Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Southeastern New York State

© 2002, © 2014 by Paul Freeman. Revised 5/21/14.

____________________________________________________



Please consider a financial contribution to support the continued growth & operation of this site.



Barrett Field / Westchester Aviation Country Club Airport / Armonk Airport (revised 10/24/13) - Black Pond Airfield (revised 1/20/12) - Christie Airport (revised 5/21/14)

Croton Airpark (revised 5/11/13) - Grossinger's Airport / Liberty Airport (revised 9/15/13) - Huguenot Airport (revised 5/26/13) - Livingston Manor Airport (revised 11/10/13)

Mahopac Airport (revised 4/29/14) - Miller Airport (added 4/8/13) - Orangeburg CAP Airport (revised 1/16/14)

Rockland Airport (revised 3/1/14) - Somers Airport (added 7/9/11) - Spring Valley Airport / Ramapo Valley Airport (revised 5/13/11) - Stormville Airport (revised 11/10/13)

Walden Airport (revised 5/14/11) - Wallkill Aux AAF #2 / Galeville Airport / Wallkill Airport / Ulster County Airport / Galeville AAF (revised 8/31/12)

____________________________________________________



Huguenot Airport, Huguenot, NY

41.4 North / 74.64 West (Northwest of New York, NY)

Huguenot Airport, as depicted on the 1942 USGS topo map.



According to Rich MacVicar, Huguenot Airport “opened about 1931 or 32. A friend soloed there in 1932.”



According to the Town of Deerpark Historian Norma Schadt, “The Civil Air Patrol was active in the airport during World War II.”



Jack Taipale recalled, “Harry Gordon, the summer [of 1943] started an operation at Huguenot Airport,

where I soloed in August of 1943.”



According to Rich MacVicar, “A guy named Felix Muchoe said he ran it in 1944 or sooner.”



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Huguenot Airport

was on the 1945 NY Sectional Chart, which depicted Huguenot as a commercial/municipal airport.



According to the Town of Deerpark Historian Norma Schadt, Huguenot Airport was listed in the 1948 T. B. Haire Airport Directory,

and there was a reference to the airport in the 7/25/49 Middletown Times Herald.



An undated aerial view looking south at Huguenot Airport (courtesy of Norma Schadt)

showed 4 single-engine planes parked around 3 small hangars on the southeast side of a grass airfield.



An undated photo of Betty Ehre hand-propping a Cessna T-50 at Huguenot Airport (courtesy of Norma Schadt).



An undated photo of a Skyranger at Huguenot Airport (courtesy of Norma Schadt),

also showing several other planes in front of a hangar.

According to Rich MacVicar, “The Skyranger was one of the Skyrangers stored there when the factory in Long Island folded.

All of the unsold aircraft were stored at Huguenot airport.”



An undated photo of George McGinnis in front of a Civil Air Patrol Aeronca at Huguenot Airport (courtesy of Norma Schadt).

The photo is 1948 or later, judging from the Aeronca's USAF insignia.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Huguenot Airport

was on the July 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jim Stanton).

It depicted Huguenot as having a 2,000' unpaved runway.



According to Rich MacVicar, the Huguenot Airport “was busy until about 1951 or 1952.”



Huguenot Airport was evidently closed (for reasons unknown) by 1952

as it was no longer depicted on the 1952 NY Sectional Chart or subsequent aeronautical charts.



According to Rich MacVicar, “In 1954 or 1955 the Rockland County Civil Air Patrol took it over for a short time

and we ran out of there during the big flood in 1956.”



According to the Town of Deerpark Historian Norma Schadt

there was a reference to Huguenot Airport in the 11/10/58 Middletown Times Herald.



According to Norma Schadt, “The Huguenot Airport stopped service in the 1960s.”



The last photo which has been located showing Huguenot Airport still intact was a 4/8/63 aerial view.

It depicted the field to have a single unpaved northeast/southwest runway, with 2 small hangars on the southeast side.

Although the field remained intact, there was no sign of recent aviation usage.



According to Rich MacVicar, “It was still open when I came to Middletown in 1964.”



A 1968 aerial photo showed some houses had been built on either end of the Huguenot runway,

but the majority of the runway remained intact, along with 2 hangars.



According to Rich MacVicar, “A guy was doing some commercial work [at Huguenot] with a Cessna 175 up until about 1968 or 1969.

Then it was sold & closed & became a trailer park.”



A 1975 aerial photo showed more houses had been built on the northeast end of the Huguenot runway,

but the 2 hangars remained standing.



A 1998 USGS aerial photo showed the hangars had been removed at some point between 1975-98.

Houses covered the site, with no remaining trace of Huguenot Airport.



A 9/12/12 aerial view showed no trace remaining of Huguenot Airport.



Town of Deerpark Historian Norma Schadt reported in 2013, “Today the land is a mobile home park called 'Airport Park'.”



The site of Huguenot Airport is located at the intersection of Airport Road & Hangar Road, appropriately enough.



____________________________________________________



Miller Airport, West Nyack, NY

41.1 North / 73.95 West (North of New York, NY)

Miller Airport, as depicted on the 1945 NY Sectional Chart.



Adam Raines reported, “Miller Airport was opened in 1940

on the same land that the Miller family operated the well-known Miller Dairy Farm, which dated back to the turn of the 20th century.

A larger portion of the land was owned & used by the Scheno Trucking Company of Nyack as a landfill.

Despite objection from their neighbors, the Millers purchased the rest of this land,

got the needed zoning permits, and the Miller Airport was born.

Gary Miller Jr. was responsible for opening the airfield on his father’s farm.

His father, Gary Miller Sr., learned to fly later on.

The land was prone to flooding & as a result the airport was often flooded.

Gary Sr. had two boys, Gary Jr. & Howard, twins, who helped run the airport until it closed.

Gary Jr. was a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) at Rockland Airport and then became a CFI at Millers.

He eventually became an FAA Designee.”



Miller Airport was not listed among active airfields in the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).



The earliest depiction which has been located of Miller Airport was on the 1945 NY Sectional Chart,

which depicted Miller as an auxiliary airfield.



The earliest photo which has been located of Miller Airport

was a 1949 photo of 4 Piper Cubs in front of the Miller Airport hangar (courtesy of Adam Raines).



A 1950 photo of the Miller Airport hangar & 2 Piper Cubs (courtesy of Adam Raines).



A 1950 aerial view (courtesy of Adam Raines) depicted Miller Airport as an irregularly-shaped grass field with several small buildings.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Miller Airport

was on the July 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jim Stanton).



Adam Raines continued, “During its 12 years, the Miller Airport saw a good amount of action after the war due to the GI Bill.

However, in 1952 after much pressure from the town, it closed.

Rich MacVicar remembered one woman who lived on Greenbush Road would complain that oil would drip on to her wash from planes flying overhead.

A combination of the town pressure, and the beginning of the construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge & the NYS Thruway, led to the closure of the airport.

On 7/4/52, Al Morris & Rich MacVicar packed up once again, and flew the last plane out

and headed to their new airport – CAPROC (Civil Air Patrol Rockland County) in Orangeburg.

Mac flew the last airplane, a Taylorcraft, off the property & the field was closed forever.”



Miller Airport was no longer depicted on the 1952 NY Sectional Chart.



A 1953 aerial photo showed no obvious sign of an airfield,

with several buildings having been constructed over various portions of the property.

What may have been several former hangars remained on along the south side.



Several possible former airport buildings may have remained visible on a 1994 aerial photo.



The Palisades Center Mall was planned for the airport site in 1985,

and eventually opened in 1998, erasing any trace of Miller Airport.



A 2003 aerial photo depicted the Palisades Center Mall covering the site,

with no remaining trace of Miller Airport.



A 6/17/10 aerial view showed no trace remaining of Miller Airport.



The site of Miller Airport is located northwest of the intersection of Route 59 & Route 303.



See also:

A book has been written by Adam Raines & Rich MacVicar about the History of Aviation in Rockland County.

It covers every airport in the 20th Century in Rockland County (over 23 landing fields).

To obtain a copy of the book, contact Adam Raines at adraines@aol.com.

____________________________________________________



Rockland Airport, New City, NY

41.13 North / 73.97 West (North of New York, NY)

Rockland Airport, as depicted on a circa late-1920s map (courtesy of Adam Raines).



Adam Raines reported, “The first official airport in Rockland County was opened officially on Memorial Day in 1928.

Its founder was Dr. Pierre Bernard. Dr. Bernard was known throughout the county for his bringing Yoga to the states.

In addition to Yoga, he also had an obsession with aviation. He started The Rockland Aero Club, mostly WW1 aviators & people interested in aviation.

He found a tract of land that would lease him the space for the Airport.

The farm was owned by Frank Schomberg on Brewery Road between Parrott & Lauren Road.

On Memorial Day in 1928, the Airport was opened to a noisy fanfare. 2,500 people attended!

There were stunts, airplane rides, and parachute jumps.

Unfortunately, the day ended on a sad note when the rain started to come in and one of the parachutists had an accident which was fatal.

The accident was overshadowed by the day’s events but Bernard made sure that the body was recovered immediately & respect was paid to the family.

After that, the field flourished & a school was formed.

In October of 1928, Bernard made a deal with The Department of Commerce

and the field was now used as a way station & Emergency Field for the NY to Albany to Montreal to Buffalo mail route.

The government would maintain the field & spend $25,000 in improvements including an airport beacon.”



The earliest depiction which has been located of Rockland Airport was a circa late-1920s map (courtesy of Adam Raines),

which depicted Rockland as having a beacon.



Strangely, Rockland Airport was not depicted at all on USGS topo maps from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, or 1950s.



According to Adam Raines, “The Airport did well until 1931 when some local political problems formed him to dissolve the Aero club & activity at the field slowed down considerably.

Most of the 1930s flying was done at Christies Airport a few miles away. However, the field remained & there was flying there.”



The earliest photo which has been located of Rockland Airport was a 1937 photo of Jerry Carnegie’s New Standard biplane (courtesy of Adam Raines).

According to Adam Raines, “Jerry was a WW1 pilot & also owner of a very well-known Tavern in New City called Jerry’s Tavern.”



According to Adam Raines, Rockland Airport “closed temporarily in 1941 due to WW2 restrictions on all civil airports within 50 miles of the shore.”



Rockland Airport was not listed among active airfields in the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).



According to Adam Raines, “It wasn’t until after WW2 that it became active again.

In 1945, conversations about reopening the airfield for civilian use began with a new airport manager, Albert Morris.

Al Morris succeeded in his mission & continued to operate the field for civilians & returning Gis.

He was instrumental in making the airport a popular place to learn to fly.

Other people that worked at the airfield included flight instructors William Beard & Charles Greggor.”



A 1937 aerial view (courtesy of Adam Raines) depicted Rockland Airport as having several unpaved runways

and 2 small buildings on the north & northeast sides.



An advertisement for the 10/5/47 airshow at Rockland Airport (courtesy of Adam Raines).

Adam Raines reported, “On 10/5/47, the Rockland Airport put together an airshow for its community.

The newspaper advertisements got the towns excited about the event,

and it is said that several thousand people flocked to the small airport in New City to see stunt flying, landing contests, and aircraft manufacturers’ exhibits.

The event was sponsored by the American Legion (William E Debevoise Jr, Post 1682).

Admission was 50 cents for adults, with children admitted for free.

The airshow was a success & the Rockland Airport had made its mark in the community.”



A 1947-48 photo (courtesy of Adam Raines) of a hangar at Rockland Airport with a wind sock on top.



According to Adam Raines, “In 1948, the airfield was looking for some help in aircraft maintenance,

and Al Morris hired a young 21 year old student pilot named Richard MacVicar.

Richard, who would become known as 'Mac', was very involved in the airport & eventually became the airport manager until the airport’s closing in 1949.”



A 1949 photo (courtesy of Adam Raines) of a Piper Cub in front of a hangar at Rockland Airport, painted with the airport's name & an arrow pointing north.



The last depiction which has been located of Rockland Airport was a 1949 photo (courtesy of Adam Raines) of Everett Gates in front of a Stinson & the Rockland hangar.



According to Adam Raines, “After the GI Bill ended, the popularity of General Aviation slowed down & the airport got quieter.

In 1949, there was much less activity on the airfield, and with 3 other airports active in the county, the future of the Rockland Airport was uncertain.

Mr. Calabrese had been in conversations with developers about potentially building bungalows on the grounds,

so he decided to close the airport at the end of the summer in 1949. The bungalows were never built.

Upon closing, Mac & Al Morris packed up everything, including the hangars, and trucked & flew everything over to the Miller Airport in West Nyack;

so ended the history of the first airport in Rockland County.”



Rockland Airport was no longer depicted on the July 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jim Stanton).



Aerial photos from 1953 & 1974 showed the field remained open, with the hangars gone, but without any redevelopment.



A 1994 aerial photo showed that houses had covered the site at some point between 1974-94,

erasing all traces of the first airport in Rockland County.



A 5/26/11 aerial view showed no trace remaining of Rockland Airport.



The site of Rockland Airport is located west of the intersection of Lafayette Drive & Brewery Road.



See also:

A book has been written by Adam Raines & Rich MacVicar about the History of Aviation in Rockland County.

It covers every airport in the 20th Century in Rockland County (over 23 landing fields).

To obtain a copy of the book, contact Adam Raines at adraines@aol.com.

____________________________________________________



Mahopac Airport (N77), Mahopac, NY

41.38 North / 73.77 West (North of New York, NY)

Mahopac Airport, as depicted on the July 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jim Stanton).



This little general aviation airport was evidently established at some point between 1945-50,

as it was not yet depicted on the 1945 NY Sectional Chart.

The earliest depiction which has been located of Mahopac Airport was on the July 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jim Stanton).

It depicted Mahopac as having a 2,000' unpaved runway.



The 1956 USGS topo map depicted Mahopac Airport as a north/south outline, labeled simply as “Airfield”,

with 2 small buildings in the northeast corner.



The 1965 NY Sectional Chart depicted Mahopac as having an 1,800' unpaved runway.



Tom Kinstler recalled, “I learned to fly at the Mahopac Airport in 1966.

Art Neeves was my flight instructor.

I have many pleasant memories of learning & flying there in mid-1960s.

The old airport was a very friendly place - Saturday night clambakes, etc.

The [building] at the northeast corner of the airport was a Fixed-Base Operator,

and there was a wooden hangar just north of the FBO.

There was a cast of characters at the airport, one was Walter Grossman who was a pilot for the Germans in WW1.

He flew a Halberstadt during the WW1 & had many tales to tell - I suspect that most of them were true.

He was a great old guy, as were most of the airport crowd.”



The last aeronautical chart depiction which is available of Mahopac Airport was on the 1975 NY Sectional Chart.

It depicted Mahopac as having an 1,800' unpaved runway.



The earliest photo which has been located of Mahopac Airport was a 1974 aerial view.

It depicted a total of 14 single-engine aircraft parked on the northeast side of the field.



A 6/23/93 aerial view looking south showed 3 single-engine aircraft on the northeast side of Mahopac Airport.



A 4/19/94 aerial view did not show any aircraft on the field.



The last photos which have been located showing Mahopac Airport in operation

was a set of 3 June/July 1998 photos (courtesy of Ian Baren) of a Falcon XP ultralight at Mahopac Airport.

Ian Baren reported, “That's me in the back, and the instructor in front.

I only flew at N77 10 times, all lessons in the XP.”



Mahopac Airport was reportedly “closed since circa 2000-2001 to make way for a golf course or condos.”



However Ian Baren reported that Mahopac Airport was still depicted on the November 2002 Sectional Chart as a private airfield.



A 4/23/02 aerial view showed the hangar to remain intact, but there were no aircraft visible.



A 3/31/04 aerial view showed that the hangar had been removed at some point between 2002-2004.



A 9/30/06 aerial view showed that soccer fields had been laid out along the runway.



A 10/7/11 aerial view looking south shows that the Mahopac runway area remains clear.



A March 2014 photo by Steve St. Saviour looking south along the Mahopac runway.



Mahopac Airport is located southwest of the intersection of Hill Street & Airport Road, appropriately enough.



Thanks to Tom Kinstler for pointing out this airfield.



____________________________________________________



Grossinger's Airport / Liberty Airport, Liberty, NY

41.8 North / 74.7 West (North of New York, NY)

An undated aerial view looking east at the Grossinger Airport from an April 1947 article (courtesy of Anthony Mayo).



Grossinger's Catskill Resort Hotel was a resort in the Catskill Mountains, known as one of the resorts of the “Borscht Belt”.

It was established by Asher Grossinger in 1919 on a 100-acre property.



No airfield was yet depicted at this location on the 1945 NY Sectional Chart.

At some point between 1945-47 the Grossinger's Resort gained its own airport.



The earliest depiction which has been located of Grossinger's Airport

was an undated aerial view looking east at the Grossinger Airport from an April 1947 article (courtesy of Anthony Mayo).

The article described Grossinger Airport as having a 2,800' north/south runway,

planned to “be extended in the immediate future to 4,000'”,

with “another 1,800' rock & stone runway” running east/west.



An undated photo of A Consolidated Air Transit DC-3 at the Grossinger Airport from an April 1947 article (courtesy of Anthony Mayo).



A 1947 advertisement for the Grossinger Airport.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Grossinger's Airport

was on the July 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jim Stanton).

It depicted “Grossingers” as having a 3,000' unpaved runway.



During the 1950s, professional boxer Rocky Marciano reportedly trained within the Grossinger Airport hangar.



Grossinger Airport, as depicted on a 1955 NY State Airport Directory.



The earliest photo which has been located of Grossinger Airport was a 1963 aerial view.

It depicted Grossinger as having a single northeast/southwest grass runway, with a single hangar on the east side.

There were no aircraft visible on the field.



The airport was evidently renamed “Liberty” Airport at some point between 1955-65,

as that is how it was labeled on the 1965 NY Sectional Chart.

Liberty was depicted as having a 2,800' unpaved runway.



The 1966 USGS topo map depicted Liberty Airport as having a single unpaved northeast/southwest runway

with 3 small buildings on the west & northeast sides.

 

The only photo which has been located showing Grossinger's Airport in operation was a 1969 photo of a Keystone Helicopter Sikorsky S-58

which was used to fly musicians & promoters into the nearby Woodstock festival concert.

Ruth Huggler reported, “I'm in the photo, kneeling beside my mother. My sister is the girl at left with the camera.

My dad & another man ran the air service at the Liberty Airport in the 1960s.”



The date of closure of Grossinger's Airport has not been determined.



By 1972, Grossinger's Report had grown to 35 buildings on 1,200 acres that served 150,000 guests a year.

But multiple factors caused business to decline at Borscht Belt hotels in the late 1970s & 1980s.

In 1985, the Grossinger descendants sold the property to Hotels International,

but after aborted renovation attempts, Grossinger's main hotel & main resort areas closed in 1986.



A 5/2/98 USGS aerial view looking north at the site of Grossinger's Airport showed the runway outline to be overgrown & barely recognizable.

A building located to the west of the runway may have been added after the closure of the airport.



A 11/12/08 photo showed the site of the Grossinger's runway.



A 11/12/08 photo showed the foundation of the Grossinger's Airport hangar.



A 9/13/12 aerial view looking north at the site of Grossinger's Airport showed the runway outline to be overgrown & barely recognizable.



The site of Grossinger's Airport is located southeast of the intersection of Sunset Lake Road & Airport Road, appropriately enough.



Thanks to Tom Palmer for pointing out this airfield.



____________________________________________________



Orangeburg Civil Air Patrol Airport, Orangeburg, NY

41.04 North / 73.99 West (North of New York, NY)

The 1957 USGS topo map depicted the Orangeburg “CAP Landing Strip” as having a single unpaved southwest/northeast runway,

with a single small building on the southeast side.



This small airport was evidently established at some point between 1950-52,

as it was not yet depicted on the July 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jim Stanton).



Richard MacVicar recalled, “C.A.P. Rockland County... The first plane landed there on 7/4/52.

The second landed the next day. I flew both.

This marked the closing of Miller Airport in West Nyack, NY.

Caprock got its zoning permission a week or so later.

The land was leased from the Hackensack Water Company.

The runway was dead east & west and 1,858' long & 100' wide.”



Adam Raines reported, “When Millers Airport closed in 1952, the Civil Air Patrol needed a new home

and a lease was negotiated between the following people & the Hackensack Water Company:

Harold Lockwood, Al Morris, Katherine Couch, Eugene Levine, Richard MacVicar, George Zachgo, Michael Detroy, and Louis Heidleman.

Each person was instrumental in the formation of this small turf airstrip.

Other members of the C.A.P. [unit] were Robert Lapinski, Ray Eberling, and John Christie.

Mac was the first to fly an airplane in to this field from Miller Airport on 7/4/52.

The following day, Mac flew in another plane & was cited by the Police department for illegally operating an airport,

which was technically not open yet since they were still waiting for zoning approval.”



Adam continued, “CAPROC was a private field & in order to keep it private they put 2 large X’s at each end of the runway.

Ironically, some pilots would still land & ask what the X was for, so they eventually took them away.

The group had regular scheduled meetings, and the field consisted of base station for CAP & radio communications.

Over the years, there were several actual searches conducted, ranging from missing aircraft to missing persons.

They had a success story where they located a missing airplane on Storm King Mountain.”



The earliest depiction of the Orangeburg Civil Air Patrol Airport which has been located was a 1953 aerial photo.

It depicted a single unpaved southwest/northeast runway on the south side of Orangeburg Road.

There were no buildings or aircraft evident in the photo.



Gary Smith recalled, “The whole area was pretty rural in the 1950s.

This little strip was on the way to Pearl River, and I’d keep a sharp eye peeled for any activity there whenever we drove by.

My dad was an AAF pilot & was in the aviation business as an exec with Bendix in Teterboro, and I caught the aviation bug from his endless tales of flying.

I always bugged him to take me over there just to watch & hang around, but that was never in the cards.

I never even knew if the airfield had a name; my dad thought there was some Civil Air Patrol activity there so we referred to it as the 'CAP field'.”



The earliest depiction which has been located of the Orangeburg CAP Airport was a 1953 aerial photo.

It depicted a single unpaved northeast/southwest runway on the south side of the road.

There were no buildings or aircraft visible on the field.



Richard MacVicar recalled, “When the field opened there was no road;

Veterans Memorial Drive then was built several years later & it removed many too-tall trees on the approach.”



A 1955 photo of the Orangeburg Civil Air Patrol office building (courtesy of Adam Raines).



A 1956 photo of 5 Civil Air Patrol planes at Orangeburg (courtesy of Adam Raines).



A 1956 photo of a Civil Air Patrol plane on final approach to Orangeburg (courtesy of Adam Raines).



The 1957 USGS topo map depicted the Orangeburg “CAP Landing Strip” as having a single unpaved southwest/northeast runway,

with a single small building on the southeast side.



A circa 1963 photo by James Goebel (courtesy of Bill Goebel) of his 1931 Buhl LA-1 Bull Pup, N368Y, at the Orangeburg CAP Airport.

Bill recalled, “My Dad, Jim Goebel, flew out of CAP Rock in the early 1960s.

He owned a 1931 Buhl LA-1 Bull Pup, N368Y, which he restored. He reassembled it & flew it out of CAP Rock for a while.

He then sold it & based a V-77 Stinson for a short period there before moving that to Warwick.

The picture is of my Dad’s Bull Pup at the gas pump which was on the other side of the field from the operations shack, the northeast end.

There was a row of some sort of ramshackle T-hangars or something to the right (west) of the ops shack as you were looking at it.

And there was a soda machine inside the back corner of that structure.

The ops shack was generally an open room with some sofas in there to lounge in along with a restroom.”

Bill Goebel recalled, “I remember being there as a youngster during the dedication of the CAP post as either the Al Morris or A.L. Morris Post.

One of the stipulations was that if you kept your plane there you were a member of the CAP.

When the CAP was notified that there was a plane missing in the area CAP Rock could launch about the entire field to aid in the search.

I believe it may have also been one of the most non-regulation CAP outfits too.

I never saw any uniforms or marching going on. Most of the pilots had done their time in WWII or Korea & had their fill of the parade field.”

Bill Goebel recalled, “The runway had a dip in it & as you took off to the east it sort of catapulted you in to the air if you hit it right.

I was there one day during a fly-in & a couple of my Dad’s buddies came in with some National Guard L-19 Birddogs.

They were nice enough to take my brother Charlie & I for a ride. Two in the back seat of an L-19 so we were munchkins.

I was 5 & my brother 7-ish. It was a typical bumpy New England day.

I ended up barfing, as I usually did in the bumpy air, however I was clever enough to barf all over my brother (sorry Charlie…).

The National Guard guys drew straws to see who would fly the barf bird back home.”



A 1964 aerial photo showed an amazing total of 19 single-engine aircraft parked in a dense group on the southeast edge of the Orangeburg CAP Airport.



Strangely, the Orangeburg CAP Airport was not depicted at all on the 1964 NY Sectional Chart.



A 1965 aerial photo showed the total number of aircraft parked on the southeast edge had increased to 27.



Richard MacVicar recalled, “The field closed in the fall of 1966 due to the construction of Lake Tappan.”



Adam Raines reported, “The land was on a year-to-year lease, but finally in 1966 when they started to construct the reservoir,

they were told that the lease was coming to an end.

They packed up their operations & moved to Spring Valley Airport & the Orangeburg Armory.”



A 1966 aerial photo showed a dramatic difference, with the end having come to this little airport -

the property had been scraped clean, presumably in preparation for the reservoir which would soon cover it.



A 1970 photo showed Lake Tappan had covered the site of the Orangeburg CAP Airport,

erasing all traces of the little airfield.

 

A 6/18/10 aerial view of the site of Orangeburg CAP Airport, now covered by Lake Tappan.



The site of Orangeburg Civil Air Patrol Airport is located west of the intersection of Veterans Memorial Drive & Old Orangeburg Road.

____________________________________________________



Christie Airport, Haverstraw, NY

41.17 North / 73.98 West (North of New York, NY)

A 5/15/37 photo (courtesy of Adam Raines & Rich MacVicar) of postmaster Edmund Lawler shaking hands with pilot Rizz Blauvelt before the first Airmail flight from Christies.



According to Adraines, “Christie Airport... was created in 1929, converting the dairy farm into an airport.

In 1929, flights took passengers to see New York City & the World's Fair from the skies above.”



Al Greene recalled, “I was re-reading Ernie Gann's autobiography and got to the part about where he learned to fly.

A small field near New City, NY which was operated by 3 brothers named Christie.

He learned to fly in 1936.”



The earliest depiction of Christie Airport which has been located

was a 5/15/37 photo (courtesy of Adam Raines & Rich MacVicar) of postmaster Edmund Lawler shaking hands with pilot Rizz Blauvelt

before the first Airmail flight from Christies.



The 1938 USGS topo map depicted Christie Airport as an open field with a few small buildings along the north side.



An undated (circa 1930s?) photo of an Army biplane fighter (specific model unidentified) at Christie Airport.



A circa mid/late-1930s photo of Captain O.I. Goodsell's Trimotor at Christie Airport (courtesy of Joe Guzzo).



An undated (circa 1930s?) photo of the cinderblock building with a sign proclaiming “Christie Airport” (courtesy of Bill Elsworth).



A 9/8/42 aerial view looking north at Christie Airport from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

depicted the field as having 2 grass runways with a few small buildings on the north side.



Christie Airport was depicted on the 1943 NY Sectional Chart (according to Al Greene).



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Christie Airport

as a 60 acre rectangular property having 2 loam & sod runways, measuring 1,800' northeast/southwest & 1,400' north/south.

The field was said to have 3 hangars, the largest being a 43' x 40' wood & metal structure.

Christie Airport was described as being owned & operated by private interests.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Christie Airport was on the 1945 NY Sectional Chart,

which depicted Christie as a commercial/municipal airport.

 

The 1953 NY Sectional Chart (according to Peter O'Brien) described Christie Airport as having 2 turf runways, the longest being 1,600'.



A 1953 aerial photo depicted Christie Airport as having 3 unpaved runways, with several small buildings & a single light plane on the north side.



According to Peter O'Brien, “Among others, Ernest Gann & Burgess Meredith flew out of Christie;

in fact Gann mentions the airport, John Kerr Christie & his brother Jim in one of his books.

I did not own a camera when I was flying out of there.

The rental rate on John's J-3, NC42344, was $8/hour & if John was instructing it was $10.

That price included fuel, coffee afterward, plus the time to absorb the experience, knowledge & charm of John Christie.

I remember John Christie as most interesting & generous man.”



Peter continued, “John had a Ryan Brougham airplane based at his airport that was made approximately 2 years after Lindbergh's flight.

The aircraft were VERY similar, with a Wright Whirlwind engine, and Firestone Silvertown tires.

It had a lavender velour interior & seats in the back with wicker seats for the pilot & co-pilot.

I many times sat in the aircraft, it was truly a time machine.

When the Spirit of St. Louis movie was made in the late 1950s or early 1960s an attempt was made to purchase the plane, but John would not sell it.

To my best knowledge the plane is currently in a aviation museum in San Diego.

I was told the airplane was originally based in Long Island, and John flew it to his airport immediately after WW II was declared

because he realized civilian flying would be stopped in areas so close so close to the Atlantic."

 

The 1955 USGS topo map depicted Christie Airport as having 3 unpaved runways, with several small building along the north side.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Christie Airport was on the 1965 NY Sectional Chart,

which depicted Christie as having a 1,600' unpaved runway.

 

A 1965 aerial photo depicted Christie Airport in the same configuration as the 1953 aerial photo,

but there were no planes visible on the field.



According to Peter O'Brien, “Christie Airport... was active until about 1965 when John sold the property to a developer.”



Richard Keller recalled, “The airport I soloed at in the late 1960s... Christie's Airport.

It was a 1,600' grass strip & was owned by John Christie.

It had a Shell gas station which was John's real income, but he so loved to teach flying in his 1946 J-3 Cub.

There were several hangars & once John showed me an original Ford Tri-Motor in one of them.

It was in need of a lot of work & was probably priceless even then.”



The 1967 USGS topo map depicted Christie Airport in the same fashion as the 1955 topo map.



According to Adraines, “In December 1969, the final flight out of the airport was taken.”



Bill Ellsworth recalled of Christie Airport, “I lived at the Buckley Stables in the early 1970s

and remember seeing the sistership to the Spirit of St. Louis sitting in one of the hangars.

I also saw a small plane landing there once.”



A 1974 aerial photo showed that houses had covered the majority of the former Christie Airport,

but the former Shell station building remained standing on the north side of the site.



The 1975 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe) no longer depicted Christie Airport.



The 1979 USGS topo map showed the property covered by several residential streets.

 

A circa 2007-2011 aerial view looking south at the former Shell gas station on the north side which is the sole remnant of Christie Airport.



The site of Christie Airport is located south of the intersection of Haverstraw Road & Christie Drive, appropriately enough.



See also:

A book has been written by Adam Raines & Rich MacVicar about the History of Aviation in Rockland County.

It covers every airport in the 20th Century in Rockland County (over 23 landing fields).

To obtain a copy of the book, contact Adam Raines at adraines@aol.com.



____________________________________________________



Stormville Airport (N69), Stormville, NY

41.58 North / 73.73 West (North of New York, NY)

A circa 1943-45 aerial view looking north at Stormville Airport from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).



According to Gilbert Halpin, "Stormville was purchased around late 1925 / early 1926 by Pete [O'Brien] & his brother Vincent.

It was purchased from the family of George Benjamin Foote.

Stormville officially became an airport in October 1927.”



However, a 10/9/41 USGS aerial photo only depicted an oval racetrack at the site,

and according to its FAA Airport/Facility Directory listing, Stormville Airport was activated in 10/1942.



According to Peter Turecek (CAP Historian), “A NY Times obituary indicated a military funeral for a Lt. Waldo Gellard

killed in a plane crash 8/26/44 at Stormville while on a CAP mission.

The article hinted he might have been flying from the Flushing base on searchlight/antiaircraft target flights.”



According to J. Reicher, “Stormville Airport... is a historic airport where many of the famous old pilots used to fly.

It also was the closest airport in the New York area where you were allowed to fly during the Second World War due to security restrictions.

Many of the first women ferry pilots were trained there.”



The earliest depiction which has been located of Stormville Airport

was a circa 1943-45 aerial view from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

It depicted Stormville as having 2 grass runways, with an oval racetrack adjacent to the west side of the runways.



A 1943 photo of Elizabeth Gardiner in the rear seat of a Cub at Stormville. The photo was captioned, “Learning to fly at Stormville Airport.”



Stormville Airport was depicted on the 1948 USGS topo map simply as an open area, with a single building on the northwest side.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Stormville Airport was on the July 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jim Stanton).

It depicted Stormville as having a 2,800' unpaved runway.



According to www.stormn69.org, “Stormville Airport was at one time a lively center for flying activity in the northeast.

Pete & Rose O'Brien ran the airport for 40 years with a flight school, tie downs, and maintenance facility.

Cole Palen, founder of the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, was a close friend of the O'Briens & flew there often.

He made a first flight of his restored 1909 Bleriot monoplane there.

He used to fly a Fleet biplane there in the 1950s, inviting young people to fly & inciting dreams.”



A circa 1955 photo of Cole Palen's restored 1909 Bleriot monoplane flying from Stormville Airport.



An 8/5/58 USGS aerial photo depicted Stormville as having 2 grass runways, with an oval racetrack adjacent to the west side of the runways,

and a dozen single-engine aircraft parked on the northwest side of the field.



R. Ritter recalled, “I can remember flying with [his father] up to Stormville Airport for his cross country flights

(cokes were 5 cents in the machine & a swimming hole).”



A 1968 photo of Glenn Kane in front of a Cessna 150 at Stormville Airport.



According to Gilbert Halpin, "The true heyday at N69 was between 1968-77.

More pilots were soloed & private pilot ratings were issued there then any other private field in the Hudson Valley.

1968 is the year that the modern backtop runway was completed & modern improvements of the period were installed,

before this time it was quite a small but intimate operation aircraft count wise.

I personally counted 92 general aviation aircraft based there in 1971,

however Pete has made claims that during this period as many as 116+ had been based there.”



A 1974 aerial photo depicted Stormville's newly-paved northeast/southwest runway,

with traces of the oval racetrack still visible, partly covered by the new runway.

The number of aircraft on the field had increased markedly compared to the 1958 aerial photo,

with several dozen aircraft parked all over the north side of the property.



A 10/5/74 photo by Marty Tommer of a Lockheed 18-56, N43WT, S/N 2565, used at Stormville Airport to haul skydivers up to 12,500'.



According to Gilbert Halpin, "No true airport activity really had happened since 1983/84.”



A 1986 aerial view of Stormville Airport by Ian Scott-Ramsay showed a very well-used airport.



Stormville Airport, as depicted on the 1989 USGS topo map.



Paul Roggemann recalled, “I started taking lessons at N69 in January 1990.

I soled in February 1990 & had completed planning my first cross-country flight when they shut down the school.

This was around May 1990.

There were 2 Norwegian instructors there at the time working on their ATP tickets: One was named Frodde, and my instructor was Trond.

Sometimes I would fly back over to N69 & practice takeoff and landing, often stopping to chat with Pete or have a burger.

He was completing work on his biplane around that time.

N69 had a feel to it that I'm sure more seasoned aviators relish.

I can readily see why they liked it so much & I'm glad I got to spend some time there.

Every time I drive by Stormville it my brings back great memories.”



According to www.stormn69.org, “When Pete & Rose retired the airport passed to their daughter Patricia.

As late as 1990 there were a few planes still tied-down at the airport, but no fuel or services.”



The last photo which has been located showing aircraft at Stormville Airport was a 4/20/94 looking east,

showing 3-dozen light aircraft parked on the field.



According to Gilbert Halpin, "We officially went belly up at the end of 1995.”



Steven Styles remarked in 2006, “It is pretty hard to land with the flea market in effect every other weekend.”



Jack Downey reported in 2008, “Stormville... is still depicted on Sectional Charts as open - in fact there is still a GPS-A [approach] on the books -

but it looked pretty closed to me the last time I flew over it.

There are no airplanes based there anymore & I see there are now X's on the runways.”



A circa 2008-2011 aerial view looking west depicted a sad sight – the aviation facilities at Stormville remained completely intact,

but the field was completely devoid of any aircraft,

and instead displayed evidence of its usage for flea markets – the multiple paved road segments on the north side of the property.



Fred Robbins reported in 2009, “I used to take lessons there in the early 1970s there, spent many a weekend hanging out,

and then trained & flew aerobatics in many contests held by my dear, deceased friends

Daniel Héligoin & Montaine Mallet of the 'French Connection Airshow'.

It's only used now for several huge flea markets each year.

I only attended once several years ago & was terribly depressed.

Walking down the rows of booths on the asphalt, all I could think about was,

'I used to touch down right here...I used to rotate right about here...This is where I hit that crosswind gust... I used to taxi here...".”



Vin Soares reporteed in 2010, “I too hate to see this airport go.

I remember landing there in the late 1970s with my instructor from the old Danbury School of Aeronautics. Sad, very sad.

I received information from the FAA & the airport owners say that the field is open & they have no plans to close it.

This was a response to the FAA inquiry to the NY State Airport Department.

It is marked like it is closed & there have not been any NOTAMs so at this point I do not know what to think.”



Stormville Airport continued to be depicted as an open public-use airport on the 2011 NY Sectional Chart,

which is really a disservice to the aviation community if indeed the property no longer functions as an airport.



According to its FAA Airport/Facility Directory listing, as of 2011 Stormville Airport was still listed as “open to the public”,

with the owner & manager listed as Tom Carnahan.

The field was described as having comprising 155 acres, with a single 3,315' asphalt Runway 6/24, in “poor condition”, with “wide cracks & weeds on runway”,

but it was still listed as conducting an average of 33 takeoffs or landings per month.



As of 2011 www.stormn69.org reported, “Now the airport is left to the hand-me-downs & cast-aways of a consumer culture,

mouldering among picture puzzles with missing pieces, boxes of dime store paperbacks, grocery store china,

department store home furnishings, knick-knacks, and second-hand clothes.

It is the Stormville flea market.”



Stormville Airport is located southeast of the intersection of Route 216 & Brothers Road.

____________________________________________________



Somers Airport, Somers, NY

41.32 North / 73.68 West (North of New York, NY)

Somers Airport, as depicted on the 1946 USGS topo map.

Photo of the airport while in operation is not available.



This general aviation airport was evidently established at some point between 1945-46,

as it was not yet depicted on the 1944 USGS topo map nor on the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

The earliest depiction of Somers Airport which has been located was on the 1946 USGS topo map.



Robert Booth recalled, “In the Summer of 1949 I took some flying lessons, my first, at an airport in Somers, NY.

At about the same time there was also a 9-hole golf course on the site, just south of the famous 'Elephant Hotel' on Route 22.

This was a very makeshift operation, with just one J-3 Cub & the operator of the airport.

It might not have been an actual airport, just a pasture with an airplane.”



Joe Rao recalled, “I got my most memorable first ride in an airplane at Somers... two half-hour dual hops.

Somers was just a sod field at the top of rolling flat-topped hill about 100' above Route 100.

It was open from about 1941 to about 1947.

They had a surplus North American BT-9 parked there in the weeds... bad shape... dead battery...

don't know how it managed to land there at that small field.

Charlie Broncek, my instructor, and I managed to hand prop start the thing... it ran very rough... I believe it was broken down & scrapped.”



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Somers Airport was on the 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).

It depicted Somers as having a 2,200' unpaved runway.



The last depiction which has been located of the Somers Airport was on the 1956 USGS topo map.



The earliest photo which has been located of the Somers Airport was a 1958 aerial view.

It depicted an open irregularly-shaped grass field with a few small buildings on the west side.

There were no aircraft visible on the field, or any other indication of recent aviation usage.



Somers Airport was evidently closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1956-60,

as it was no longer depicted on the 1960 USGS topo map.



A 1974 aerial photo depicted the site of Somers Airport in much the same manner as the 1958 photo.



The IBM Somers Office Complex was constructed between 1984-89 on the site of the Somers Airport,

a $55 million complex which enabled the centralization of 3,000 employees located in other facilities in the surrounding area.

Ironically, this resulted in the resumption of an aviation facility on the property,

as IBM maintains the private Somers Heliport (NY44).



A 1993 USGS aerial photo depicted the IBM office complex, without any trace remaining of the former airport.



A 6/18/10 aerial photo depicted the IBM office complex, without any trace remaining of the former airport.



The site of Somers Airport is located northeast of the intersection of Route 100 & Goldens Bridge Road.

____________________________________________________



Croton Airpark, Croton, NY

41.23 North / 73.85 West (North of New York, NY)

Croton Airpark, as depicted on the July 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jim Stanton).



This general aviation airport was evidently established at some point between 1945-53,

as it was not yet depicted on the 1945 NY Sectional Chart.

The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Croton Airpark

was on the July 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jim Stanton).

It depicted Croton as having a 1,400' unpaved runway.



The earliest photo which has been located of Croton Airpark was a 4/15/53 USGS aerial photo.

It depicted the field as having a very short unpaved northeast/southwest runway,

with 6 single-engine aircraft parked near some small buildings on the northwest side.



A 1964 aerial photo depicted 3 single-engine aircraft at Croton Airpark.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Croton Airpark was on the 1965 NY Sectional Chart.

It depicted Croton as having a 1,400' unpaved runway.



A Steptember 1968 photo of John Steiner “flying” a J3 Cub at Croton Airpark.



John Steiner recalled, “In the late 1960s my father used to fly a Piper Cub from a small field near the reservoir in Croton.

I have fond memories of him taking me flying.

I remember being there once when I was very small & it must have still been open (late 1960s) and there had been a crash.

I believe a man was killed when he overshot the runway.”



According to Ian Baren, “My best friend John was at the airstrip for a small airshow circa 1970-73.”



Berl Brechner reported, “Croton Airfield... was an active airport until mid-1970s or so.

A lot of NY-area folks flew from there.”



According to John Steiner, “I think it closed in the 1970s.”



A circa 1973-74 photo looking west at John Steiner riding a 1970 Benelli Buzzer minibike on the Croton Airpark runway,

with several nearly fallen-down hangars in the background.

John recalled, “It had a single paved runway. There used to be folks who flew model airplanes on the weekends.

My brother & I used to go there and ride mini-bikes.”



A 1974 aerial photo showed Croton Airpark having a single paved northeast/southwest runway,

with a few small buildings on the north side.

But there were no aircraft visible or any other signs of recent usage.



Berl Brechner reported, “I went to the runway, asphalt beginning to crack, in the late 1970s,

and on that occasion a lone flier of a powered ultra-light was using the now-closed runway.”



The last depiction of Croton Airpark which has been located was on the 1979 USGS topo map

(although that does not prove it was still open at that point).

It depicted the field as having a single unpaved northeast/southwest runway.



The 1993 USGS aerial picture showed no remaining trace of the former Croton Airpark,

with the runway having been replaced with a residential street, Longview Road.



A July 4, 2007 aerial photo showed no remaining trace of the former Croton Airpark.



____________________________________________________



Walden Airport, Walden, NY

41.53 North / 74.21 West (North of New York, NY)

An undated aerial view looking northwest at Walden Airport,

from The Airport Directory Company's 1933 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



This general aviation airport was not yet depicted on the 1929 Rand-McNally Standard Map of NY with Air Trails.



According to James Stanton, “Walden Airport opened [on] Memorial Day 1931.”



According to an article in the 12/17/03 issue of the Times Herald-Record,

Pilot John Sanford recalled that “the Tillson-Walden Airport” was the de facto center of the regional aviation movement.

Charles Lindbergh & Amelia Earhart both made visits there.

John recalled, "I saw Lindy at the airfield.”

Sanford spent the early part of the 1930s learning to fly there

and his instructor was an Austrian pilot named Egan Pelzeder, a former World War I fighter pilot.

"A great fella... we were like 2 peas in a pod", Sanford said.

"He was my first serious instructor."

That teacher-student relationship endured for more than 18 months before ending with Pelzeder's death.

He died in a plane crash in 1931.



The earliest depiction of Walden Airport which has been located

was in The Airport Directory Company's 1933 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted Walden Airport as having 3 sod runways, with the longest being the 2,960' north/south strip.

The field was said to consist of a total of 96 acres, irregularly-shaped.

A single hangar was depicted just to the northeast of the runway intersection.

The operators were listed as Roy Munroe & Tillson Flying Service.

The field's owner & operator was listed as Earl Tillson.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Walden Airport

was on the 1935 10M Regional Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted Walden as a commercial/municipal field.



A 8/7/42 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

depicted Walden Airport as an open grass area with a building on the east side.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Walden Airport

as a 110 acre irregularly-shaped property having a sod all-way landing area, with the longest dimension being 3,200' north/south.

The field was said to have 3 metal & wood hangars, the largest measuring 100' x 30'.

Walden Airport was described as being owned & operated by private interests.



The 1946 USGS topo map depicted Walden Airport as having 2 runways,

with a hangar just east of the runway intersection.



The 1957 USGS topo map depicted the “Newburgh-Walden Landing Field” as having 2 unpaved runways,

with several small buildings just northeast of the runway intersection.

The area surrounding the field was already depicted as a golf course.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Walden Airport

was on the January 1958 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted “Newburgh-Walden” as having a 3,000' unpaved runway.



Peter O'Brien recalled, “Walden Airport was one of my cross-country stops when I was learning to fly at Christie Airport in New City in 1958.

I remember when landing at Walden you had to look out for golfers who would at times cross the runway from one tee to the other.”



According to James Stanton, “Walden Airport closed 6/30/60.”



The Walden Airport was no longer listed among active airfields in the 1960 Jeppesen Airway Manual (according to Chris Kennedy).



Ken Barnes recalled, “While the airport was 'closed' for a while in the early 1960s (when my father owned the golf course)

planes still appeared now & then rather unexpectedly!

I remember being quite excited when a plane landed one day (quite unannounced) just a few yards from the 1st tee.

I don’t know who was more shocked:

the golfers or the pilot (who must have surely wondered where the windsock was)!”



A 1975 aerial view showed the hangars remaining, but no aircraft or other signs of aviation use.



The 1986 USGS topo map continued to depict the 2 runways, labeled simply as “Landing Strips”.



As seen in a 2003 aerial view,

the 2 grass runways of the former Walden Airport remain clear, and the 1930s-vintage hangar remains standing as well.



As of 2006, road maps labeled the site of Walden Airport

as the Scott's Corners Golf Course.



A circa 2008 aerial view looking north at the 1930s-vintage hangar which remains standing at Walden.



The site of Walden Airport is located northwest of the intersection of Route 208 & Route 17K.

____________________________________________________



Livingston Manor Airport, Livingston Manor, NY

41.89 North / 74.82 West (North of New York, NY)

Livingston Manor Airport, as depicted on the August 1938 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The Livingston Manor Airport was established by Harry Gordon in 1938,

according to an article in the 8/4/42 issue of the Rockaway Journal (courtesy of Jack Gordon).



The earliest depiction of Livingston Manor Airport which has been located

was on the August 1938 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted Livingston Manor as an auxiliary airfield.



The Airport Directory Company's 1938 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

described Livingston Manor as an auxiliary airfield, having a single 1,566' north/south sod runway.



The article in the 8/4/42 issue of the Rockaway Journal (courtesy of Jack Gordon)

described how the Livingston Manor Airport was abandoned by Harry Gordon in 1939

when he decided to open the Rockaway Airport in Queens.



The Livingston Manor Airport may have continued to operate even after Harry Gordon had moved his operations away,

as Livingston Manor was still listed as an active airport in The Airport Directory Company's 1941 Airport Directory (according to Chris Kennedy).

It described Livingston Manor as an auxiliary airfield, having a single 1,566' north/south sod runway.

 

Harry Gordon relocated his flight school operation back to Livingston Manor,

after the Rockaway Airport was closed to civilian flight operations on August 3, 1942

due to an Army order closing all privately operated airfields

within a radius of 200 miles of the coastline "for the duration" of the war.

Jack Gordon recalled, "We flew all of our aircraft to Livingston Manor Airport, in the Catskill Mountains."

 

The field at Livingston Manor Airport was described as being 3,500' in length,

according to the article in the 8/4/42 issue of the Rockaway Journal (courtesy of Jack Gordon).

The airport was said to have "a number of cottages in which student pilots will reside while taking the course.

Over 125 have already agreed to continue their studies at Livingston Manor."

 

No airfield at Livingston Manor was depicted on the 1945 NY Sectional Chart

nor listed in the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

(perhaps it was just overlooked due to its relatively small size).



The January 1949 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted Livingston Manor Airport as having a 2,400' unpaved runway.



The 1952 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe)

depicted Livingston Manor as having a 2,600' unpaved runway.



A 1957 photo of Albert 'Put' Gottlieb making the 1st flight of a homebuilt at Livingston Manor Airport (courtesy of Bill Gottlieb).



An undated photo of an Aeronca on skis at Livingston Manor Airport (courtesy of Bill Gottlieb).



A 1962 aerial view looking northwest at Livingston Manor Airport (courtesy of Bill Gottlieb).



The 1962 AOPA Airport Directory described Livingston Manor

as having a single 2,600' sod Runway 14/32.

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

The operator was listed as Livingston Manor Airport Inc.



A 5/2/63 USGS aerial view depicted Livingston Manor Airport as having a single unpaved runway.



Bill Gottlieb recalled, “My father, Albert 'Put' Gottlieb & his brother, Manuel 'Manny' Gottlieb

owned & operated the strip during the 1960s & early 1970s.

Put was a flight instructor (he flew P-39s, P-40s & P-51s during WWII) & Manny was an A&P mechanic.

Besides running the airport, they owned & operated several dealerships out of the buildings

including Cessna, Case (tractors), Willy's (Jeeps), and Ski-Doo (snowmobiles).

The Army Guard & Reserve used it frequently during exercises while it was open.”



Livingston Manor was still depicted as a public-use airport on the 1965 NY Sectional Chart.



An undated aerial view looking south at Livingston Manor Airport (courtesy of Bill Gottlieb).



Bill Gottlieb recalled, “They [Put & Manny Gotltlieb] sold the airport in 1970 and moved to Daytona Beach, Florida.

When the new owner passed away shortly afterwards,

Dad & Uncle Manny bought it back from the widow until it could be sold again.”



Livingston Manor was still depicted as a public-use airport in the 1972 Flight Guide (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

The field was depicted as consisting of a single 2,400' unpaved Runway 15/33,

with 3 buildings along the middle of the northeast side of the runway.

 

Livingston Manor apparently became a private field at some point between 1972-75,

as that is how it was depicted on the 1975 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).

It was described as having a 2,400' unpaved runway.

 

The 1982 USGS topo map Livingston Manor Airport

as having a single northwest/southeast runway, with 2 small buildings along the east side of the runway.

 

The 1982 AOPA Airports USA Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury)

described Livingston Manor Airport as having a single 2,600' turf Runway 15/33.

 

Livingston Manor Airport may have been closed at some point between 1982-86,

as the 1986 USGS topo map labeled it merely as "Landing Strip" (which typically indicated an airport which was no longer operational).

 

As seen in the 1993 USGS aerial view,

Livingston Manor Airport appeared completely intact, including the single grass runway, and 2 hangars on the east side of the field.

However, there was no sign of any aircraft, or any other indication of recent usage.



A circa 2006 aerial view looking south at the former Livingston Manor Airport,

showing the 2 airport buildings while they both remained standing.

While the grass runway remained intact, unidentified objects were being stored on the runway southeast of the buildings.



A photo of the fire which consumed the main building at the former Livingston Manor Airport on January 27, 2007 (courtesy of Bill Gottlieb).

Renovation work was being done on the 2 buildings recently, among which was the replacement of the roof shingles on the main building.

When a predicted cold front passed through with the accompanying gale winds, workers retired from the roof to take an early lunch break.

During their absence, smoke was observed coming from the building by passing motorists.

By the time firemen arrived at the scene, the flames, stoked by the winds, had already ate through the roof,

and by the time the blaze was under control, the building was completely burned out.

The remaining structure has quickly since been knocked down.

Today the old building, which once housed the original airport offices, repair shops and Jeep dealership of the Gottlieb brothers

is now a pile of smoldering debris.



A circa 2008 aerial view looking south at the former Livingston Manor Airport,

showing the remains of the main airport building which burned in 2007.



The site of Livingston Manor Airport is located on the southwest side of Route 178,

southeast of its intersection with Pearl Street.

____________________________________________________



Barrett Field / Westchester Aviation Country Club Airport / Armonk Airport, Armonk, NY

41.12 North / 73.71 West (North of New York, NY)

The location & layout of Barrett Field, as depicted on a 1929 NY Legislative Report (courtesy of Tom Heitzman).



This airport was adjacent to the southeast side of the town of Armonk.

The date of construction of the Armonk Airport has not been determined,

but according to an article in the 12/17/03 issue of the NY News,

Charles Lindbergh flew into the Armonk airport in August of 1928

and greeted hundreds of well-wishers there who found out about his arrival.

It was also reported to have been visited by Amelia Earhart.



The earliest depiction which has been located of this airport was on a 1929 NY Legislative Report (courtesy of Tom Heitzman).

It described the Armonk “Barrett Field” as being a 68 acre irregularly-shaped sod field having 2 runways,

the longest measuring 2,500' north/south.

The field was said to be leased from D.J. Barrett, and operated by Barrett Airways Inc.



The 1929 Rand-McNally "Standard Map of NY with Air Trails" (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

described Barrett Field as being operated by Barrett Airways, Inc., and being 2,500' x 1,900' in size.



Within the next year, the airport had apparently been renamed "Westchester" Airport,

as that is how it was labeled on the 1930 Rand-McNally "Standard Map of NJ with Air Trails" (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



A postmark commemorating the 9/10/32 “Opening of Westchester Aviation Country Club Airport, Armonk”.



"Westchester" was depicted as a municipal or commercial airport on the 1935 Regional Aeronautical Chart.



The earliest photo which has been located of Armonk "Westchester" Airport

was an undated aerial view from the Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airports Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).

It described the field as having 2 sod runways in an "L" shape,

with the longest being the 1,800' north/south strip.



An undated (before Route 684, circa 1930s?) aerial view looking east at Armonk Airport (courtesy of Ron Marinaro)

showed the field to consist of an irregularly-shaped grass airfield, with an asphalt T-shaped taxiway at the north end,

along with a hangar, one smaller building, and at least 3 light aicraft.





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

described Armonk "Westchester" Airport as having an 1,800' unpaved runway.

 

The 1944 directory also showed that the new "Westchester County" Airport had been constructed to the south.

This much larger airport, with its paved runways,

would eventually replace the original Westchester Airport in Armonk.



An 8/7/42 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

depicted “Westchester Airport, Armonk” as an irregularly-shaped grass area with a hangar on the north side.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described “Westchester Airport, Armonk”

as a 66 acre irregularly-shaped property having 2 sod runways, measuring 1,800' north/south & 1,600' east/west.

The field was said to have 3 hangars, the largest being a 100' x 80' stone & concrete building.

Westchester Airport was described as being owned & operated by private interests.



The "Westchester" Airport was depicted (confusingly) just north of the "Westchester County (Auxiliary)" Airport

on the 1945 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Norman Freed).



Joe Rao recalled “I soloed at Armonk on 8/3/45.

The operators were Dave Finger & Bernie Chodos, all during the WWII years & I believe to about 1953.

$10/hr dual instruction, $8/hr solo in J-3 Cub.

I worked weekends at the outside frozen custard stand that also served hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks...got $5 a day.

Hundreds of people would come out to take rides & watch the planes take off & land.

I rode my bicycle to the airport until I got my driver's license & a car.”



Leo Diamond recalled, "We would fly to Westchester Airport (that we didn't know as Armonk)

mostly because of a gorgeous counter waitress for a good cup of coffee."



An undated (circa 1940s?) aerial view looking south at Armonk Westchester Airport (courtesy of Ron Marinaro)

showed 8 single-engine aircraft & 2 hangars, one of which had Westchester Airport” painted on its roof.



Bill Reidy recalled of Armonk Airport,

"I had my first flight there (1950?) and it started me on a 40+ year aviation career."

 

"Westchester Airport", as depicted on the 1951 USGS topo map. 



A 1953 aerial view depicted 18 light aircraft parked on the northwest & northeast sides of the grass airfield.



Ron Marinaro recalled, “I grew up in Armonk & took my first airplane ride from the Armonk Airport in the late 1950s.”



The 1960 Jeppesen Airway Manual (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted the Westchester Airport as having 2 unpaved runways: 2,200' Runway 18/36 & 1,600' Runway 9/27.

Several buildings (hangars?) were depicted along the northwest & northeast sides of the field.

 

The last photo which has been located of Armonk Airport was a 1960 aerial view.

It depicted the field as having 2 perpendicular grass runways,

with 2 hangars & a dozen light single-engine aircraft on the northeast corner of the field.



The 1962 AOPA Airport Directory described Armonk "Westchester" Airport

as having 2 turf runways: 2,200' Runway 18/36 & 1,600' Runway 9/27.

The operator was listed as Pappy's Flying Service.



Joe Carey recalled, “As a kid in the early 1960s,

my parents used to take us over to Armonk Airfield to watch the planes land & take off.

In 1964 IBM moved their world headquarters from New York City to Armonk

in an orchard immediately adjacent to the airfield”, just southeast of the airfield.



By the time of the 1964 NY Sectional Chart, the field was labeled as "Armonk" Airport,

and described as having a 2,200' unpaved runway.



The 1965 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss) depicted Armonk Airport

as having a 2,200' unpaved runway.



According to Joe Carey, “With the much larger Westchester County Airport just 3 miles away

and the price of real estate skyrocketing the owner decided to sell out to Ramada for a hotel.”



Armonk Airport was closed at some point between 1965-66,

as it was not depicted at all on the March 1966 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).



According to Joe Carey, “I-684 did not reach Armonk until 1970.

It was rumored that I-684 was located where it was because IBM used its influence on the NY State DOT.”



A 1974 aerial photo showed an office building covering the middle of the former Armonk Airport site,

but the remains of the southern end of the runway could still be seen.

The hangars had been removed.



As seen in the 1993 USGS aerial view of the site,

not a trace appears to remain of the former airport.



According to Norman Freed, "It is now an office park & a Ramada Inn."

 

The site of Armonk Airport is located southwest of the intersection of Route 684 & Route 22.

____________________________________________________

 

Spring Valley Airport / County Airpark / Ramapo Valley Airport (N24), Spring Valley, NY

41.11 North / 74.02 West (Northwest of New York, NY)

An October 1946 photo by William Shutlz of an Aeronca 7AC (NC85193)

about to depart from Spring Valley for the first-ever ride for his son, William Schulz, Jr. (courtesy of William Schulz, Jr.).



Adam Raines reported, “Bill Beard (the 2nd owner of the airfield) & I had a long conversation about the airport

and he was nice enough to share his memoirs with me approximately 2 weeks before he passed away.

It is very likely that when anyone thinks of airports in Rockland County, they will recall the most active one located in Spring Valley.

It existed for 40 years & had gone through 3 ownership changes in that time.

The roots of this airfield go back to 1945 when all the GI’s were returning from the war.

The county was flourishing in aviation. The GI bill allowed many men to learn to fly at little or no cost.

Although the airport is depicted on a chart in 1945, it formally opened in 1946.”



Adam continued, “Bill Bohlke opened the airport with partners Ted Klink & Peter Erickson, who called it 'County Airpark'.

Bill was a very sharp businessman who had the vision for another successful Rockland Airport.

The airport first consisted of a small 1,390' turf runway.

For a while, the airfield had stone/dust runways, so when it rained, the runways would become very firm.”



The earliest depiction of the Spring Valley Airport which has been located

was an October 1946 photo by William Shutlz (courtesy of William Schulz, Jr.) of an Aeronca 7AC (NC85193)

about to depart from Spring Valley for the first-ever ride for his son, William Schulz, Jr.

William Schulz, Jr. recalled in 2004, "The pilot was William Boehlke.

Note the barn & shed at the northeast end of the runway.

The barn [still] appears in the chart excerpts [the topo map several paragraphs below],

and, I believe, even in the 2000 aerial photo.

Also note grading stake, new grass, and 'potatoes.'

Recollections of sights, sounds, and other sensory inputs, particularly of take off -

that elm/oak at the southwest end - and landing - slipping in over the barn - remain to this date."



A circa 1940s photo (courtesy of Bill Beard, via Adam Raines) of a large number of single-engine planes at Spring Valley Airport.



A 1947 aerial view (courtesy of Bill Beard, via Adam Raines) looking north showing Spring Valley Airport to have 2 unpaved runways & several buildings on the north side.



Bill Bohlke taught flying to notables such as Burgess Meredith, Wally Cox, and Frank Blair (according to his obituary, courtesy of William Schulz, Jr.).



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of this airport

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

It depicted “County” Airpark as having a 2,000' unpaved runway.



In the 1950s, Bohlke used a Piper Tri-Pacer to operate a NY-area air taxi business.



A 1952 aerial photo depicted Spring Valley Airport as having 2 unpaved runways,

with several hangars & 2-dozen light aircraft on the north side of the field.



A 1953 aerial view (courtesy of Bill Beard, via Adam Raines) looking northeast depicted Spring Valley Airport

as having a single unpaved runway & over 30 light aircraft parked outside.

A row of T-hangars had been added to the northwest side at some point between 1947-53.



It was labeled Spring Valley Airport on the 1955 USGS topo map.

That map depicted the field as having two 1,400' runways,

with a curved taxiway next to the northeast/southwest runway.



Adam Raines reported, “Other runways were constructed & were eventually paved in the 1957.

Bill Bohlke Jr. recalls them having a 'Blacktop Party' that was financed by actor Burgess Meredith.

Mr. Bohlke promoted aircraft financing, which was very rare at the time.

He was selling a lot of Piper Tri-Pacers back then.

Bill was a very busy man & often worked from 5am until midnight running multiple jobs.

He had a crop dusting business that started at 5am.

He also ran a garage/auto body-repair/gas station business, and he was also the mayor of Spring Valley!”



The 1958 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

Described “County” Airpark as having a 2,200' unpaved runway.



Billy Beard recalled, "My father owned the Ramapo Valley Airport.

I grew up going there pretty much every day, taking flying lessons,

and hearing tale after tale of the characters that inhabited that airport from the late 1950s until I left for college in 1971.

There are just so many stories involving this fascinating place."



The 1960 Jeppesen Airway Manual (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted the Spring Valley "County Airpark" as having a single 1,600' paved Runway 5/23,

and a 2,300' unpaved Runway 10/28.

Several hangars were depicted along the northwest & northeast sides of the field,

which was also said to be "surrounded by mountains."



Adam Raines reported, “During one of Bill's very needed vacations to the Caribbean, he fell in love with theisland of St. Croix,

and in early 1960, he decided to move his family & life down there & start a charter business that is still run by the Bohlke family today.

The Spring Valley airport had a changing of the guard to another man with the same first name & same initials.

After a long arduous task of securing financing to close the deal, on 7/1/60, Billy Beard would take over as owner of the airport.

Bill immediately changed the name of the airport to Ramapo Valley Airport

because he wanted to embrace the entire district & not have the field named after any one town.

He ran the airport well for 11 years, dealing with the politics & pressures of running an airport in a growing suburban community.”



A 1961 aerial view (courtesy of Bill Beard, via Adam Raines) looking west depicted Ramapo Valley Airport

as having 2 paved runways & over 20 light aircraft parked outside.

Three more rows of T-hangars had been added to the northwest side at some point between 1953-61.



The 1962 AOPA Airport Directory described Ramapo Valley Airport as having 2 bituminous runways: 2,000' Runway 10/28 & 1,600' Runway 5/23.

The operators were listed as Ramapo Valley Airport & Ramapo Valley Flight Service.



The 1963 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted Ramapo Valley Airport as having 2 paved runways, with the longest being 2,200'.



An undated photo (courtesy of Bill Beard, via Adam Raines) of the Ramapo Valley Airport office.



Jim Conroy recalled, "I learned to fly at Ramapo in 1963 and remember it as a quirky little field.

The runway was actually slightly uphill."

He took lessons in an Aeronca 7-AC at Ramapo.



An undated aerial view (courtesy of Bill Beard, via Adam Raines) looking west at at a very well-used Ramapo Valley Airport,

with dozens of light aircraft, including 2 helicopters on a helipad on the northeast side.



John Oberg recalled, “Ramapo/ Spring Valley Airport... My very protective parents took me up there in 1969

and bought me one of those 20 minute demo flights. Wonderful. The pilot let me do the takeoff. It was a Cessna 150.

Later, upon turning 17 I drove myself up & got a job driving the fuel truck on weekends.

I still think of it as the best job ever.

I was young, I had a truck full of 100 octane avgas, I was friends with the owners

(they had better be friendly, or find themselves on the low end of the gas queue).

I wonder of the legality of a minor driving a fuel truck, if it could have been considered dangerous, but it never came up.

Sometimes when things were slow, I would drive the truck flat out down the runway,

sometimes empty, sometimes not, to see how it would do as a dragster.

Not well. No chute, and brakes were dicey.”



John continued, “There were 3 FBOs operating.

SPANair was the largest, and where I took lessons, It was in the middle of the field,

next to the coffee shop, and its planes were the first row you would see as you walked out onto the field.

There was RAMair over on the west side of the field.

It was a brand new operation at the time, new Cessnas, new building and, I bet lots of debt. I was told not to fill their planes.

And there was DECair, a helicopter company, where I worked.

It was run by a handfull of Vietnam pilots. The owner was Tony, and the last name (I forget) began with C.

It was a real operation with mechanics working on Jet Rangers & other aircraft.

The WOR traffic helicopter was often there.

I had a huge truck full of jet fuel for the turbine Jet Rangers. We were on the East side of the field.”



John continued, “I learned to fly in the SuperCub that Spanair owned. I paid $9/hour.

How much more fun is it possible to have than flying a Cub with the door folded open at low altitude?

It took a few tries to get the hang of flaring out properly in the taildragger,

and I still remember my instructor urging me to stick to the paved part of the runway,

and suggesting he could supplement his salary by selling tickets.

When I finally got my private license, it was Bill from Spanair that did the check flight

(we flew to Teteroboro, he got out & I flew home alone).

Sadly, during the entire 2 years I was at the airport, we never managed to take a single picture.”



Billy Beard, whose father owned the Ramapo Valley Airport, recalled,

"It, unfortunately, was sold in the 1970s due to mounting political pressure & my Dad retired."



Adam Raines reported, “During this time, Alan Yasskey & George Fiest,who were based at the airport,

had been keeping their eye on buying the field when the time was right.

Both of them were real estate developers as well as pilots.

Billy Beard then sold the airport to them in 1971.

TAG Aviation, short for Tom O’Looney, Alan Yassky, and George Fiest, was the primary Fixed Base Operator.”



A 1972 airport directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) depicted Ramapo Valley Airport

as having a 2,000' paved runway 8/26, and a closed Runway 10/28.

That airfield layout differs significantly from that depicted on the 1955 USGS topo map, curiously.

A total of 4 buildings (hangars?) were depicted along the northwest side of the airfield.



A 1974 aerial photo depicted no less than 75 aircraft visible parked outside at Ramapo Valley Airport.

A hangar had been built over the western end of the former east/west runway.



Ramapo Valley Airport, as depicted on the 1975 NY Terminal Area Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).

 

Vinny Pinto recalled, "Ramapo Valley Airport & Tag Aviation… I learned to fly there in 1977

and flew regularly from there till about 1980.I

In those years while I was there, it sported simply a single 8/25 runway, over 2,000' long,

and was home to at least 50 parked planes, and also at least one maintenance facility,

as well as a bar, which was located next to Tag Aviation.

The airport runway, particularly the west end, was located extremely near the NY State Thruway

and the Spring Valley toll booths on the Thruway,

and my recollection is that more than one pilot taking off to the west crash-landed on the Thruway

near the toll booths due to engine problems or other problems over the years.

A few more crashed in a lightly wooded field

nestled in an undeveloped (at the time) triangle of land south of the of the airport runway.

I was present at one such crash site in 1979 which was a fatality.

I had just landed [on Runway] 25 one afternoon in 1979

and the guy who took off behind me on [Runway] 25 lost engine power,

tried to make the Thruway by keeping his nose too high, and spun out into that aforementioned wooded area.

He had died (burning) by the time we reached him."

 

Vinny continued, "The main FBO at RVA was Tag Aviation,

and the main figure in Tag Aviation was Tom O'Looney, who also had some real estate interests.

There was also a small rotary-wing (copter) facility across the field,

just on the far side of the runway from all the other operators."



A 6/10/77 photo by Peter Nicholson of a Piper Aztec 250 at Ramapo Valley Airport.



The last photo which has been located of Ramapo Valley Airport was a 1979 aerial view looking east by Tony Tarsia.

It showed a very well-used field, with dozens of light aircraft.

Tony recalled, “I learned to fly at Ramapo Valley in the late 1970s.”



The 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury)

described the runway configuration at Ramapo Valley Airport as a single 2,185' asphalt Runway 8/25.

The operators were listed as Clarkstown Valley Airport Inc., TAG Aviation Inc.,

Decair Helicopters Inc., Ramapo Aero & Helicopters Inc.

 

Spring Valley Airport was still depicted on the 1983 USGS topo map.



Adam Raines reported, “At its peak, Spring Valley Airport, was the home of over 150 airplanes, 6 hangars, 2 flight schools,

1 helicopter operation (Decair), and one restaurant & bar (Mason Jar).

It was by far the largest & most active airport in Rockland County until its closing in 1985,

due to mounting pressures from neighbors, low buzzing aircraft over populated areas, a lucrative offer from developers, and some unfortunate fatalities.

When the last aircraft was flown out of Spring Valley Airport in 1985, this marked the sad & unfortunate end of all civil aviation in Rockland County.”



Pete Jennings recalled, “I remember camping out at the Ramapo Valley Airport the day after it closed!

We were on our way home from Oshkosh, and that must have been in August 1985.

It was weird that the place was so deserted in the middle of a big city, but no one challenged us.

We just set up the tent under the wing as usual & were off again at daybreak.”

Pete's father, Dave Jennings recalled of that trip, “All the airplanes were gone.

That airport had been the nearest uncontrolled airport to New York City.”



By at least 1995, a road (Overlook Blvd.) had been built through the center of the property,

along with several large buildings & parking lots.



John Oberg recalled, “Around 1995 my family drove up to Spring Valley to the new Costco.

The store was located just off Route 59.

While we were up there we thought to see the site of the old airport.

We drove around, and up the hill. There was the field.

The foundation, concrete slabs of the office of SpanAir & the coffee shop, the outlines of the major taxiways were still there.

I got out of the car, and reminding myself a little of the opening scene from '12 O'Clock High', walked to where the runway had been.

What I found after a hundred feet or so, was a steep embankment leading down to the parking lot of Costco.

They had traded the pastoral charm of a country airport for the noise & pollution of big-box retail.”



As seen in the circa 2000 aerial photo, not a trace remains at the site of the former airport.



The airport property was bounded on the west by New Clarkstown Road,

on the north by Smith Road, and on the south by the Conrail railroad tracks.



See also:

A book has been written by Adam Raines & Rich MacVicar about the History of Aviation in Rockland County.

It covers every airport in the 20th Century in Rockland County (over 23 landing fields).

To obtain a copy of the book, contact Adam Raines at adraines@aol.com.

____________________________________________________



Black Pond Airfield, Farmer's Mills, NY

41.51 North / 73.76 West (North of New York, NY)

USGS aerial photo 1993.

 

Not much is known about this unusual little airport,

including its actual name, or date of construction.



The Black Pond Airfield was evidently built at some point between 1974-93,

as it did not yet exist in a 1974 aerial photo.



The earliest depiction which has been located of the Black Pond Airfield was the 1993 USGS aerial photo.

It showed the field to have a single 3,300' paved runway,

which was apparently constructed on filled-in land in the middle of the lake.

Closed runway "X" symbols are prominently displayed on both ends of the runway.

The airfield does not appear to be very old, as the pavement & markings appear to be relatively recent.

There do not appear to be any hangars or other aviation facilities.

 

Why was so much effort spent to construct this runway in the middle of the lake,

instead of just clearing a patch of land alongside the lake?

 

No airfield at all was depicted on the site on the 1975 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe),

or the 1975, 1981, or 1993 USGS topo maps.

Indeed, even the filled-in land on which the runway was built was not depicted on the topo maps.



Ian Baren reported in 2004, "The story I heard about Black Pond

was that the president of the local bank built it for his own use –

there is a modern metal hanger on the northeast side.

I’ve never seen any plane(s) there though."



Jeff Green reported in 2005, “The land around Black Pond, the pond, and the landing strip all belong to Dean & Wayne Ryder,

owners of the Putnam National Bank.

PNB has been around since the middle of the 1800's & the family has owned this land since then.

It [the airfield] sits a few hundred feet from my home.

Frequently on Saturday mornings Wayne (or is it Dean) goes flying or his friends come to visit.

He's got a propjet of some sort, hence the length of the runway.

The runway was built by draining Black Pond then filling in the subsurface for the runway

which now connects several small 'islands' that were in the pond.”



A circa 2006 aerial view looking north at the south end of the Black Pond Airfield

showed 2 improvements which were added at some point between 1993-2006:

a slight lengthening of the runway & the addition of a hangar.



A 2009 aerial view by Timm Holzhauer looking west at the Black Pond Airfield.

Tim observed, “There are 3 Beechcraft King Air 100 (low tail, that's why they're relatively easy to recognize) parked in front of this pretty cool airstrip.”



A 10/8/11 aerial view showing the 3 Beechcraft King Air 100 twins parked at Black Pond.



A 12/3/11 aerial view by David Horvath looking east at the Black Pond Airfield.



The Black Pond Airfield is located a half-mile east of the intersection of

Rushmore Road & Memory Lane.

____________________________________________________



Wallkill Auxiliary Army Airfield #2 / Galeville Airport / Wallkill Airport /

Ulster County Airport / Galeville Army Airfield, Galeville, NY

41.64 North / 74.21 West (North of New York, NY)

A circa 1942-45 aerial view looking north at “Stewart Field Auxiliary #2 (Wallkill Field)”

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



This small Army Airfield was used during WW2 as Wallkill Auxiliary Army Airfield #2,

one of 3 satellite airfields for Stewart AAF,

which provided basic & advanced flight training for the cadets of the nearby US Military Academy at West Point.

 

The date of construction of Galeville has not been determined.

It was apparently built at some point between 1943-44,

as it was not depicted at all on the 1943 NY Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).

 

The earliest reference to the field which has been located

was in the 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer).

It described "Wallkill U.S. Military Academy Aux #2" as having a 3,500' hard-surfaced runway.



The earliest photo which has been located of “Stewart Field Auxiliary #2 (Wallkill Field)” was a circa 1942-45 aerial view looking north

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

It depicted the field as having 2 paved runways.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described “Stewart Field Auxiliary #2 (Wallkill Field)”

as a 677 acre irregularly-shaped property having 2 concrete 3,500' runways, oriented north/south & east/west.

The field was said to not have any hangars,

to be owned by the U.S. Government, and operated by the Army Air Forces.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of this airfield was on the 1945 NY Sectional Chart.

It depicted "Wallkill #2" as an auxiliary airfield.



The Galeville airfield may have seen some use in the post-WW2 period as a civilian airport,

as it was labeled both "Galeville Airport" & "Walkill US Mil. A.C. #2" on the 1946 USGS topo map.

 

It was labeled "Walkill" on the 1949 NY Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy),

and described as having a 3,500' hard-surface runway.

 

The 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe) depicted it under yet another name, "Ulster Co".



"Ulster Co" Airport, as depicted on the January 1955 NY Sectional Charts (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

 

The Ulster County Airport was apparently closed at some point between 1955-57,

as it was not depicted at all on the 1957 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).

 

The Galeville airfield has been used by the Army in the post-WW2 period for special operations & parachute drops.

Although it has been depicted on recent aeronautical charts as closed,

the runway has been maintained & the grass cut (including a path for temporary approach lights).



A 1975 aerial photo did not show any signs of recent aviation usage.



The 1986 USGS topo map depicted the 2 runways of the “Galeville Army Airport”.

 

According to Steve Miller, "Galeville Airport, better know to us as 'the Drop Zone',

was also used in the 1980s & 1990s for an automotive competition called autocrossing.

It was one of the best sites in the northeast, and whenever there was an event there, people came from all over.

The Northeast Division of SCCA held their Divisional Championships there at least 3 years in the 1990's.

We held autocrosses there on one side while the flying club held meets on the other side.

I thought it interesting that the 'gentleman' horse farmers (more likely a bunch of millionaires who bought the farms for tax reasons)

are afraid of airplane noise when there is a shooting range within earshot of the airport."

 

As seen in the 1994 USGS aerial photo, the airfield consisted of two 3,700' paved runways,

numerous taxiways & a small ramp.



The Galeville airfield was determined to be surplus in 1994,

but a property named the "Galeville Training Site" was still listed as a active army facility in 1999.

 

Tim Tobin reported that "Eight years ago [1995] I was in NY & flying around that area,

and Galeville was a very important field for all local aviators.

First of all the field was maintained up until about 9 years ago by the FBI

who used the runways to teach agents driving techniques.

Also the Army Reserve Air Ambulance squad I was a member of went to Galeville frequently

for weekend training missions because of the closeness to Stewart Airfield in Newburgh,

where the Pegasus Dustoff unit was stationed."

 

Tim continued, "I was also a Lt. in the Civil Air Patrol & I approached the towns people in Galeville

on behalf of the CAP to propose that the airfield be converted to a CAP training facility

and airfield for CAP planes (It would have been ideal for that).

The townsfolk came out of the woodwork to protest the use of the field for aircraft

because of the horse farms nearby.

They had a fear that the loud nasty planes would scare the thoroughbred horses.

I kept up & it was written up in the local papers

about how the military was going to disrupt the peace of the area!

I had to move before the project was completed & I guess,

given the information you have published, for some reason the CAP abandoned the idea.

Galeville is a local landmark for area pilots as it is highly visible for miles

and a local airport that has an EAA group that specializes in aerobatic planes

uses the airspace above Galeville for their practice area."



Local model aircraft enthusiasts were permitted by the Army to use the runways for nearly 30 years.

However, that arrangement was ended when control of the property was transferred in 1999 to the US Fish & Wildlife Service,

which now refers to the property as the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge.

 

The local government is attempting to redevelop the property as a park.



A 2002 photo by Charlie Helms looking north along Galeville's North/South runway.

Charlie reported, “No buildings remain at the airfield.

It really would have made an awesome airport for public use, all concrete runways & taxiways.

I walked it & it has very large commercial airport feel & size.

It is definitely a military-built facility, looks like no expense was spared in it's construction.

It would be a perfect county airport & would need little repair.

The runway system is just a little grassy in the joints, but still very even & in good condition.

The locals I talked to have no memories of any airplane flying out or to it.”



A 2002 photo by Charlie Helms looking east along Galeville's East/West runway.



A 2003 aerial view looking southeast at Galeville by Pierre-François Mary.

 

Rich Peabody reported in 2004 that "I have visited the Galeville site a couple of times.

The Academy of Model Aeronautics has been involved, at various levels at different times,

in trying to have the facility dedicated to model aviation activities.

During a 2 day adventure there (it's a pretty good hike into the property),

I was challenged by suit-types, who got fairly frantic.

The previous day I had watched several suits driving Suburbans,

doing 'moonshine' turns & the like, while I was measuring the runway width & sketching the property.

There were several smaller outbuildings on the southeast side of the field that appeared very much in use...

glass in windows, grass not grown up on sills, etc.

The next day the suits made it very clear that I was not wanted there.

Several locals at an eatery reported to me that they thought that nearby West Point must use the place from time to time,

because buses & Suburbans were there frequently.

The AMA's efforts have been frustrated because the Federal Government

apparently offers excess properties to other Government agencies,

and the BLM wants the site as a bird sanctuary."



A 7/17/10 aerial photo showed the runway & taxiway pavement was still intact.



A 2010 photo by Seth Gruver of the demolition of the Galeville runways.

Seth reported, “The pavement is being torn up.

The Fish & Game Department claims that the demolition will 'improve drainage' on a site that seemingly no one is allowed onto.”



A 2010 photo by Seth Gruver “of a shack of unknown construction spotted near the entryway” to the Galeville airfield.



A 10/8/11 aerial photo showed the all of Galeville's runway & taxiway pavement had been removed except for the north/south taxiway.



See also: http://ny.audubon.org/iba/galeville.html

____________________________________________________