“Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:
© 2002, © 2016 by Paul Freeman. Revised 8/8/16.
Acushnet Airport (revised 6/17/11) - Brigg's Field / Eastham Airport (revised 8/30/14) - Chatham Naval Air Station (revised 3/20/13)
Clifton Field (added 1/7/14) - East Harwich Airport (added 12/2/14) - Fall River Municipal Airport (revised 4/12/15)
Falmouth Airport / Coonamessett Airport (revised 1/6/16) - No Man's Land Navy Airfield (revised 1/3/10) - North Middleboro Airpark / Middleboro Airport (revised 4/6/15)
Oak Bluffs Airport / Trade Wind Airport (revised 5/1/16) - (Original) Providence Airport (revised 9/4/11) - Round Hill Airport (revised 1/9/16) - Skymeadow Airport (revised 8/8/16)
Skymeadow Airport, Orleans, MA
41.79, -70.01 (Southeast of Boston, MA)
A 1955 aerial view (courtesy of Jack Grainger) showing Skymeadow Airfield at top-right, with Rock Harbor in the foreground.
This small general aviation airport on Cape Cods was evidently established at some point between 1946-55,
as it was not yet depicted on the 1946 USGS topo map.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Skymeadow Airport was a 1955 aerial view (courtesy of Jack Grainger).
Bill Quinn recalled flying out of Skymeadow Airport to take the first images of the collision of the MS Stockholm & passenger liner SS Andrea Doria in 1956.
Charlene Ketchen Wallace, recalled, Sky Meadow Airport... My father Will Ketchen first ran this airport back in the 1950s.
He & Doug Hoff were in partnership. My dad & mom ran the airport for several years.
There was a dirt road which ran down the side of the runway towards the salt marsh.
There was also a large hangar in our yard. The opening of the hangar faced the runway & the back was on our driveway.
I enjoyed being at it when I was just a little girl.”
Skymeadow Airport was reportedly run by Hunter Craig, a former WW2 Marine Corsair pilot.
The earliest topo map depiction which has been located of Skymeadow Airport was a 1962 USGS topo map.
It depicted Skymeadow Airfield as having a single paved northeast/southwest runway.
Skymeadow Airport was not depicted on the March 1965 or March 1970 Boston Sectional Charts.
The earliest photo which has been located of Skymeadow Airport was a 1971 USGS aerial view.
It depicted a single paved northeast/southwest runway, painted with 3 closed-runway “X” symbols & the word “Private”.
One hangar was located each at the northwest & northeast ends,
with 4 light single-engine aircraft parked around the northeast hangar.
Jack Grainger recalled, “I got my Private [Pilot's License] at Sky Meadow.”
The earliest photo which is available of Skymeadow Airport was a 3/25/73 USGS aerial view.
It depicted a single paved northeast/southwest runway, painted with 3 closed-runway “X” symbols.
One hangar was located each at the northwest & northeast ends.
There were no aircraft visible on the field.
Mark Clifton recalled, “Sky Meadow Airfield... an airport in Orleans that my father used to keep his plane at back in the 1970s.
It was located near Skaket Beach (very close to the Captain Linnell House/restaurant) in Orleans.
We would enter the airport off Captain Linnell Road.
I recall as a child the field being in very poor shape (runway) along with a small hangar that was run-down.
His first plane was a Piper Cub that he flew out of that airport for years.”
Skymeadow Airport was evidently closed at some point between 1971-77,
as a 4/1/77 aerial view showed 2 residential streets having been built, one over each end of the runway.
A 3/23/82 aerial view showed that houses had covered the site of Skymeadow Airport, but the hangar on the northwest side of the runway remained intact.
A 1984 aerial view looking north at the site of Skymeadow Airport (courtesy of Bernie Siryk) showed the alignment of the runway remained recognizable.
A 2015 aerial view showed no obvious sign of the former Skymeadow Airport, but the light-colored larger building on the west side is a former hangar.
Bernie Siryk reported in 2015, “The hangar still exists as does the small home that served as the airfield's office.”
The site of Skymeadow Airport is located north of the intersection of Captain Linnell Road & Skymeadow Drive.
Thanks to Bernie Siryk for pointing out this airfield.
Round Hill Airport, Round Hill, MA
41.542, -70.94 (South of Boston, MA)
A circa late-1920s – 1932 photo of Phillip Mostrom in front of a biplane with the “Round Hill Airport” logo (courtesy of his gransdon Kurt Fischer).
According to an article entitled “Saltmarsh restoration project eyed for site of former Round Hill airport runways” in the 11/8/09 South Coast Today (courtesy of David Gray),
Herbert "Bert" Hill's decision to practice land his plane on multimillionaire Col. Edward Green lawn in 1927 caused deep ruts to the lush, green grass,
but also spurred Green's interest in aviation & the development of the airport.
The airport was constructed one year later in 1928 & Hill became its manager & also ran a flight school there.
As part of the construction, Green moved buildings & constructed a hangar to house airplanes.
To build the airport, the Colonel used more than 170,000 cubic yards of topsoil from local farms
and sand pumped from Buzzards Bay to fill-in a natural saltwater marsh for his runways.
Green's private airport at Round Hill was one of the finest in the country, with finely manicured grass runways & flood lights
and huge neon tubes atop the mansion that served as a beacon to fliers such as Charles Lindbergh,
Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle and William Randolph Hearst Jr., all of whom landed there.
The airport was one of the many attractions Green had at Round Hill, which included the whaler Charles W. Morgan,
a blimp, a seaplane ramp, several research buildings, a whaling village, a blacksmith shop.
While residents of Salter's Point, Mishaum Point & Nonquit did not like the airport because of the noise during takeoffs & landings,
local residents saw it as a catalyst for economic development in the region.
Fifteen-hundred people attended its dedication in 1928
and were entertained with "a spectacular air show" by Lt. William Leonard, the chief test pilot for the Alliance Aircraft Corporation.
Leonard performed an outside loop, a falling leap drop, a half roll & then circled the airfield upside down.
The earliest photo which has been located of Round Hills Airport
was a circa late-1920s – 1932 photo of Phillip Mostrom in front of a biplane with the “Round Hill Airport” logo (courtesy of his grandson Kurt Fischer).
An undated photo of two men in front of an unidentified biplane at Round Hill Airport.
An undated photo of the Goodyear dirigible Mayflower, on loan to MIT, seen during testing to map the radiation patterns of various antenna arrays at Round Hill (courtesy of MIT Museum).
In 1932 Lindbergh landed at Round Hill, after receiving word that his kidnapped son was hidden on a boat near the Elizabeth Islands.
Lindbergh was accompanied by 3 passengers, including an FBI agent, but the tip about his son's whereabouts proved to be a hoax.
The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Round Hills Airport was on the March 1933 Boston Sectional Chart.
It depicted Round Hill Airport as a private airfield with a beacon.
Roberta Hill (Bert Hill's daughter) flew her solo flight from Round Hill at age 14 in 1936.
She said "This airport put to shame even the military airports.
It was probably better equipped than any military airport because he had unlimited money to do it.”
“Round Hill Landing Field”, as depicted on the 1936 USGS topo map.
Round Hill Airport owner Edward Green died in 1936 & the airport reportedly closed that same year,
although it continued to be depicted on government maps for at least 6 more years.
The Round Hill property was badly damaged in the 1938 Hurricane, which tore up the beach road & destroyed the hangar.
The last depiction which has been located of Round Hill Airport was on the 1942 USGS topo map.
According to Wikipedia, “In 1948, twelve years after the Colonel's death, his sister Sylvia Green, his heir,
donated the entire property to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which used the 240-acre estate for educational & military purposes until 1964.
MIT erected a giant antenna atop a 50,000-gallon water tank on the site.
Another was erected nearby for research towards the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System.
The giant dish antenna stood as a local & marine navigational landmark until the current owners of the site, the Bevelaqua family, demolished it in 2007.”
According to an article entitled “Saltmarsh restoration project eyed for site of former Round Hill Airport runways” in the 11/8/09 South Coast Today (courtesy of David Gray),
“Dartmouth & other agencies are planning to use federal Superfund money to recreate the portion of the former 15-acre, salt marsh on town property”,
previously the site of Round Hill Airport.
A 2013 aerial view showed the majority of the Round Hill Airport site remained clear.
The site of Round Hill Airport is located south of the intersection of Round Hill Beach Drive & Club House Drive.
East Harwich Airport / Cashen's Airfield, East Harwich, MA
41.712, -70.014 (Southeast of Boston, MA)
East Harwich Airport was labeled simply as “Airstrip” on the 1961 USGS topo map.
East Harwich Airport was not yet depicted on the 1949 USGS topo map.
John Nichols recalled, “There was a private airport in East Harwich in the 1950s.
I worked at Chatham Airport [in the] summer of 1956, and a guy who lived in East Harwich used to fly over from there to get fuel.”
Jared Fulcher recalled, “The airstrip in East Harwich was owned by a man named Ralph Cashen & was known locally as 'Cashen's Airfield'.
When I was a kid, I used to wonder what this field was.”
The earliest depiction which has been located of East Harwich Airport was on the 1961 USGS topo map,
which depicted a single east/west unpaved runway, labeled simply as “Airstrip”.
The only photo which has been located showing East Harwich Airport while it was in operation was a 3/25/73 USGS aerial view.
It depicted East Harwich Airport as having a single east/west unpaved runway, with some small hangars (& possibly some light aircraft) along the edges.
The 1994 USGS topo map still depicted East Harwich as having a single east/west runway.
A 1995 USGS aerial view looking southwest at East Harwich Airport showed the runway remained clear.
A 2014 aerial view looking southwest at East Harwich Airport showed the runway was overgrown but still recognizable,
and at least one small former hangar among the trees.
Jared Fulcher reported in 2015, “Several years ago I went to an estate sale at a home accessed via a driveway parallel with Cashen's field.
I took this opportunity to cut through a path to the field.
I was fortunate enough to traverse the field all the way to Route 39 at the far end.
The ramshackle hangars & windsock still stand.
I'm not sure if the property is still in the Cashen family, but I think it may be as it has never been developed.
The field is still there, though slightly overgrown with scrub pines.
The entrance to this field is best viewed from Church Street, where the open field can be partially seen behind a private home.”
The site of East Harwich Airport is located northeast of the intersection of Orleans-Harwich Road & Williamsburg Avenue.
Thanks to John Nichols for pointing out this airfield.
Brigg's Field / Eastham Airport, Eastham, MA
41.85, -69.99 (Southeast of Boston, MA)
A circa 1940s photo of a Cessna T-50 & Republic SeaBee at Eastham Airport (from the 1869 Schoolhouse Museum in Eastham, courtesy of Joe Guzzo).
Not much is known about this little general aviation airport,
including its date of construction or precise location.
Eastham Airport was not yet depicted on a 1938 USGS aerial photo nor on the 1946 USGS topo map.
According to his obituary (courtesy of Kevin Rutherford), George Duffy managed the Eastham Airport after moving to Eastham in 1946.
The airport was described as “little more than a grassy field off Herringbrook Road.
He once flew a torpedo bomber from [Naval Air Station] Squantum to the Eastham Airport on a bet he couldn't land the plane on the short runway.”
The only photo which has been located of Eastham Airport was a circa 1940s photo (from the 1869 Schoolhouse Museum in Eastham, courtesy of Joe Guzzo),
which showed a Cessna T-50 & a Republic Seabee amphibian in front of a building (presumably the airport office) marked “Eastham” & “Fly”.
Jack Grainger recalled, “I actually worked on the T-50 Cessna shown in the picture. I installed a new throttle cable... in the winter!”
A circa 1940s advertisement for Eastham Air Service (from the 1869 Schoolhouse Museum in Eastham, courtesy of Joe Guzzo)
touted charter, sightseeing, instruction, emergency service, and rental.
According to FAA registration records, Cessna T-50 Bobcat N53207 was registered to Eastham Air Service from 1946-49.
According to Joe Guzzo, Eastham Airport was also known as Brigg's Field.
The last depiction which has been located of Eastham Airport was on the 1958 USGS topo map,
which depicted Eastham as a commercial/municipal airport.
Eastham Airport was presumably closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1958-62,
as it was not depicted on the 1962 USGS topo map.
A 1996 USGS aerial photo showed houses covering the site of Eastham Airport,
with no recognizable trace of an airport.
A 3/11/12 aerial view of Brigg's Field Road, presumably the location of Eastham Airport / Brigg's Field,
showing the houses which occupy the site, with no recognizable trace of an airport.
Thanks to Joe Guzzo for pointing out this airfield.
Clifton Field, Eastham, MA
41.88, -69.97 (Southeast of Boston, MA)
A 5/1/60 USGS aerial view of Clifton Field.
Photo of the airfield while in use has not been located.
According to an article entitled “'Clifton Field', the South Wellfleet Airport?” by Noel Beyle in the 7/2/96 issue of The Cape Codder (courtesy of Dick Whittle),
“Clifton Field as located in the woods to the south of the Cape Cod National Seashore headquarters near Marconi Beach,
on land once used by the military called Camp Wellfleet.
The airstrip was a 1,600' runway made out of sand & gravel that was originated & engineered by Don Clifton of Orleans.
According to Mr. Clifton, who worked at Camp Wellfleet when it was an Army base,
he was learning to fly at the time so he bulldozed a landing strip out in the woods near the Camp.
The Army apparently knew it existed, but not quite what it was all about.
And local pilots from towns on the Lower Cape used it often.”
The Cape Codder article continued, “After the [National] Seashore took over the property [circa 1961],
attempts were made to get the first Superintendent (Robert Gibbs) to open the strip back up & pave it.
He was receptive to the idea, and Clifton Field appeared headed for permanence,
but nothing ever came of it.”
The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Clifton Field was on the 1964 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Dick Whittle),
even though the Army base & presumably the airfield had closed by that point.
It depicted “Clifton (Army)” as having a 1,600' unpaved runway.
The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Clifton Field was on the 1965 Boston Sectional Chart.
It depicted “Clifton (Army)” as having a 1,600' unpaved runway.
The 1972 USGS topo map depicted the rectangular clearing of the runway, but did not label the airfield.
According to an article entitled “'Clifton Field', the South Wellfleet Airport?” by Noel Beyle in the 7/2/96 issue of The Cape Codder (courtesy of Dick Whittle),
“Today the field is still out there, although a resurgence of pine trees has curbed any use in recent years.”
A 3/11/12 aerial view looking east showed the path of Clifton Field's runway is still recognizable through the surrounding trees.
The site of Clifton Field is located at the southern terminus of Old Kings Highway.
Thanks to Dick Whittle for pointing out this airfield.
Chatham Naval Air Station, Chatham, MA
41.72, -69.96 (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 1942 USGS topo map or subsequent topo maps.
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, -70.57 (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.
The earliest photo which is available of Oak Bluffs Airport was an undated aerial view from an August 1959 article.
It showed the field to have 2 unpaved runways.
The 1968 Flight Guide (courtesy of Robert Levittan) depicted Oak Bluffs Airport
as having 2 unpaved runways, with 2 small buildings on 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.
Jeff Field recalled, “I landed there in 1975 with my brand new ticket in a C-150.
I got to practice my newly acquired unpaved runway takeoff technique. Get the nose off the ground early in the takeoff run is what I was taught.
The runway was uneven with rolling hillocks. That was the challenge as the nose wanted to go up & down with each small bit of unevenness.
It was the kind of airport that has gone the way of the Model-T.”
A 7/1/77 USGS aerial view showed Oak Bluffs Airport as having 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”.
The only aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Trade Wind Airport
was on the May 2009 Boston Terminal Aeronautical Chart.
It depicted Trade Wind as a private airfield having a 2,200' unpaved runway.
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, -70.56 (South of Boston, MA)
Falmouth Airport, as depicted on the March 1933 Boston Sectional Chart.
This general aviation airport was located adjacent to the south side of Camp Edwards (later to be Otis AFB).
According to Les Garrick (author of “Historic Hatchville”), “Opposite Ranch Road on the north side of Coonamessett Road
the Coonamessett Ranch Company developed the small Coonamessett Airport during 1928-29.
It had a grass runway, fuel depot, and an office but no control tower.
In addition, seaplanes could use Coonamessett Pond near the Coonamessett Inn.
The Town of Falmouth leased the airport in 1930-31, and it grew steadily under the management of George Cluett & Guy Hamm.
On the east side of Ranch Road were 3 cottages & the so-called aviation apartments, presumably rented to pilots who used the resort’s airport.”
The earliest airport directory reference which has been located of Falmouth Airport
was in the 1931 Pilots' Handbook (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling).
It described Falmouth Airport as being located 6 miles northeast of the town of Falmouth,
and having a 2,000' x 1,800' airfield area.
By 1933 the Coonamessett Ranch Company had established a resort adjacent to the airport,
including an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, polo field, tennis courts, and riding stable.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Falmouth Airport was on the March 1933 Boston Sectional Chart,
which depicted Falmouth as a commercial/municipal airport.
The 1937 MA Airport Directory (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling)
depicted Falmouth Airport as an irregularly-shaped property having unpaved runways in an X-shape, with 2 small buildings on the south edge.
According to Les Garrick (author of “Historic Hatchville”), “In 1939, against the wishes of the Town of Falmouth, which had invested heavily
in improving the Coonamessett Airport for a municipal facility, the airport remained private.
As part of the new war measures, civilian aviation up to 40 miles from the coastline was banned, and many small airports were closed.
In 1942, Coonamessett Airport operator Guy Hamm was managing Cape Aircraft Company
and training 24 student pilots when he learned that the airport would close on August 15.
He relocated to another field farther inland.
Nevertheless, the Civil Air Patrol was given permission by the Falmouth selectmen
and the town’s aviation committee to use the airport for the duration of the war,
after runway improvements were completed.”
The earliest depiction topo map depiction which has been located of Falmouth Airport
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.
According to Les Garrick (author of “Historic Hatchville”), “The airport was idle after the CAP left in 1944.”
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).
According to Les Garrick (author of “Historic Hatchville”), “After the war, the Coonamessett Airport became a political football.
In 1946 it was leased for a year to Robert Kincart, to serve the needs of the Coonamessett Club, which meant restricted flying.
However, much work would be required to obtain Civil Aeronautics Board approval for the field’s operation.
Despite the lease, Kincart was denied a permit to operate the field by the Falmouth Board of Appeals for 3 reasons:
because of the proximity to Otis field on the MMR operated by the Navy;
because the airport was in a single residence district not a business district;
and that the public would not be substantially served.”
Les continued, “Needing an active municipal airport not encumbered by restrictions imposed by the U.S. Navy based at the MMR,
the Town of Falmouth canceled its lease arrangement with the Coonamessett Ranch Company
and in July of 1946 moved to the new airport in Teaticket, a few miles to the east.
Soon the Coonamessett Airport had new managers: George Pinto & Robert Draper.
They started a flight training school in August 1947.
At the time, the field was equipped for night use & planes could take off & land from any compass direction.
In August 1948 members of National Guard & Officers reserve corps units received flight training there.”
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”.
According to Les Garrick (author of “Historic Hatchville”), “By 1955 the airport had 3 unpaved runways, the longest northeast at 4,500',
with strip lighting on the northeast/southwest runway only (the common wind direction).
All instrument flights were under control of Otis Air Force Base.
In 1958 the Division of Fish & Wildlife purchased from the Coonamessett Associates 1,562 acres of woodland & grassland north of Route 151 as well as the small airport.”
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.
According to Les Garrick (author of “Historic Hatchville”), “Unfortunately for Mr. Pinto, the airport would not be compatible with wildlife management practices.
Pinto, nevertheless, argued that his lease with the Coonamessett Ranch Company ran until 1965.
Finally, Executive Air Services, Pinto’s company, was evicted on 6/1/61.”
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 last depiction which has been located showing Coonamessett as an active airport was in a 1967 Airport Directory (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling).
It depicted “Coonamessett-Falmouth Municipal Airport” as having a single unpaved 3,740' northeast/southwest runway,
with a few small buildings on the southeast side.
The Coonamessett Airport might have been closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1967-68,
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 1976,
as it was no longer listed among active airports in the 1976 AOPA Airports USA Directory (according to Jonathan Westerling).
The clearing of the former Coonemessett Airport 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 2007 photo by Les Garrick of the site of Coonamessett Airport, reused as the flying field for the Otis Model Aero Club Of Cape Cod.
A 7/29/07 aerial view of the site of Coonamessett Airport 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, -70.89 (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, -71.3 (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 original Providence Airport.
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, -70.82 (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 No Man's Land Airfield consisted of a single 3,300' runway.
There were 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 No Mans Land Airfield was hardly recognizable at all.
In a 2007 aerial view looking northwest along the path of the former No Mans Land Airfield runway, showing it to be barely recognizable.
North Middleboro Airpark / Middleboro Airport (9B0), North Middleboro, MA
41.92, -70.98 (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 last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Middleboro Airport
was on the July 1975 Boston Terminal Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Mitchell Hymowitz).
It depicted Middleboro as having a 2,800' paved 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".
The November 1983 Flight Guide (courtesy of Matt Elia) depicted Middleboro Airport as having a 2,850' paved Runway 11/29, with a ramp & 3 small buildings on the southwest side.
North Middleboro Airpark was apparently closed at some point between 1983-1992,
as it was no longer depicted at all on the December 1992 Boston Terminal Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Gwen Shafer),
and it was depicted simply as "Landing Strip" on the 1994 USGS topo map.
The 1995 USGS aerial photo depicted the western half of the Middleboro Airport 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.
A 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, -71.11 (South of Boston, MA)
Fall River Municipal Airport, as depicted on the 1951 USGS topo map.
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.
The November 1983 Flight Guide (courtesy of Matt Elia) depicted Fall River as having a 2 paved runways, with an FBO & one other building on the west side.
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 FallRiver 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 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.”
A 2014 photo by Doug Fortnam of the former Fall River Airport beacon, which still operates from a Dunkin Donuts parking lot.
Doug reported, “The Fall River Industrial Park is built on the site of the Fall River Airport.
I was surprised to see that the old airport beacon is still there & it now resides in the Dunkin Donuts parking lot!
The beacon still rotates white-white at night.”
A 4/12/15 aerial view by Graeme Smith looking east at the site of Fall River Airport.
Graeme reported, “The entire area of the runways is now under the landfill or the Industrial Park to the south.
The only small part of a runway [remaining is a portion of] Runway 15 [left of center].
The Airport beacon next to the Dunkin Donuts has recently been restored.
It was briefly lit till the FAA stopped it because it might be taken for a real airport beacon (which of course – it is!).”
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