Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Eastern Oregon

© 2002, © 2013 by Paul Freeman. Revised 4/20/13.

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Umatilla Army Airfield, Umatilla, OR

45.8 North / 119.4 West (Southeast of Seattle, WA)

Umatilla Army Airfield,

as depicted on the October 1964 USAF Operational Navigation Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

 

This military airfield was located on the grounds of the 19,728-acre Umatilla Army Depot.

The Umatilla Depot was established in 1941 to store conventional munitions

in support of the United State's entry into WW2.



The Depot evidently gained an airfield at some point between 1956-64,

as it was not depicted on the 1956 La Grande Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).

The earliest reference to the airfield which has been located

was on the October 1964 USAF Operational Navigation Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy),

which labeled the airfield as "Umatilla Army Depot".



The March 1966 USAF Operational Navigation Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

described the "Umatilla Army Depot Airstrip" as having a 3,000' runway.



The earliest photo which has been located of the Umatilla Army Depot Airfield was a 7/6/70 USGS aerial view,

which depicted the field as having an asphalt Runway 6/24 with a small ramp & a single small building on the south side.



 

The January 1975 Seattle Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted the "Umatilla Army Depot" Airfield as having a single 3,000' paved east/west runway.

 

However, the airfield may have been closed within the next 2 years,

as it was labeled simply "Airfield" on the 1977 USGS topo map.



The Base Realignment & Closure Commission listed the Umatilla Army Depot for closure in 1988.



Umatilla was labeled simply as "Landing Strip" on the 1991 USGS topo map.

It depicted a single paved east/west runway, with no buildings.

 

As depicted in the 1994 USGS aerial photo, the airfield consisted of a single 3,100' paved Runway 6/24,

with no other facilities - no taxiway, ramp, hangar, buildings, etc.

The airfield appeared to still be open - it was marked as an active runway.

A road led away from the end of Runway 24 to the south,

and another road led away from the middle of the runway toward the ammunition bunkers to the north.

 

The Umatilla airfield was definitely closed by 1998,

as it was labeled "Umatilla AAF (Closed)" on the 1998 World Aeronautical Chart.



The closure of the Umatilla Army Depot was scheduled to occur in 2004.

A Superfund cleanup project at Umatilla Depot had been attempting to clean up the site for eventual reuse.

The property was planned to be made available for wildlife management,

commercial & industrial development, and, possibly for agricultural use.



A 8/11/11 aerial view looking west at the former Umatilla AAF showed the airfield remained completely intact,

including the paved Runway 6/24 & paved ramp.



Umatilla AAF is located northwest of the intersection of Interstate 82 & Interstate 84.

 

Thanks to Chris Kennedy for pointing out this airfield.



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