Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Southeastern Arkansas

© 2002, © 2013 by Paul Freeman. Revised 12/7/13.

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Erwin Aux AAF (revised 12/2/12) - Milltown Aux AAF (revised 12/7/13)

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Erwin Auxiliary Army Airfield / Erwin MCAF Auxiliary, Newport, AR

35.57 North / 91.25 West (Northwest of Memphis, TN)

A 4/14/43 aerial view looking north at the “Newport MCAF Auxiliary (Erwin Field)”

from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).



This airfield was one of 2 satellite fields

which were constructed during WW2 for the use of Newport Army Airfield (several miles northeast),

which conducted training as part of the 70,000 Pilot Training Program.

 

The date of construction of Erwin is unknown.

It was apparently built at some point between 1937-43,

as it was not listed among active airfields in The Airport Directory Company's

1937 Airports Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).

The earliest depiction of the Erwin airfield which has been located

was a 4/14/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

It depicted “Newport MCAF Auxiliary (Erwin Field)”

as having 2 paved runways with parallel taxiways.



The 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)

described Erwin as having a 4,500' hard-surfaced runway,

and the remarks said, "Aux to Newport AAF."



Newport AAF was closed by the Army in 1944 & turned over to the Marine Corps,

which operated SBD, SB2C, and PBJ squadrons from the field.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described “Newport MCAF Auxiliary (Erwin Field)”

as a 501 acre rectangular property having 2 asphalt 4,500' runways, oriented northeast/southwest & northwest/southeast.

The field was not said to have any runways,

to be owned by the U.S. Government, and operated by the Marine Corps.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction of the Erwin airfield which has been located

was on the October 1945 Little Rock Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



Erwin” was still depicted as an auxiliary airfield on the September 1946 Little Rock Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



"Erwin AF" was depicted on the January 1949 Little Rock Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The February 1956 Little Rock Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted "Erwin AF" as having a 4,500 unpaved runway.

 

The Erwin airfield was apparently abandoned at some point after 1956.



Claud Pipkin recalled, “My Grandfather, from the early 1950s to the mid 1960s was a Dodge-Plymouth dealer in Newport.

I think he bought the Erwin Auxiliary airfield & farmed it... perhaps I should say he tried to farm it.

The land around it grew crops OK but the old airstrip just seem to defy all efforts.

To my knowledge he never mentioned that the airstrip was ever paved.

Of course it had been heavily tamped (with sheep-foot rollers I'm sure).

My Dad & I went to see it once with Granddad.

Being a airplane nut, even at that age, I had to know all about it.

He stated that it was a practice landing field for the B-25 pilot trainees from the main training field at Newport.”



The 1962 USGS topo map depicted the Erwin field as “Airport (Abandoned)”,

and depicted it as having 2 runways, each with a parallel taxiway.

Four small buildings were depicted on the runways at the center of the field.



The Erwin airfield was was labeled "Abandoned airport"

on the July 1964 Little Rock Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The 1981 USGS topo map depicted the Erwin field as “Airport (Abandoned)”,

and depicted it as having 2 runways, each with a parallel taxiway.

Six small buildings were depicted on the runways at the center of the field.



As seen in the 1994 USGS aerial photo,

the airfield consists of two 5,000' runways, each of which has a parallel taxiway.

The remains of the runways & taxiways were still plainly evident, though somewhat deteriorated.

Several buildings (for agricultural use?) had been placed over the former runways since the field's closure.



A 1/11/06 aerial view looking northwest showed 2 runways remaining recognizable at the site of the Erwin airfield.



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Milltown Auxiliary Army Airfield / Milltown MCAF Auxiliary, Tuckerman, AR

35.73 North / 91.11 West (Northwest of Memphis, TN)

A 4/14/43 aerial view looking north at the “Newport MCAF Auxiliary (Milltown Field)”

from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).



This airfield was one of 2 satellite fields

which were constructed during WW2 for the use of Newport Army Airfield (located a few miles to the southwest),

which conducted training as part of the 70,000 Pilot Training Program.

 

The date of construction of Milltown is unknown.

It was apparently built at some point between 1937-43,

as it was not listed among active airfields in The Airport Directory Company's

1937 Airports Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).

The earliest depiction of the Milltown airfield which has been located

was a 4/14/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

It depicted “Newport MCAF Auxiliary (Milltown Field)”

as having 2 paved runways with parallel taxiways.



The April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)

described the Milltown field as having a 4,500' hard-surfaced runway,

and the remarks said, "Aux to Newport AAF."



Newport was closed by the Army in 1944 & turned over to the Marine Corps,

which operated SBD, SB2C, and PBJ squadrons from the field.

Milltown was also reused by the Marines, to conduct Field Carrier Landing Practice.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described “Newport MCAF Auxiliary (Milltown Field)”

as a 480 acre rectangular property having 2 asphalt 4,500' runways, oriented northeast/southwest & northwest/southeast.

The field was not said to have any runways,

to be owned by the U.S. Government, and operated by the Marine Corps.



The date of Milltowns's closure by the military is unknown,

but it was most likely abandoned immediately after the end of WW2,

as was the case with many satellite airfields.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction of the Milltown airfield which has been located

was on the October 1945 Little Rock Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The last aeronautical chart depiction of the Milltown airfield which has been located

was on the September 1946 Little Rock Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



Milltown's parent military airfield, MCAAF Newport, was deeded to the city of Newport in 1947.



The Milltown airfield was evidently abandoned at some point between 1946-49,

as it was no longer depicted at all on the January 1949 Little Rock Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

or subsequent Sectional Charts.



A 1/25/64 USGS aerial photo showed the configuration of the Milltown runways to remain recognizable but deteriorated.



A portion of the Milltown airfield may have seen some later reuse as a civilian airfield,

as a 2,000' portion of the southwest end of the northeast/southwest runway

was labeled "Oil Trough Landing Strip" on the 1980 USGS topo map.

The northeastern end of the runway was labeled as the "Parsley Reservoir".



Milltown was not listed among active airfields in the 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury).



As seen in the 1994 USGS aerial photo,

the Milltown airfield consisted of two 5,000' runways, each of which had a parallel taxiway.

This is exactly the same runway configuration as Erwin Aux AAF,

another one of the former Newport auxiliary airfields.

The remains of the runways & taxiways were still plainly evident, though somewhat deteriorated.

The southwest end of the northeast/southwest runway

was apparently reused for civil aviation, as it is in noticeably better condition than the remainder of the original runway.

The northeast end of that runway (labeled on the 1980 topo map as the "Parsley Reservoir")

did not appear to be a reservoir in the 1994 aerial photo.



The airfield at Milltown was no longer depicted at all (even as an abandoned airfield) on 2002 aeronautical charts.



A 1/11/06 aerial view looking northeast showed 2 runways remaining recognizable at the site of the Milltown airfield.



The site of Milltown Aux AAF is located north of Route 73, five miles east of Tuckerman.



Thanks to Joe Benson for pointing out this airfield.



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