“Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:
© 2002, © 2013 by Paul Freeman. Revised 3/20/13.
Acushnet Airport (revised 6/17/11) - Chatham Naval Air Station (revised 3/20/13) - Fall River Municipal (revised 12/31/12)
Falmouth Airport / Coonamessett Airport (revised 3/29/11) - No Man's Land Navy Airfield (revised 1/3/10)
North Middleboro Airpark (revised 11/12/09) - Oak Bluffs Airport / Trade Wind Airport (added 1/3/13) - (Original) Providence Airport (revised 9/4/11)
Chatham Naval Air Station, Chatham, MA
41.72 North / 69.96 West (South of Boston, MA)
A Summer 1919 aerial view looking west at a Navy B-class airship flying over Chatham NAS.
In the early days of the First World War, as German U-Boats began to get more emboldened by their successes,
it became apparent to many that the United States would soon enter the war.
As a result, the Department of the Navy planned 6 new Naval Air Stations on the East Coast.
Chatham Naval Air Station was planned to occupy 36 acres on Nickerson Neck, next to Pleasant Bay.
Before the United States even entered World War I, construction of Chatham Naval Air Station was beginning.
The original plans called for living quarters for officers & enlisted men, hangars, a gas holder, boat house,
hospital, pigeon loft, repair shops, garage & assorted storage & maintenance buildings.
Pipes were laid in trenches & the nearest fresh water source was 3.5 miles away.
By October 1917, the barracks & mess hall were ready for furniture & galley equipment. The resulting structures could handle about 100 men.
That same month, the flag pole was placed & 3,000 people were in attendance for its first raising.
In November, the United States entered the war. In December, the skeleton of the blimp hangar was finished & wooden slats were soon covering them.
Concrete was then set to be poured for the hangar floors. This was complicated by the fact that it was one of the coldest winters that year.
As a result, the concrete was poured & protected by tar paper & hot sand. The base was commissioned on 1/6/18.
By then, many buildings were ready for occupancy & by mid-March, four Curtiss R-9s were delivered to the Chatham train station.
They were assembled & the first flight was made by Lt. McKitterick on March 25.
In July, 4 Curtiss HS-1L flying boats were delivered to the depot & trucked to the base.
These aircraft were so urgently needed that they were put into service almost immediately.
The addition of these aircraft increased the time available to patrols from dawn to dusk.
Two patrol areas, aptly named Areas A & B were then created: Area A was to the north while Area B was to the south.
Planes always went in pairs with one plane carrying a radio transmitter. The plane with the transmitter was required to radio in a location every 10 minutes.
Both planes carried 2 homing pigeons for emergency communication with the base, and the birds had been trained for either the north patrol or the south patrol.
Thus they could not be transferred from one area to another.
Planes were equipped with emergency rations & water for 3 days, a flashlight, flare pistol with red & green cartridges, a sea anchor, life preservers, signal book & local charts.
Patrols took place at 1,000' with the purpose to protect the shipping in a defined area.
Often the planes would circle around a ship for hours while looking for U-Boats after picking up the vessel in a predetermined location.
While the 2 planes were out on patrol, 2 other planes & their fliers were on standby at the station, ready to assist should a plane radio in a distress call.
If the planes & men could get airborne within seven minutes, they were considered to be within the acceptable range of response time.
Eventually blimps were used to help in the patrol process.
With their cruising speed of 35 mph & a range of 900 miles, they were a useful asset in the patrols.
The earliest dated photo which has been located of Chatham NAS was a Summer 1919 aerial view looking northwest at a Navy B-class airship overflying the station.
One of highlight's of the station's service was when a report came in of the shelling of nearby Nauset Beach.
Nine Curtiss HS-2Ls were dispatched to bomb the submarine that had already sunk 5 ships & was proceeding to start shelling Orleans.
Either the resulting bombs were duds or they missed, and the U-boat got away.
An undated (circa 1918-22) aerial view looking west at the extensive aviation facilities at Chatham (courtesy of Roger Pinel),
showing at least 4 flying boats on the ramp in front of the hangars in the foreground,
and the airship hangar at the top-left.
An undated (circa 1918-22) photo of a Navy B-class airship flying over Chatham NAS (courtesy of Roger Pinel).
According to the book “Wings Over Cape Cod” by Joseph Buckey (courtesy of Roger Pinel),
an auction was held on 6/29/22 of surplus assets at Chatham,
including 3 HS flying boats which had been stored inside one of Chatham's hangars since 1920.
Chatham NAS was closed on 12/31/22.
By 1927, all of the buildings had been sold except for 3 hangars & the gatehouse.
Chatham saw some brief aviation re-use in 1930,
when the Goodyear blimps Defender & Mayflower operated from Chatham, as well as the commercial blimp Neponset.
Chatham NAS was not depicted on a 1935 Regional Aeronautical Chart.
Chatham was removed from consideration for bases re-activated in the pre-WW2 buildup.
Nothing was depicted at the Chatham NAS site on the 1947 USGS topo map.
The property was finally sold to private parties in 1948,
and to a contractor in 1956 who eventually covered the site with houses.
All of the buildings of Chatham NAS were evidently removed at some point between 1922 & the 1950s,
as a circa 1950s aerial view looking west (courtesy of Roger Pinel) showed the site had been scraped clean, with only the ramps & foundations of the hangars remaining.
Housing was built over the site of Chatham NAS at some point between the 1950s & 1979.
In 1979, a stone memorial was placed at the end of Strong Island Road to commemorate the NC-4 flight.
In the 1980s, two PBYs retraced the famous flight that passed by the station.
A 1995 USGS aerial view looking west showed a house had been built over Chatham's seaplane ramp, and other housing covered the remainder of the site.
An August 2000 aerial view looking west (courtesy of Roger Pinel) showed Chatham's seaplane ramp remained recognizable (although with a house on top of it).
A circa 2010 aerial view looking west at the house built on top of Chatham's seaplane ramp.
The site of Chatham NAS is located at the eastern terminus of Eastward Road.
Wings Over Cape Cod by Joseph Buckley
Oak Bluffs Airport (B18) / Trade Wind Airport (MA44), Oak Bluffs, MA
41.44 North / 70.57 West (South of Boston, MA)
Oak Bluffs Airport, as depicted on the 1951 USGS topo map.
The date of establishment of this little general aviation airport on the north side of Martha's Vineyard has not been determined.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Oak Bluffs Airport was a 1938 aerial photo, which showed 2 wide-open grass runways.
There were no buildings or other improvements, nor any aircraft visible on the field.
Oak Bluffs Airport was not listed among active airfields in the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock);
it was presumably closed during the war, like many other small civilian airports near the coasts.
The earliest map depiction which has been located of Oak Bluffs Airport was on the 1951 USGS topo map.
It depicted Oak Bluffs Airport as an open area with 4 small buildings along the northwest side.
A 1969 aerial photo showed Oak Bluffs having 2 runways (more narrow than in the 1938 photo).
Two hangars were visible along the northwest side, but no planes were visible.
A 1971 aerial photo showed Oak Bluffs Airport perhaps at its zenith of popularity,
with 8 single-engine planes parked to the southwest of the northwest/southeast runway.
The earliest photo which is available of Oak Bluffs Airport was a 7/1/77 USGS aerial view.
It showed the field to have 2 unpaved runways, with some small buildings along the road on the northwest side.
At some point between 1951-79, it was evidently renamed Trade Wind Airport,
as that is how it was depicted on the 1979 USGS topo map.
It depicted the field as having 2 unpaved runways, with 4 small buildings along the northwest side.
Ted Stanley recalled of Trade Wind Airport, “One of my logbooks [has] an entry on 9/4/79 of a 'round robin' flight in N98370
which was a J3 Cub owned by Carolyn Cullen (former owner of the airfield).
She made the entry as a Certified Flight Instructor & I used B18 as the identifier. At one time I kept an ultralight there.”
A 3/10/95 USGS aerial photo showed a small closed-runway X symbol having been added to both ends of the northwest/southeast runway.
The airport & its buildings were otherwise intact, but there were no planes visible.
A circa 2008 aerial view looking north at the west end of Oak Bluffs Airport showed a hangar on the northwest side of the runway
with “Oak Bluffs” & a phone number painted on the roof, and a truck in the parking lot.
Another hangar on the southwest side of the runway had a wind sock.
But the runway was marked with a closed X symbol, and there was no sign of any aircraft.
A 4/3/09 map of “Trade Wind Fields Preserve” by the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Commission
labeled the northeast/southwest runway as the “active runway”, whereas the former northwest/southeast runway was labeled as the “taxiway”.
A circa 2011 photo looking southeast along Oak Bluff's southeast/northwest runway showed a hangar on the southwest side of the runway with a wind sock.
As of 2011 Trade Wind Airport was still listed with the FAA as a private airfield.
David Gray reported in 2012, “From the looks of the crumbling hangar it once was a beauty of a small field.”
Although some reports have indicated President Obama may have flown into Oak Bluffs in Marine One,
that may actually have referred to landings at the main Martha's Vineyard Airport.
Trade Wind Airport was evidently closed at some point between 2011-2012,
as it was no longer listed with the FAA as an active airfield as of 2012.
As of 2012 the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Commission described the status of the “Trade Wind Fields Preserve” as:
“A portion of the property continues to be used as an airstrip but landings are few.
Pilots are welcome to land here but must receive in advance a permission-to-land slip; details may be obtained by telephoning the land bank office.”
Trade Wind Airport is located east of the intersection of County Road & Tradewinds Road.
Falmouth Airport / Coonamessett Airport, Hatchville, MA
41.64 North / 70.56 West (South of Boston, MA)
Falmouth Airport, as depicted on the 1943 USGS topo map (courtesy of Kevin Rutherford).
This general aviation airport was located adjacent to the south side of Camp Edwards (later to be Otis AFB).
The date of establishment of Falmouth Airport has not been determined.
The airport was evidently established by the Coonamessett Ranch Company,
which by 1933 had established a resort, including an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, polo field, tennis courts, riding stable,
an airport on the north side of Coonamessett Road, and seaplanes on Coonamessett Pond.
The earliest depiction of the airfield which has been located was on the 1943 USGS topo map (courtesy of Kevin Rutherford).
It depicted Falmouth Airport as having 2 small buildings in the middle of an open clearing.
The 1945 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss) depicted Falmouth as an auxiliary airfield.
However, Fallmouth was not listed among active airfields in the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
The earliest photo which has been located of the Falmouth Airport
was a 1950 aerial view (from the Falmouth GIS system, courtesy of Kevin Rutherford)
showed the field to have an open grass area with a circular airfield symbol in the center,
with the predominant runway appearing to be northeast/southwest.
A hangar & a few smaller buildings sat along the southeast side,
near which were 2 light single-engine aircraft.
At some point between 1945-53, it was evidently renamed Coonamessett Airport,
as that is how it was depicted on the 1953 USGS topo map.
It continued to depicted the field as 2 small buildings in the middle of an open clearing.
An undated matchbook from the “Coonamessett Ranch Airport”, proclaimed as “The Friendly Airport”.
In 1958, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife bought 1,562 acres (including the Coonamessett Airport) for $77,500.
This land was eventually to become the core of the 2,000-acre Frances A. Crane Wildlife Management Area.
The last photo which has been located showing the Coonamessett Airport in use
was a 1960 aerial view (from the Falmouth GIS system, courtesy of Kevin Rutherford).
Compared to the 1950 photo, the primary runway had been extended further to the southwest,
but what appears to be a baseball stadium had been built adjacent to the south entrance of the airport.
A total of at least 9 light single-engine aircraft were visible on the ramp.
The Coonamessett Airport evidently continued in operation for a few years after the property sale,
as the 1965 Boston Sectional Chart depicted Coonamessett Airport, with a 3,700' unpaved runway.
The Coonamessett Airport might have been closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1965-68,
as a 1968 aerial view (from the Falmouth GIS system, courtesy of Kevin Rutherford) no longer showed any aircraft on the field,
and the hangar had been removed at some point between 1960-68.
The Coonamessett Airport was evidently closed by 1979,
as the clearing of the former runway area was still depicted on the 1979 USGS topo map,
but the property was no longer labeled.
The site of the former airport was labeled “Crane State Wildlife Management Area” on the 1994 USGS topo map.
The outlines of several grass runways were still apparent in the 1995 USGS aerial photo,
along with a rectangular foundation of a former building (hangar?).
Jeffrey Geibel reported in 2003, “Ironically, this site is now used for Cape Cod radio-controlled [model] airplane meets.”
A July 29, 2007 aerial view showed the recognizable outline of at least 2 former grass runways,
as well as a rectangular concrete foundation of at least one building just south of the runway intersection.
The site of the Coonamessett Airport is located north of the intersection of Route 151 & Ranch Road.
Acushnet Airport, Acushnet, MA
41.68 North / 70.89 West (South of Boston, MA)
The Acushnet Airport, as depicted on the June 1959 Boston Local Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
Photo of the airport while open not located.
This short-lived little general aviation airport apparently lasted only 7 years or less.
According to Pam Nault, the Acushnet Airport was “built, owned, and operated” by her father-in-law, Raymond Nault.
“It was cleared from the middle of a woods, near a blue stone quarry.
He says he began clearing it about 1952.”
The Acushnet Airport was not depicted on the 1958 USGS topo map.
According to Acushnet Airport owner Raymond Nault, “it was in operation until about 1958-59.”
The earliest depiction of the airfield which has been located
was on the June 1959 Boston Local Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted Acushnet as a public-use airfield, having a 1,700' unpaved runway.
The earliest photo which has been located of the Acushnet Airport was a 1961 aerial view.
It depicted Acushnet as having a single grass north/south runway, with one small hangar on the east side.
No aircraft were visible on the field.
The Acushnet Airport was no longer depicted at all on the 1965 Boston Sectional Chart, or the 1969 USGS topo map.
A 1971 aerial photo showed Acushnet's runway remained clear, but the hangar had been removed at some point between 1961-71.
The 1995 USGS aerial photo showed the runway area had been dug up for a gravel pit, leaving no trace of Acushnet Airport.
A 5/1/10 aerial view showed a gravel pit covering the site of Acushnet Airport.
The site of the Acushnet Airport is located at the southern terminus of Wing Lane.
(Original) Providence Airport, Seekonk, MA
41.78 North / 71.3 West (Southeast of Providence, RI)
The original Providence Airport,
as depicted on the 1929 Rand-McNally Air Trails Map of Massachusetts (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The original municipal airport for the town of Providence, Rhode Island
was actually located just over the state line in Massachusetts.
The date of construction of the original Providence Airport has not been determined.
The earliest depiction of the airfield which has been located
was on the 1929 Rand-McNally Air Trails Map of Massachusetts (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It described Providence as a commercial airport,
operated by "Providence - Fall River Air Trp., Inc.".
The field was said to be 2,000' x 1,500' in size.
The original Providence Airport was depicted as an irregularly-shaped outline
on the 1934 Navy Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The 1937 Massachussetts Committee for Aeronautics Progress Report (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling)
described Providence Airport as a commercial airport, consisting of an irregularly-shaped 82 acres,
with a sod all-way landing area, with the longest distance being 1,400' east/west.
The field was said to have 2 hangars, the largest being a 90' x 40' steel structure.
An aerial view looking north at Providence Airport,
from The Airport Directory Company's 1938 Airports Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The directory described Providence as a commercial airport, located 6.5 miles southeast of Providence.
It was said to consist of an irregularly shaped sod field, measuring 1,900' north/south x 1,500' east/west.
The aerial photo in the directory depicted a single hangar on the northwest corner of the field,
which was said to have "Providence Airport" painted on the roof.
A 1939 aerial photo depicted the Providence Airport as having an airport marker circle,
and several planes on the field (according to Chris Kennedy).
A circa 1943 aerial view looking north at the Providence Airport from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)
depicted the field as having 2 grass runways.
Providence Airport was still depicted as a commercial airport
on the 1944 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
Providence Airport was described by the 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)
as having a 1,900' unpaved runway.
The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Providence Airport
as a 103 acre irregularly-shaped field with an all-way sod landing area measuring 1,650' NNE/SSE by 1,300' east/west.
Two hangars were depicted on the north side of the field, measuring 60' x 40' & 46' x 34'.
The field was described as privately owned & operated.
The 1951 USGS topo map (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) labeled the site simply as "Airport".
No runways were depicted - the airport was simply depicted as an irregularly shaped outline,
with the single hangar & a few smaller buildings along the north side of the field.
A 1951 aerial photo (from the RIGIS at the University of Rhode Island, courtesy of Chris Kennedy)
depicted the Providence Airport as having 2 unpaved runways,
and 2 single-engine light planes were visible on the northwest side of the field.
Providence Airport was closed at some point between 1951-54,
as it was no longer depicted at all on the November 1954 Boston Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).
A 1963 aerial view showed that the site of the former airport remained clear, but abandoned.
The 1995 USGS aerial photo of the site from showed that it had been redeveloped at some point between 1963-95 as an industrial park,
with no recognizable trace remaining of the former airport.
As seen in the 2002 USGS aerial photo, not a trace remains of the former airport at the site.
The site of the original Providence Airport is located southwest
of the intersection of Route 6 & Industrial Way.
No Man's Land Navy Airfield, No Man's Land Island, MA
41.25 North / 70.82 West (Southwest of Martha's Vineyard, MA)
The No Man's Land Airfield, as depicted on the 1943 USGS topo map (courtesy of Kevin Rutherford).
No Man's Land is a small, uninhabited island located 3 miles southwest of the southwest tip of Martha's Vineyard.
The No Man's Land airfield was evidently built between November 1942 - 1943,
as it was not depicted on the November 1942 Regional Aeronautical Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).
The Navy began using the island as a practice bombing range in 1943,
at which point the airfield was most likely constructed.
The earliest depiction of the No Man's Land Airfield which has been located was on the 1943 USGS topo map.
It depicted a single northwest/southeast unpaved “Landing Field” on the southwest side of the island.
The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the No Man's Land Airfield
was on the May 1944 Regional Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted an auxiliary airfield, labeled simply as “(Navy)”.
The 1945 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss) labeled the airfield "No Mans Land (Navy)".
However, No Mans Land was not listed among active airfields in the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
It is not known if the airfield merely served as a bombing target, or if it was actually used by Navy aircraft.
The No Man's Land airfield was apparently abandoned at some point between 1945-54,
as it was no longer depicted on the November 1954 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
A 1971 U of M photo of No Man's Land Island, with the airfield still plainly visible along the southwest shore.
Also note the bomb target circle just northwest of the runway.
The Navy continued to use No Man's Land island for bombing practice until 1996.
It was also used for radar-scored bomb practice by B-52 bombers.
The Navy transferred the island to the US Fish & Wildlife Service in 1998,
for use as an unstaffed wildlife refuge.
As depicted on the 1989 USGS topo map,
the airfield consisted of a single 3,300' runway.
There are no indications of any buildings or other airfield facilities.
The 1989 topo map includes the notations:
"Military Reservation. Restricted Area. US Navy Air to Ground target.
Ordnance expenditure authorized 7 days a week."
By the time of the 1995 USGS aerial photo, the former airfield was hardly recognizable at all.
In a July 29, 2007 aerial view looking northwest along the path of the former runway, showing it to be barely recognizable.
North Middleboro Airpark (9B0), North Middleboro, MA
41.92 North / 70.98 West (South of Boston, MA)
North Middleboro, as depicted on the 1959 Boston Local Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
Photo of the airfield while open is not available.
This small general aviation airfield was evidently constructed at some point between 1954-59,
as it was not yet depicted at all on the November 1954 Boston Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy)
nor on the 1957 USGS topo map.
The earliest depiction of North Middleboro which has been located
was on the 1959 Boston Local Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted North Middleboro as having a 3,000' unpaved runway.
The 1960 Jeppesen Airway Manual (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)
depicted North Middleboro as having a single 2,600' unpaved Runway 11/29,
with several small buildings along the west end of the runway.
The earliest photo of North Middleboro which has been located was a 1960 aerial view.
It depicted North Middleboro as having a single unpaved east/west runway.
Three single-engine aircraft were parked around a small building on the southwest side.
North Middleboro Airpark was described in the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory
as having a 3,000' sod runway (9/27), and the operator was listed as C. Lewis.
The 1964 USGS topo map depicted a single unpaved northwest/southeast runway,
labeled simply as “Landing Strip”.
The Aerodromes table on the reverse side of the 1965 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss)
listed the field as North Middleboro,
and described it as having a single 2,600' turf runway.
North Middleboro was depicted as having a 2,600' unpaved runway
on the 1968 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
At some point between 1968-71 the runway was apparently paved,
as a 1971 aerial photo depicted North Middleboro as having a single paved runway,
with a total of 22 light aircraft parked on either side of the west end of the runway..
The 1977 USGS topo map depicted “Middleboro Airport” as having a single paved runway.
The 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury)
described the field as having a single 2,850' asphalt Runway 12/30,
and included the note: "swimming pool at field".
North Middleboro Airpark was apparently closed at some point between 1982-1994,
as it was depicted simply as "Landing Strip" on the 1994 USGS topo map.
The 1995 USGS aerial photo depicted the western half of the runway as having been converted into Otis Pratt Lane,
and several houses had been built.
The eastern half of the runway remained relative undisturbed,
including a closed-runway "X" plainly visible.
A 2002 photo by Jonathan Westerling of the entrance sign to Otis Pratt Estates, the site of the former airport.
A 2002 photo by Jonathan Westerling looking east along the remaining length of the former runway at North Middleboro.
Jonathan reported that the western half of the former runway had been removed,
while the remainder of the former runway had been reused as a driveway for the 2 houses built towards its eastern end.
"It has been unaltered, and still has discernable yellow lines down the middle.
I wonder if the homeowners need to announce their intentions over Unicom when they leave their garage?"
A 2002 photo by Jonathan Westerling looking west along the remaining length of the former runway at North Middleboro.
A circa 2005 aerial photo looking north at the western end of the remaining runway at North Middleboro.
An April 10, 2008 aerial view looking northwest along the former North Middleboro runway.
Thanks to Peter Kodis for pointing out this airfield.
Fall River Municipal Airport (FLR), Fall River, MA
41.75 North / 71.11 West (South of Boston, MA)
USGS topo map 1951.
Fall River Airport was apparently built at some point between 1946-51,
as it was not yet depicted at all on the 1943 USGS topo map
nor on the January 1946 Hudson River World Aeronautical Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).
The earliest depiction of Fall River Airport which has been located was on the 1951 USGS topo map.
It depicted “Fall River Municipal Airport” as having 2 perpendicular paved runways,
with a ramp & an airway beacon at the southwest corner of the field.
The earliest chart depiction which has been located of Fall River Airport
was on the June 1953 Hudson River World Aeronautical Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).
The May 1955 Boston Local Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Graeme Smith)
depicted Fall River as having a 3,900' hard surface runway.
The earliest photo of Fall River Airport which has been located was a 1961 aerial view.
It depicted Fall River as having 2 perpendicular paved runways,
with a ramp, a few small buildings, and 2 single-engine aircraft on the southwest corner of the field.
Fall River Airport was described in the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory as having 2 paved runways,
and the operator listed as Naragansett Airways.
The Aerodromes table on the reverse side of the 1965 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss)
described the field as having 2 runways, with the longest being a 3,950' bituminous concrete strip.
The 1968 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) depicted Fall River Airport,
as well as the Fall River NDB beacon, located just west of the airport.
A 1971 aerial view depicted a dozen light aircraft parked on the Fall River Airport ramp.
A 1990 photo depicted several Cessnas at Fall River.
The 1993 Jeppesen Airport directory depicted Fall River as having 2 paved runways: 3,948' Runway 6/24 & 1,600' Runway 15/33.
A parallel taxiway ran the length of Runway 6/24, and a paved ramp sat at the southwest end, with several hangars.
The operator was listed as Naragansett Aircraft.
In the 1995 USGS aerial photo (taken shortly before the field's closure),
Fall River appeared quite well used, as a total of 33 light aircraft were visible parked on the ramp.
According to Pete Kodis, the Fall River Airport was closed
because the city built a large landfill adjacent to the east side of the airfield.
The landfill got so high & the resultant population of seagulls got so thick
that the FAA deemed the airport unsafe for use.
The state decided to make the New Bedford Airport a regional airport,
and the Fall River Airport would become an industrial park.
It was closed at some point between 1995-98.
An August 2000 photo by Steve Brazao of the rear of an abandoned Fall River Airport hangar.
Steve recalled, “The airport had been closed for a while,
but the industrial park really hadn't grown that much yet so the main hangar was still standing & the runway mostly intact.”
A December 2000 photo by Steve Brazao of the front of an abandoned Fall River Airport hangar.
Steve recalled, “There used to be another smaller FBO a few hundred feet south of this hangar,
but it was basically nothing more than a double-wide trailer & a ramp. By 2000, I think those were gone.
My grandfather was a lifetime Fall River resident & often took us to the airport to watch the airplanes take off & land, so it was very sad to see the airfield go.
I wish I had taken more pictures!”
A December 2000 photo by Steve Brazao of a maintenance schedule board “in the small office attached to the hangar” at Fall River.
A December 30, 2001 aerial view showed 2 large commercial buildings
had been built over the western portion of the field,
with portions of the 2 runways still remaining intact on the eastern side, along with the VASI light system.
A Summer 2003 photo by Peter Kodis of the former airport beacon which remains standing at Fall River.
A Summer 2003 photo by Peter Kodis of the Runway 24 VASI approach-slope guidance lighting which remains at Fall River.
A 2003 photo by Peter Kodis of the remains of Runway 15, which now runs right into a massive landfill hill.
A Summer 2003 photo by Peter Kodis of the closed-runway "X" markings are still visible on the former Runway 24.
A 2003 photo by Peter Kodis looking north, the former Runway 6 still appears remarkably intact.
A circa 2006 aerial view looking east at the former Fall River airway beacon.
A more recent aerial photo appears to show that the beacon tower has since been removed.
A circa 2000-2005 USGS aerial photo looking southwest at the remains of the 2 runways at Fall River.
A February 2009 aerial view by Dan Fields looking north at the remains of the 2 runways at Fall River.
Dan observed, “We were doing traffic watch flying in the area & this is what FLR looked like from 1,500' above ground level.”
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