Yokota High School derives its name from the Yokota family that reportedly owned most of the land that stretches from Fussa station nearly to Tachikawa station. According to legend, the family provided this portion of its holdings to the Imperial Japanese Government which transformed the cornfields and pine groves into a military base in 1938. Finished with construction in 1940, the Japanese Army called the facility Tama Army Airfield, while local residents called it Fussa Airfield. The Japanese Army used the area primarily as a test flight center during World War II, and the base remained fully operational until the end of the war. The base sustained only minor damage during the war, and US forces began operations on September 4, 1945. American dependents arrived shortly thereafter.
Qualified teachers and administrators were recruited in the spring of 1946, and the first dependent school opened September 7, 1946 at Johnson Army Base in Iramura, about 20 miles from the present location of Yokota High School. Johnson High was one of several schools whose students were absorbed when YHS opened in 1973. Other schools in the area were Tachikawa, located on what is now Showa Park, Chofu High near ASIJ, and Yamato High which is about five miles away from YHS and Narimasu.
When Yokota first opened, the concept was a “school with open doors.” Students had a modular schedule that offered as many as 27 “mods.” The principal was very progressive, and wanted a wide-open campus. At one point in these early years there were 103 different English classes offered. That modular schedule continued under the next two principals. Now, the schedule consists of fewer classes which meet for longer periods, and includes classes offered over the Internet. Panthers trace their roots over a half century.