on he can’t talk about because ?so years later look at this find my brother air force and seen this I bet my poor brother went trough hell had a lot on his shoulders I bet he knew about this and did not know how to talk about whit out mess his self and then he died 1981 and it went down weird

  9. I have worked at Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) since 2006 as a civilian. I have been diagnosed with stage 3 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I probably have been exposed to all the bad chemicals and radiation that is in the above articles.It is unbelievable that there are no signs or warnings nor any training for civilian workers about this “super fund site.” If you are a tenant here at the airport, you could be in extreme danger to your health and not even know it.

    Maybe if the budget allows they can afford to put up a few warning signs for all us civilians working at the airport.

  10. This is crazy! I’ve been telling people the story of when I lived at George AFB and took a group of kids to the radioactive pond beyond the barbwire fence in the back of the base, we caught frogs and brought them back to our houses, there was a old shot up vehicle, dead animal skeletons, and the pond was radiator green fluid glowing like, and now in my 30’s I’m having crazy health issues! I’m going to look into this!

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