Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields

Help Support Ruger Forum:

wheelgun1958

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
873
“History & mystery combined.”

On the following pages, you will find information on vanished or abandoned airfields & their unusual histories.



As a pilot, a particular interest of mine has always been the abandoned airfields that dot the landscape of much of this country.

Both for their potential safety value to a pilot in an emergency,

and also for their sometimes fascinating history, this particular topic has always held my curiosity.

When I'm a passenger on commercial flights,

I've always found myself looking out the window, constantly looking for airfields below.

When I fly as a pilot myself, I've always tried to land at as many airports as possible,

to learn a little about each one.

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/
 

exavid

Hunter
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Messages
3,071
I don't know when Kivalina got a runway for anything like that size. I used to fly in and out of that village with a Cessna 180 back in the sixties. The runway is laid out on sand with Marsden mats. It was about useable about 2000' feet long. Most commonly it had a strong on shore crosswind that made wet steel mats very interesting for a tail dragger. Ain't no way a C5 was on that runway. I don't believe a C47 could have done it either. Though I was told it had been done by one several years before I saw the place.

Speaking of interesting abandoned airports there are two along the coast between Kotzebue, AK and Point Hope, AK. One was the Cape Krusenstern USAF radar station about 50 miles or so NNW from Kotzebue. A real hog back across a hilltop about 2500' back when I was there after the USAF Dewline site was built in Kotzebue. I salvaged quite a few good heavy 50 gallon drums there, the good ones with rolled ends that would take a barrel pump without breaking out the bung.

About halfway between Kivalina and Point Hope is an interesting place. Cape Thompson was an Arctic Research Station but was abandoned in the late '50. There was an airstrip, several good sized buildings, barracks, mess hall, and a shop that held three Weasels. A friend of mine and I started one up but the tracks were rotten so we didn't get it very far.

There used to be two Bell P39 Aircobras on the Tundra about 100 miles East of Kotzebue. Russian lend lease aircraft enroute to Siberia that ran out of fuel in bad weather. ]

There's a lot of interesting artifacts in the odd places of the world. Kotzebue was a surprisingly interesting and great place to live when I was in my early 20s.
 

Fox Mike

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
9,829
Thanks for posting that link. I found one airport, Whipp, that was in Glen Burnie, south of Baltimore, that I had flown out of as a CAP Cadet. Never gave much thought to the 'closed' ones till now. I guess I'll go searching for a while.
 

opos

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
1,147
I've been a "subscriber" that site for quite a while...I lived and did a lot of flying around the Albuquerque area back in the mid 60's and my old Bonanza is shown at Alameda airport (gone for a long time now) in the Albuquerque area...it's amazing how many little uncontrolled airports existed for many years...little airports with a FBO or two..an awful lot of pilots got their first lessons on those kinds of facilities. Had there not been an Alameda, a Sunland in El Paso, a "restricted" strip at Los Alamos, little strips in Eastern New Mexico and into Colorado, etc I'd have done a lot of windshield time in my travels.
 

Wyandot Jim

Hawkeye
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,038
Thanks so much that was great. Saw a lot of my old fly-in airports that are now gone.
They even had a picture of our old Airway Beacon that we moved from a closed airport to our field. It has been used as Rotating Beacon since 1953. An airway marker since the 20-30s
It is a real shame that many of the old places are gone, mostly do to the housing developers.
Now about all the airports have fences and limited access to them due to our Stoopid Government. Makes it hard for Kids, as I did, and others to get interested in Aviation. With the cost and lack of interest General Aviation for most will be gone soon. Over 500 Fixed Base Operators have gone out of business in the last few years. Not that many of them to start with.
 

Bull Barrel

Hunter
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
3,279
I'll bet most folks never heard of Greater Southwest International and don't know it sits on the property of the airport that replaced it. Another political boondoggle.
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
5,036
In the early 70's I was flying a commercial puddle jumper into Eglin AFB Fl. Scatter all around were the remnants of old runways. Back in WWII a lot of training took place in that area. Most squadrons had their own strips.

Some had been repurposed, a few looked like they could still be used. If you use google maps satellite view some are still visible.

The local desert is crammed full of them. I've found several that aren't on any current maps. You can almost hear the ghosts if you come up on one and shutdown. The desert wind, the rustling of the brush and then the ghosts. Dang, I gotta get back out there. Haven't been for a couple months.
 

H.H. Hipshot

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 29, 2004
Messages
214
In the Texas, FtWorth, Northwest, there is a pretty good writeup of Hicks Field.

My dad was a flight instructor with the Civilian Pilot Training (CPT) program prior to WWII. I am not sure what his full job was at Hicks, but our family lived on Hicks Field at least after WWII until 1949. I was born in 1941, and attended first and second grades at Saginaw, Texas, near Hicks Field.

After the war, the field was covered in surplus aircraft. I had my run of the field, and spent hours in the cockpit of bombers and whatever was on the field, flipping switches, operating the controls, and listening on the dead headset.

A fire raced through the field at one time, and you could hear gas tanks exploding as the fire touched off the fumes left in the emptied tanks. Sometime later, the engines and radios were pulled from the planes, and the planes were pounded into scrap, loaded on railroad flat cars, and hauled off. It bothered me then to see the grand planes being scrapped, and I was only a wee lad.

HHH
 

tinman

Buckeye
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
1,811
I just discovered this story a short time back. Not a lost airfield, just a little known and pretty much forgotten piece of history. For those not from this area, the name Amon Carter is well know for many things, so his involvement in this comes as no surprise.....he was a "get it done" kind of a guy.

https://www.facebook.com/TracesofTexas/photos/a.162532927112178.34097.105810232784448/590166657682134/


https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fca69
 

redhawker

Buckeye
Joined
May 23, 2009
Messages
1,382
There are several listed in the south pacific. Just for curiosity sake, a while back, I went on google earth and looked around some of the little tiny islands and atolls and it was amazing how many of them had airfields or remnants of airfields (likely from WWII). Many more then were listed on this web site.
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
5,036
redhawker said:
There are several listed in the south pacific. Just for curiosity sake, a while back, I went on google earth and looked around some of the little tiny islands and atolls and it was amazing how many of them had airfields or remnants of airfields (likely from WWII). Many more then were listed on this web site.

Depending on where, they might not have been Allied airfields. Just a thought.
 

redhawker

Buckeye
Joined
May 23, 2009
Messages
1,382
Jeepnik said:
redhawker said:
There are several listed in the south pacific. Just for curiosity sake, a while back, I went on google earth and looked around some of the little tiny islands and atolls and it was amazing how many of them had airfields or remnants of airfields (likely from WWII). Many more then were listed on this web site.

Depending on where, they might not have been Allied airfields. Just a thought.

That is very possible too.
 

CATI1835

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Messages
7
Not an abandoned airfield, just a priceless supply of abandoned aircraft. AMARC.
http://www.amarcexperience.com/ui/index.php?option=com_content&view=featured&Itemid=101

1200px-thumbnail.jpg
 

737tdi

Hunter
Joined
May 31, 2006
Messages
2,316
Bull Barrel said:
I'll bet most folks never heard of Greater Southwest International and don't know it sits on the property of the airport that replaced it. Another political boondoggle.



I remember it. Want to see something cool? Go to Google Maps or Google Earth. Search DFW Intl airport. Scroll south down the road going into the airport until you see Hwy. 183. Look a little west and you will see a remnant of that airport. I would link it but I have never figured out how to do it off of Google Maps. Interesting that a little piece still remains.

Karl
 

Bull Barrel

Hunter
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
3,279
There is a pic of the last remaining piece ofthe runway on the aforementioned website.
The terminal was used for some scenes in a movie, can't remember the name. After the airport was closed it was used for pilot training by the airlines. This is where they learned about wake votices. A DC9 was following a widebody and crashed.
 

Bull Barrel

Hunter
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
3,279
RIP to my old aerodrome, 3SQ, St. Charles Airport. The owner of the property wouldn't renew the property lease because he was one of the developers of a nearby subdivision. The downwind for rwy 27 went over the subdivision. The airport changed the pattern to no avail. The runway was torn up and used as the base for the rebuilding of the road past the airport.
The FBO moved to the County owned airport 4 miles away.
 

tinman

Buckeye
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
1,811
Bull Barrel said:
RIP to my old aerodrome, 3SQ, St. Charles Airport. The owner of the property wouldn't renew the property lease because he was one of the developers of a nearby subdivision. The downwind for rwy 27 went over the subdivision. The airport changed the pattern to no avail. The runway was torn up and used as the base for the rebuilding of the road past the airport.
The FBO moved to the County owned airport 4 miles away.


If it's the same one I'm thinking of, I used to live about a mile from there, in South Shore........small world. 8)
 

Latest posts

Top