Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

New Mexico: El Paso area

© 2002, © 2017 by Paul Freeman. Revised 11/22/17.

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Las Cruces Intermediate Field / Hangar Lake Airport (revised 9/21/14) - Jundt Field / Sunland Airpark (revised 6/11/17)

Las Cruces Airport (original) / Las Cruces Downtown Airport / Las Cruces East Airport (revised 2/26/17) - Mesquite Airfield (revised 11/1/17)

Stahmann Farms Airfield (1st location) (revised 3/2/14) - Stahmann Farms (2nd location) (revised 2/27/16)

State College Airport / University Airport (revised 11/22/17)

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Jundt Field / Sunland Airpark (E32), Sunland Park, NM

31.802, -106.57 (Northwest of El Paso, TX)

Jundt Field, as depicted on the August 1944 Roswell Sectional Chart.



This small airport was located on the north bank of the Rio Grande, only a mile north of the Mexican border.



Jundt Field was evidently established at some point between 1935-44,

as it was not yet depicted on the 1935 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of Roger Connor).



The earliest depiction which has been located of Jundt Field

was on the August 1944 Roswell Sectional Chart.



According to Bill Quinn, "Ruth Deerman, one of El Paso's renowned Powder Puff Derby pilots,

learned to fly out of the original Jundt Field."



The last depiction which has been located of Jundt Field

was on the 1949 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



Jundt Field was still depicted on the 1949 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It was described as having a 3,200' unpaved runway.



According to David Brooks, Jundt Field "was closed in 1950 and did not reopen until 1965.

When it reopened, it was under the name Sunland,

it had a new runway, hard surface (asphalt) of 5,744' in length (10/28).

Most of the references to this field indicate that you have to make a hard right turn approach to Runway 28 to avoid Mexican airspace."



According to Bill Quinn, "It was renamed Sunland Air Park due to the close proximity of the town of Sunland Park.

I have been told it was never owned or operated by the Sunland Park Horse Race Track; immediately to the North;

however, it was often used by the 'high rollers' flying in to bet on the horses."



Sunland Airpark was depicted on the 1965 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss), with a single 3,744' paved runway.



The earliest photo which has been located of Sunland Airpark was an undated (circa 1960s?) photo

of an unidentified group in front of N8319E, a 1959 Mooney M20A, serial #1497.



At some point in the following year, Sunland's runway was apparently extended,

as the 1966 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss) depicted Sunland as having a 5,700' paved runway.



The 1967 USGS topo map depicted Sunland Park as having a northwest/southeast paved runway, but the airfield was unlabeled.



The 1970 TX Airport Directory (courtesy of Ray Brindle)

depicted Sunland as consisting of a single 5,744' asphalt Runway 10/26.

An apron north of the runway had two t-hangars & a restaurant.

The inclusion of Sunland in the TX Airport Directory is puzzling,

as current maps show that the property is definitely on the New Mexico side of the state border.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Sunland Airpark

was on the August 1971 El Paso Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante).

It depicteed Sunland as having a single 5,700' paved northwest/southeast runway.



Stanley Blanton recalled, "I grew up in El Paso & worked there as a line boy

during college summer vacation in 1971 or 1972.

It is in fact in New Mexico but just barely - by maybe a half mile.

It is also barely north of Mexico.

The Rio Grande river can be seen in your aerial photo.

It was so close to Mexico in fact that Runway 28 had right hand traffic

to keep the pattern in the United States."

"At the time I worked there it was open 24/7 with about a dozen planes on tie-down and maybe 30 in hangars.

I have heard that some of the pilots that frequented the airport have since served time for smuggling.

There was one FBO with a hangar on the north side of the field

with T-hangars located both to the east & west but all north of the runway.

We got quite a bit of cross country traffic since a pilot could cross the Rockies at El Paso

and the altitude needed was only about 5,000 ft."



A photo of a Pronto Aviation Services Beech 18 taking off from Sunland Park during the summer of 1981 (courtesy of Jaime Carreon).

According to Jamie, “This Beech was equipped with PT6-20 turboprops,

the tall cabin modification & the extended nose.

It was called a Westwind... the conversions were done by Hamilton Aviation in Tucson.

The turbines didn't increase the speed by very much,

but they did increase the payload & range & were much cheaper to maintain than the original P&W R-985 radials.”



Jamie Carreon recalled, “Sunland Park airport (Jundt Field)... I used to work there.

At one time, there was an FBO on the field, International Airmotive,

whose main facility was at El Paso International.

They had a fairly good-sized hangar & office space

and catered mainly to the high rollers who flew in to bet on horse races at nearby Sunland Park track.

On a quiet day, you could hear the trainers exercising horses.

By the time I got there (late 1981), there were no longer any aircraft based there,

with the exception of our DC-3s & and Beech 18s.

International Airmotive had since moved back to the big airport.

I worked for a small airfreight company called Pronto Aviation Services.

We used the airport as our base, conducting flight ops & maintenance from there.

Most of the T-hangars had been taken over by a company that manufactured industrial air conditioning units,

with the exception of two that we used to store our tools & one of the Beech 18s.

We later moved into the old IA offices & occasionally used the hangar,

though most of our maintenance was done outside.

There was an above-ground fuel storage tank on the ramp across from the hangar

from which we refueled our airplanes.

At our peak, we had three DC-3s & 4 Twin Beeches at Sunland Park, but not always at the same time,

depending on the flying we were doing.”



Sunland Airpark was described in the 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury)

as having a single 5,744' asphalt Runway 10/28.

Once again, it was listed in the TX section of the directory.



The last map depiction which has been located of Sunland Airpark was on a 1988 street map (courtesy of Kevin Walsh).



Sunland Airpark was apparently closed at some point between 1982-91.



According to Brent Boswell, Sunland Airpark “was closed when the Doña Ana County Airport at Santa Teresa (5T6)

was opened by Charlie Crowder, the developer of the Santa Teresa area.

The runway was reportedly in sad condition due to the soil sinking (the water table is only about 4-5' below the ground there).

I remember seeing planes (Cessna 140s?) still using the field for about 5 years after the field closed…

then I think the Doña Ana County Sheriff started chasing guys off!

My parents had a hot tub made by a guy who owned a fiberglass factory on the remains of the airport -

his shop was in a former T-hangar building.”



As seen in a 1991 USGS aerial view looking northwest, the former Sunland Airpark still existed, but in a somewhat deteriorated condition.

Several buildings still standing north of the runway may have been hangars or other airport buildings.



Sunland Airpark was marked as closed on the 1992 NM Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Jim Hackman).



A 2002 photo by Bill Quinn, looking east along the remains of the Sunland runway.

A presumed former hangar is on the left.

Bill observed, "My on the ground inspection revealed that the runway

(even still usable, if only by those daring young men in their flying machines)

is actually a named street, Appaloosa Drive, within the industrial area complex.”



A 2002 photo by Bill Quinn, looking west along the remains of the Sunland runway.



A circa 2001-2006 aerial view looking north at what appear to be former T-hangars,

with the former runway (now Appaloosa Drive) at the bottom),



A 2014 aerial view looking northwest shows no recognizable trace remaining of Sunland Airpark,

with the hangars having been removed, along with all traces of the runway.



The Sunland Airpark site is located south of the intersection of Sunland Park Drive & Futurity Drive.

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Las Cruces Airport (original) / Las Cruces Downtown Airport / Las Cruces East Airport, Las Cruces, NM

32.32, -106.76 (Northwest of El Paso, TX)

The Las Cruces Airport, as depicted on the August 1943 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The earliest depiction which has been located of the Las Cruces Airport adjacent to the northeast side of the town of Las Cruces

was on the August 1943 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The Las Cruces Airport was listed in the April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)

as being located one mile northeast of the town of Las Cruces,

and was described as having a 2,700' unpaved runway.

The 1944 directory also listed the "Las Cruces (new)" Airport,

which had been built by the Army 8.5 miles west of the town.



Las Cruces was depicted as an auxiliary airfield

on the March 1945 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



An undated (circa early 1950s?) aerial view by James Flanagan, looking northeast at the Las Cruces East Airport

(courtesy of the NMSU Library’s Archives & Special Collections Department, via Jonathan Westerling).

It depicted the field as having three unpaved runways.



By the time of the 1955 USGS topo map, the original Las Cruces Airport had been renamed "Las Cruces Downtown" Airport.



Tom Marson recalled, “In fall of 1956 we moved to El Paso.

Shortly after returning to El Paso I decided to use my GI Bill training allowance to start & complete a Commercial Pilot course.

The flight school I selected was in Las Cruces, 'Crawford Flying School'. This was located on the northeast corner of La Cruces.

The field was called Las Cruces Municipal. It had one asphalt east/west 4,000' runway & a shorter dirt northeast/southwest strip.

The field manager & owner of the flying service Bob Crawford had a 1956 Cessna 182, a couple 65 hp Champs, one Taylorcaft, a Cessna 140, and 2 Aircoupes.

When I was in training my primary instructor was a WW2 Civilian Pilot program ex-instructor, Pete Panos.

There were 2 other instructors & Bob himself who sometimes gave instructional flight.

I completed my course there with a Commercial rating & Commercial Flight Instruction ticket.

Most of our instructional training was at Las Cruces & at the Mesa field, west of the Rio Grande.”



An undated (circa late 1950s?) aerial view by James Flanagan, looking south at the Las Cruces East Airport

(courtesy of the NMSU Library’s Archives & Special Collections Department, via Jonathan Westerling).

It appeared as if the main runway had been paved,

and several buildings (hangars?) were visible at the west end of the field.



The 1958 USGS topo map labeled the field as "Las Cruces East" Airport.



A 2/4/61 photo of airport General Manager Bob Crawford, Mike Marson, Tom Marson, and one other man at the Las Cruces Downtown Airport (courtesy of Mike Marson).



By the time of the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory, the "Las Cruces Downtown" Airport had gained a paved runway,

as the airport was described as having a 3,800' paved Runway 6/24

and a 2,600' turf Runway 18/36.

The operator was listed as Robert Crawford,

and the field was said to offer hangars, tiedowns, charter, repairs, and fuel.



The 1966 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss)

described "Las Cruces East" Airport as having a single 3,600' paved northeast/southwest runway.



The 1967 Flight Guide (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) depicted Las Cruces East Airport

as having a 3,600' paved Runway 6/24, and two shorter crosswind unpaved runways.

A total of 6 buildings were depicted at the southwest corner of the field.



An August 1967 photo by Morris Drexler of a 1946 Taylorcraft BC-12D, a 1946 Aeronca 7AC Champ, and a Beechcraft V-35 Bonanza at Las Cruces East Airport.

Morris observed, “Mel Renneckar is moving his Champ, the other 2 aircraft are tied down. The Taylorcraft on the left may belong to Mike Sullivan.”



The last photo which has been located showing aircraft at Las Cruces East Airport

was a beautiful 12/31/67 photo by Morris Drexler of a Cessna 120 & Piper Pawnee (aerial spray plane) in front of the Organ Mountains.

Morris observed, “Miss Carwadine is taxiing her pretty Cessna 120 southbound in front of the old airport office & pilots' lounge.”



A 2/18/68 aerial view (courtesy of Morris Drexler, via Lisa Murphy) looking west at Las Cruces East Airport.



A 2/18/68 photo (courtesy of Morris Drexler, via Lisa Murphy) showing demolition at Las Cruces East Airport.



A 2/18/68 photo (courtesy of Morris Drexler, via Lisa Murphy) showing demolition of the pilot lounge at Las Cruces East Airport.



The following year, the Las Cruces East Airport was evidently downgraded to a heliport,

as it was depicted as the "Las Cruces City" Heliport on the December 1968 Albuquerque Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of "Las Cruces City” Heliport

was on the December 1971 Albuquerque Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante).



The last photo which has been located still showing most of the Las Cruces East Airport remaining intact was a 12/18/72 USGS aerial view.

Most of the 3 runways remained intact, along with a possible airport-related building on the west end of the field.



The former Las Cruces East Airport was labeled "Heliport" on the 1978 USGS topo map.

The area of the former airport was still depicted as an open area, but no runways were depicted.

Several small buildings were depicted along the southwest side of the field -

might these have been hangars or other former airport buildings?



The Las Cruces Heliport was evidently closed at some point between 1971-92,

as it was no longer depicted on the 1992 NM Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Jim Hackman).



By the time of the 1996 USGS aerial photo,

the area of the former airport had been filled in with new streets, houses, and baseball fields.



The large building in the center of the above portion of the 1996 USGS aerial photo

appeared to be the same building depicted in the 1978 USGS topo map.

Could this be a former hangar or other airport building?



A 2004 photo by Jonathan Westerling of the large building which may have been originally used as part of the airport.

Its address is 1501 Hadley Drive, and as of 2004 it housed several city departments.



A 2004 photo by Jonathan Westerling of the "Las Cruces City Heliport", which "still exists at the corner of Hadley & Walnut.

It is in the middle of several gravel parking lots for the nearby ballfields.

A yellow X through the helipad suggests that it is no longer used, though the pavement appears to be in good condition."



A 2006 photo by Reese Luckie of a building on the west side of the former Las Cruces East Airport

which appears to be a former airfield building, now reused as a boxing club.



Reese Luckie reported about the former airport in 2006, “My house is built on this!

The helipad still exists, or did.

It until recently was used as a parking lot for our local skate park as well as the surrounding softball fields.

About 4 months ago it was paved over with newer pavement.

The large building on Hadley... This building now houses several city departments, a bus depot,

and a refueling station for law enforcement / city vehicles.

There are two [former airfield] buildings farther away, along Solano Drive.

These 2 buildings are still in use today. One is a boxing club. The building looks to be in good condition.

The other, the hangar-looking thing, appears to be a storage facility for parade things.”



A 2006 photo by Reese Luckie of a building on the west side of the former Las Cruces East Airport

which appears to be a former hangar.



The site of the Las Cruces East Airport is located east of the intersection of North Solano Drive & East Hadley Avenue.

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State College Airport / University Airport, Las Cruces, NM

32.275, -106.747 (West of El Paso, TX)

A circa 1943 photo (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling) of students of the Air Mechanics program on the ramp of State College Airport.

The two aircraft are a Taylorcraft & a Kinner Playboy, pictured in front of the Air Mechanics Building, with its hangar-style door partially open.



This airport was adjacent to the campus of the New Mexico State College (later known as New Mexico State University).

It was evidently established at some point after 1937,

as it was not listed among active airfields in The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airport Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).



According to an article by Joe Gould in the 1/02 issue of the Southern NM Historical Review (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling),

New Mexico State College conducted Air Mechanics Courses starting at some point before 1941.

The Air Mechanics Building & the Hangar Lake Building both were constructed in 1941 (according to plaques on the buildings).

John Curry remembered an Air Mechanics Helper Class that consisted of at least 480 hours of instruction.

Jim Boykin said that while most of the students were high school students,

a couple of the more advanced students were in training for the rating of Airplane/Engine Mechanic.

The course gave the students high school credit.

In those days, the Civil Aeronautics Administration was the licensing authority for mechanics & pilots.

These courses were part of a Federal program entitled National Defense Training Program.

The Director at the College was John Haberl.



Joe Gould recalled, "The students of Air Mechanics Course were rebuilding, repairing, and maintaining several aircraft,

including Lockheed Vega, Aeronca Buhl Pup, Curtiss Robin, and Taylorcraft."



The State College Airfield was evidently constructed at some point between 1943-44,

as it was not yet depicted on the August 1943 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The earliest chart depiction of this airfield which has been located

February 1944 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted "State College" as a commercial/municipal airport.

Photo of the airfield while in use has not been located.



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

described the "State College" Airport in "Mesilla Park (Las Cruces)"

as having a 3,000' unpaved runway.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described the “State College Airport”

as an irregularly-shaped field within which were 2 bare (bladed) runways, measuring 3,000' NNE/SSW & 2,500' east/west.

The field was said to have no hangars, but the diagram depicted a road leading outside the fenced perimeter to a small building to the southwest.

The field was said to be owned by the State of NM, and operated by the NM College of Agricultural & Mechanical Arts.



Joe Gould recalled, "Another project was to overhaul & recover a Luscombe airplane,

and in the late fall of 1945 or the early spring of 1947, I became aware of this project & saw the airplane.

I asked the head of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Professor Arch Lukens, if I could fly this airplane.

He said 'No', the airplane was only a project for the Air Mechanics Course;

the college wasn't interested in flight training because of liability concerns.

The Air Mechanics students did, however, get to fly in some of the planes on which they had worked as an incentive.



Joe Gould recalled, "My [fight] instructor was Bob Crawford… and he taught flying at the college airstrip.

While college training was conducted AT the college, it was not BY the college.

Both Bob Crawford & Gus Glass had airplanes there (interstate Cadets)."

"State College" was depicted as a commercial/municipal airport

on the March 1945 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



According to an article by Joe Gould in the 1/02 issue of the Southern NM Historical Review (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling),

the College's Air Mechanics Courses ended in approximately 1946.



The 1955 USGS topo map labeled the field simply as "Airfield",

and depicted it as having a single northeast/southwest runway (which appeared to be paved),

along with a taxiway leading to a ramp area on the west side of the runway.



Tom Marson recalled, “We did some instructional flying at the University field.

It had one asphalt northeast/southwest strip of around 4,000'. This strip belonged to NM State University.”



An undated (circa 1950s?) aerial view by James Flanagan, looking northeast at the University Airport, with the NMSU campus to the left of it

(courtesy of the NMSU Library’s Archives & Special Collections Department, via Jonathan Westerling).



An undated (circa 1950s?) aerial view by James Flanagan, looking southwest along the University runway.

Note what appears to be a plane, somewhat off the runway in the foreground.

Photo courtesy of the NMSU Library’s Archives & Special Collections Department, via Jonathan Westerling.



By the time of the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory, the field had been renamed University Airport.

It was described as having a single 4,250' paved Runway 3/21,

and was said to be unattended.



The 1966 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss)

depicted University Airport as having a single 4,200' paved northeast/southwest runway.



The 1967 Flight Guide (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) depicted University Airport

as having a single 4,340' paved Runway 2/20.

A taxiway led to a group of small buildings on the west side of the field.



The last photos which have been located showing University Airport still in operation included a June 1967 photo by Jeff Jacobs of a North American AT-6 Texan & 2 Cessnas.



A beautiful June 1967 photo by Jeff Jacobs of a rainbow over the “A mountain” (for Aggies), with the natural metal tail of a 1957 Cessna 172 at University Airport.



Larry Cunningham recalled that "Several university personnel had planes flown out of there in the late 1960s & early 1970s."



University Airport was still depicted on the 1970 NM Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The University Airport was evidently closed at some point between 1970-71,

as it was depicted as an abandoned airfield on the December 1971 Albuquerque Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante),

and no longer depicted at all on the 1971 USGS topo map.



A 1975 DOT map (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling) still depicted the runway of University Airport.



On the 1976 USGS topo map, the former runway & taxiway were still depicted, but the site was not labeled as an airport,

and it appeared as if the former runway & taxiway were being reused as streets.



A 1996 USGS aerial photo shows that the University's football stadium was built over the northern portion of the University Airport site.

It is not known if any buildings remain from the airport.



Larry Cunningham reported in 2004 that the former University Airport "has been ripped up & replaced with a landfill area."



A 2005 photo by Jonathan Westerling looking southwest down the alignment of the former runway at University Airport.

"The land has been converted into a gravel overflow parking lot for the football stadium (which is located directly behind the camera)."



Reese Luckie reported in 2006, “I was able to visit the site of the University airstrip.

It is now completely unrecognizable as an airstrip.

It seems to have been covered up when a nearby field was flattened for a parking lot.”



The site of University Airport is located at the intersection of Standley Drive & Locust Street.

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Las Cruces Intermediate Field / Hangar Lake Airport, Las Cruces, NM

32.41, -106.66 (Northwest of El Paso, TX)

The 1941 USGS topo map labeled the Hangar Lake Airfield simply as “Landing Field”.



This is yet another airfield (out of a total of 4) which were located around the small point of Las Cruces.

The Hangar Lake Airfield was presumably built at some point between 1936-39,

as neither the airfield nor airway appear in a 1936 USGS aeronautical chart (according to Jonathan Westerling).



According to an article entitled “Hangar Lake site once helped train Greatest Generation”

by Christopher Schurtz in the 2011 Sun-News Las Cruces (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling),

In 1939, the Civilian Aeronautics Administration partnered with 260 colleges around the country to establish civilian flight-training programs.

That fall, the New Mexico College of Agriculture & Mechanic Arts offered its first classes, under Engineering School Dean Dan 'Dad' Jett.

The Round Up reported that 15 eager students signed up for the class.”



An emergency landing field is being constructed by the CAA about 7 miles east of Las Cruces on Highway 70”, reported the December 1939 Sun-News.

"An assignment of 48 poles has been delivered here for installation of the lighting system."

In an article published in the January 2002 Southern New Mexico Historical Review,

Joe Gold included several notes about the history of aviation at Hangar Lake:

The Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPT) began in the late 1930s when it appeared that the United States could become involved in the war in Europe.

The 3 of us all had Robert 'Bob' Crawford as our flight instructor & remember him telling of being an instructor in the CPT at Hangar Lake.”

Boykin remembers he visited Hangar Lake in the late 1930s for his first airplane ride & that it was Bob Crawford who piloted the plane, a Taylorcraft.

Hugh Milton, president of the college, told Cal Traylor that ‘the [hangar] was originally built by students of the Engineering Department.”



In addition to being used by the college, the Hangar Lake Airfield also served as the CAA's Las Cruces Intermediate Field,

and the location of rotating beacon #4 on the El-Paso to Pueblo Airway.



According to the 2011 Sun-News Las Cruces article (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling), “The airfield reportedly consisted of a large metal hangar & a 3,900' dirt runway.

The CAA built such strips in case pilots making cross-country flights needed to make an emergency landing.

It began serving the Civilian Pilot Training Program by early 1940.”

The article continued, “In January 1941, 80 MPH winds whipped down the Organ Mountains,

damaging the planes & causing much of the original hangar to collapse.

That summer, the college secured $36,000 through the state & the Works Progress Administration

to build a new, reinforced, concrete & metal frame hangar to replace the first one, in what was one of the last expenditures of WPA money in the Las Cruces area.

Students reportedly provided much of the labor required to erect the hangar.”

The hangar at Hangar Lake was built in 1941, according to a plaque on the building,

which entitled it the “New Mexico College of Agriculture & Mechanic Art Hangar”.



The earliest depiction which has been located of the Hangar Lake Airfield was on the 1941 USGS topo map,

which labeled an open area simply as “Landing Field”, with a single small building along the south side.



The 1943 USGS topo map had an unchanged depiction.



The first aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the of Hangar Lake Airport was on a 1943 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of David Brooks).

It depicted the field as “Las Cruces”.



According to the 2011 Sun-News Las Cruces article (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling), “By 1943, the CAA & the college had built a new airfield on the south edge of the college campus.

The Hangar Lake location was considered too far away & in increasingly poor shape.”



The 1944 Directory of Airfields (according to Jonathan Westerling) listed Hangar Lake as being 9.5 miles northeast of Las Cruces

and having a 3,900' runway, a rotating beacon, and boundary lighting.



An undated aerial view looking north at the Hangar Lake Airport from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of David Brooks via Jonathan Westerling)

depicted the field as having 3 “bare” runways, measuring 3,875' north/south, 2,900' northeast/southwest, and 2,400' east/west.

It described Hangar Lake as a privately-operated civil airfield with facilities for major aircraft & engine repair on site.



According to the 2011 Sun-News Las Cruces article (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling), “The CAA ended the training program when the war ended.”



Jim Gold recalled, “I remember while a student pilot, I landed there in the spring of 1946.”



The 1947 Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling) depicted the Hangar Lake airfield as “Las Cruces (Old)”,

in addition to the 3 other Las Cruces airports within close proximity.



Jim Gold recalled, “Jim Boykin remembers landing there in a J-3 Piper Cub, as late as 1948.

He says by that time the usable portion of the runway was so short he couldn't have landed & taken off had there not been a stiff breeze blowing.

Boykin says the hangar building was still being used at that time;

he saw C. C. Chase there doing some wing rebuilding for Bob Chamberlain.”



According to the 2011 Sun-News Las Cruces article (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling), “College pilots still used the Hangar Lake airfield into the late 1940s.”

In an article in the 2002 Southern New Mexico Historical Review (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling), pilot Joe Gold,

who received some of his flight training at the airfield from area legend Bob Crawford, recalled its brief history.

Gold wrote pilots could barely land or take off from the runway in the late 1940s,

though mechanics still were using the hangar to repair planes.

Far preferable were the city airport nearer to town or the well maintained airstrip at the college.”



The Hangar Lake Airport was evidently closed by 1951,

as it was no longer listed the 1951 Directory of Airfields (according to Jonathan Westerling).



According to the 2011 Sun-News Las Cruces article (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling), “It is unclear just when the CANS old hangar & property changed hands.

but airfield directories no longer list the airport by 1951.

By then it seemed a whole new use was found for the cavernous building.

In the mid-1950s, the area around the old airfield became known as 'Hangar Lake' -

the 'Lake' part of the title a tongue-in-cheek reference to an area of low land nearby where storm water would pool.”



The Hangar Lake Airfield was no longer depicted on the 1955 USGS topo map.



According to the 2011 Sun-News Las Cruces article (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling),

The hangar turned out to be a suitable location for barn dances, according to Sun-News archives,

and by 1955 the Hangar Lake Dance Hall was advertising in the Round Up & the Sun-News.

Country & Western groups like Eddie Blystone & the Sun Valley Playboys, Rocky Rough & the Western Serenaders,

and the Aggie Ramblers played the hall to enthusiastic, and sometimes drunk audiences.”



The article continued, “At some point, the words 'Tavern of Music' & 'Hangar Lake' were painted in large letters on the building.

In 1956, the county turned down the request of the owner for a liquor license for the hall, citing reports of underage drinking & fights.”



Jonathan Westerling reported, “I know the beacon was there as late as 1967.”



According to the 2011 Sun-News Las Cruces article (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling), “From at least the mid-1960s into the present [2011],

several small churches have made use of the old hangar, including the Apolostic Hangar Lake Mission.”



A 1975 aerial view of the site of Hangar Lake Airport Photo (from the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management, courtesy of Justin Atteberry)

annotated by Jonathan Westerling to show the location of the 3 runways & hangar.



A 2005 photo by Jonathan Westerling of the the back side of 1941 hangar still showed the (local) name for the airfield.



A 2005 photo by Jonathan Westerling of the side of the hangar.



A 2005 photo by Jonathan Westerling of 1941 plaque of the “New Mexico College of Agriculture & Mechanic Art Hangar”.



Jonathan Westerling reported in 2010, “Today, the 80' x 60' hangar still stands in good condition

and is owned by the Apostolic Hangar Lake Mission (according to Joe Gold).”



The site of Hangar Lake Airfield at the northern terminus of Galaxy Drive.



Thanks to Clifford Pelton for pointing out this airfield.

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Mesquite Airfield, Mesquite, NM

32.17, -106.7 (Northwest of El Paso, TX)

A 1967 NM State Land Office map depicted the Mesquite Airfield (east side of map),

as well as the Stahmann Farms Airfield (west side of map).

Photo of the airfield while open has not been located.



This private airfield was one of two established in the 1960s to support cropdusting

for the Stahmann Farms Pecan company.

The date of construction of the Mesquite Airfield has not been determined.

It was not depicted at all on aeronautical charts from 1962, 1963, 1964 or 1967.

The only map depiction of the Mesquite Airfield which has been located was on a 1967 NM State Land Office map.

It depicted a single runway airfield, within the west side of the town of Mesquite.



After a much larger Stahmann Farms Airfield was constructed nearby to the west by 1966,

the Mesquite Airfield was evidently abandoned by the mid 1970s.



In a 1975 USGS aerial photo, the single runway of the Mesquite Airfield was still recognizable,

with pecan groves on both sides of the strip.



The Mesquite Airfield was not depicted at all on aeronautical charts from 1977 or 1998.



A 2004 photo looking along the orientation of the former Mesquite Airfield.



A 2017 aerial view looking northeast showed no trace remaining of Mesquite Airfield.



The site of Mesquite Airfield is located northwest of the intersection of Route 478 & St. Thomas Road.

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Stahmann Farms Airfield (1st location), Mesquite, NM

32.19, -106.75 (Northwest of El Paso, TX)

Stahmann Farms Airfield, as depicted at its original location

on the December 1962 USAF Operational Navigation Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

Photo of the airfield while open has not been located.



This former private airfield was located on the grounds of the Stahmann Farms Pecan company.

The date of construction of Stahmann Farms Airfield has not been determined.

The earliest depiction of the field which has been located

was on the December 1962 USAF Operational Navigation Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted the Stahmann Farms Airfield as having a single 3,000' paved runway, oriented northeast/southwest,

located on the east side of the West Side Canal.



The Stahmann operation at one point used biplanes & helicopters to spray & monitor their pecan trees.

According to NTSB accident records, these included a Boeing 75M & Bell 47G3.



Stahmann Farms Airfield, as depicted at its original location on the east side of the West Side Canal

on the 1963 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



This original location of the airfield was apparently closed within the next year,

as no Stahmann Farms Airfield was depicted on the June 1964 Roswell Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).



A newer & much larger Stahmann Farms Airfield was constructed nearby by 1966,

on the opposite (west) side of the West Side Canal.



A 1972 USGS aerial photo showed the site of the original Stahmann Farms Airfield was planted over with pecan trees,

and not a trace appeared to remain of the airfield.



An 11/5/12 aerial photo showed no trace remaining of the original Stahmann Farms Airfield.



The original Stahmann Farms Airfield is located on the east side of Route 28,

just north of Santo Thomas, NM.

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Stahmann Farms Airfield (2nd location), Mesquite, NM

32.177, -106.764 (Northwest of El Paso, TX)

The 2nd location of the Stahmann Farms Airfield (on the west side of the West Side Canal),

as depicted on the 1966 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

Photo of the airfield while open has not been located.



This private airfield was located on the grounds of the Stahmann Farms Pecan company.

At some point between 1964-66, the original location of the Stahmann Farms Airfield was replaced with a much larger airfield,

on the west side of the West Side Canal.

The earliest depiction of this location of the Stahmann Farms Airfield which has been located

was on the 1966 Roswell Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted the field as having a 7,400' unpaved runway.



A 1967 NM State Land Office map depicted the Stahmann Farms Airfield (west side of map),

as well as another airfield within the town of Mesquite (east side of map).



The 1971 USGS topo map depicted Stahmann Farms as having 2 runways.



Stahmann Farms Airfield was depicted on the July 1977 World Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

as having a single 7,400' paved runway.



Stahmann Farms stopped using chemical insecticides in 1987,

so any crop-dusting operations presumably ended by this time.



The Stahmann Farms Airfield was evidently closed at some point between 1977-92,

as it was depicted as an abandoned airfield on the 1992 NM Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Jim Hackman).



The Stahmann Farms Airfield had evidently been expanded at some point between 1977-96,

as a 1996 USGS aerial view looking northeast showed the airfield as having 2 large paved runways:

a 7,700' north/south runway & a 5,500' east/west runway.

Closed runway "X" markings were visible on the ends of both runways.



Stahmann Farms was depicted on 1998 aeronautical charts as an abandoned airfield.



Michael Simmons reported in 2003 that the Stahmann Farms airfield is once again used by crop dusters,

although it is still not listed as an active airfield.



A February 2005 photo looking north from the runway intersection at Stahmann Farms.

Note the 2 new cellular towers behind the buildings.



A visitor to the Stahmann Farms Airport reported in February 2005 that the airfield “is far from abandoned.

This little field lies on top of a old lava flow which forms a bluff overlooking the Las Cruces Valley

and can’t otherwise be seen from anywhere nearby.

It is only accessible via a series of unmapped dirt trails through acres of Pecan groves.

It is right in the middle of their orchard, which is quite a sight containing 180,000 trees,

but because the airfield is on a bluff about 200 feet above them, they’re not a factor to any air traffic.

Though it is listed as an abandoned airfield, the Stahmann Farms field remains well maintained,

though the addition of a two cellular towers on site, and the lack of a paved access road would indicate that it is not often used.

The field has a small terminal & two large hangars.

It also has fuel, and runway lighting on both runways.

One of the taxiways was repaved in the 1990s and the runways to this day are free of debris or vegetation.”



A February 2005 photo one of the two identical hangars at Stahmann Farms.



A February 2005 photo of what appears to be the terminal building at the Stahmann Farms Airfield.



A February 2005 photo looking south along the 7400 foot runway at Stahmann Farms.



A February 2005 photo looking east from the runway intersection of the Stahmann Farms Airfield.



A 2014 aerial view looking northeast showed the 2 former runways at Stahmann Farms Airfield remained intact.



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