- Since we live in this world, we have to do our best for this world. Aung San Suu Kyi
See St. Augustine Airplane Graveyard
Gutted airplanes slowly decay in a Florida field.
Close to the St. Augustine airport, behind a run down barbed wire fence that implies (though doesn’t out right state) that the land behind it is private property, rests at least eight decaying airplanes. Strewn throughout the overgrown flora, the skeletal remains of these hulking planes are slowly losing the battle with nature, painting a picture of technology overtaken.
The planes themselves are 60s and 70s naval bombers, specifically Grumman S2 Trackers. A first of their kind, they were designed to combine detection with armament for the search and destroy of submarine vessels from an aircraft carrier. These specific planes, the S-2Cs, were also equipped to perform photo reconnaissance.
They are currently owned by a man who lives in the area, and have reportedly been in the field for at least fifteen years. He stripped most of their parts, removing engines, propellers, wings, electrical devices, seats, etc. to sell back to the Grumman Corporation, then left the planes in the large yard where they have since been slowly consumed by encroaching plants.
Vines have grown through broken windows, entangling themselves with tendrils of hanging clumps of electric wires; dead leaves have taken the place of seat cushions, and the removed nose of some of the planes offers a gaping view of the field floor. Tires, wing pieces, control boxes, scraps of the plane, and the occasional beer can litter the area surrounding the decaying metal shells. Though benign enough, one can’t help but feel the sense that something very wrong happened here in order to have so many abandoned and gutted planes and parts laying about, the eerie displacement is too curious to ignore.
It is illegal to enter the premises, but a relatively easy-to-find opening in the fence has yet to stop photographers and curious passersby alike. The property is surrounded by a small neighborhood though, so caution is advised when visiting these relics.