Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:
© 2002, © 2018 by Paul Freeman. Revised 6/18/18.
This site covers airfields in all 50 states: Click here for the site's main menu.
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Biglow Airfield (revised 6/20/16) - Clark's Dream Airport (revised 5/15/18) - Clickenger Airport / South Columbus Airport (revised 12/11/17)
Columbus Air Terminal / Norton Field (revised 6/18/18) - Columbus Airport (original location) / Sullivant Avenue Airport (revised 12/11/17)
Northway Air Park / North Columbus Airport (added 9/2/17) - Price Field (revised 10/12/17) - (Original) Springfield Municipal Airport (revised 3/19/17)
Northway Air Park / North Columbus Airport, Columbus, OH
40.065, -82.961 (North of Downtown Columbus, OH)
Northway Air Park, as depicted on the November 1950 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
This general aviation airport on the north side of Columbus was evidently established at some point between 1947-50,
as it was not yet depicted on the July 1947 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Northway Air Park was on the November 1950 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
It depicted Northway as having a 3,400' unpaved runway.
The 1954 USGS topo map depicted Northway Air Park as having 4 unpaved runways, with 2 buildings on the south side.
Jim Edgar recalled, “In 1954 or 1955 I remember seeing a few single-engine planes there.
On Morse Road the airport was on the north side.
I vaguely remember a hangar, with faded & flaking paint, but remember the words 'North Columbus Airport'.”
The January 1955 Cleveland Sectional Chart depicted Northway as having a 3,300' unpaved runway.
Northway evidently gained a paved 2,800' runway at some point between 1955-58,
as that is how it was depicted on the January 1958 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
It was still depicted as Northway on the May 1958 Cleveland Sectional Chart,.
The only photo which has been located of Northway Air Park was a 10/28/59 USGS aerial view.
It depicted Northway Air Park as having a paved northwest/southeast runway, along with 3 unpaved runways,
and several hangars & a good number of light planes on the south side.
Jim Edgar recalled, “Around 1959 I remember guys would take their go-karts & radio-controlled model airplanes there to drive the karts & fly their planes
because it was wide open, the noise was not near people to bother them, and it was paved for the karts.
I remember seeing blacktop still there but with the weeds growing up in the cracks.”
The airport was evidently renamed North Columbus Airport at some point between 1958-60,
as that is how it was depicted on the July 1960 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
Jim Edgar recalled, “When the developers found open space out there, Northland Shopping Center was started around 1964.
My father-in-law owned Northway Taxi Cab Company, and told that when he bought the Taxi company he could have bought the airport property as well, but passed.
Little did he know then how much that property would end up being worth.”
North Columbus Airport was depicted as an abandoned airport on the May 1965 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
A 2016 aerial photo showed no trace remaining of North Columbus Airport.
The site of Northway Field is located northwest of the intersection of Morse Road & Cleveland Avenue.
Thanks to Jim Edgar for pointing out this field.
Clark's Dream Airport (03I), Circleville, OH
39.644, -83.017 (South of Columbus, OH)
Clark's Dream Airport, as depicted on the 1967 USGS topo map.
This small general aviation airport was not yet depicted on the 1965 Cincinnati Sectional Chart.
According to its FAA Airport/Facility Directory data,
Clark's Dream Airport was activated in March 1967.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Clark's Dream Airport was on the 1967 USGS topo map,
which ironically depicted the little grassroots airfield with a symbol of a 4-engine swept-wing jet.
David Ostrander recalled, “In 1967 Mom (Lucille) & Dad (Leon) moved to Clarks Dream Strip. Mom managed the airstrip.
They had the house trailer from Thomas Field moved to the southeast side of Clark's Dream Strip.
Dad taught flying on evenings & weekends.”
The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Clark's Dream Airport was on the February 1969 Cincinnati Sectional Chart.
It depicted Clark's Dream as having a 2,400' unpaved runway.
The earliest photo which has been located of Clark's Dream Airport was a 1994 USGS aerial view looking northeast.
It depicted Clark's Dream as having a northwest/southeast unpaved runway, with 5 light single-engine aircraft parked near some small buildings on the southeast side.
The last photo which has been located which appears to show an aircraft still being operated from Clark's Dream Airport was a 2002 aerial view looking northeast.
It depicted one light single-engine aircraft parked on the grass next to the runway.
An 8/11/07 aerial view by Bob Simmermon looking northwest along the Clark's Dream runway.
A closeup 8/11/07 aerial view by Bob Simmermon looking northwest at the Bonanza parked next to the Clark's Dream runway.
Bob observed, “It doesn't look like that V-tail has been flying in a while.”
A circa 2010 aerial view looking north at the Bonanza parked next to the Clark's Dream runway.
According to its FAA Airport/Facility Directory data, as of 2013 Clark's Dream Airport had total of 3 single-engine aircraft based on the field,
and conducted an average of 48 takeoffs or landings per week.
The owner & manager were listed as Louis McFarland & Joan Savage,
and the field was described as having a single 2,375' turf Runway 13/31 “in good condition”.
A 2015 aerial view looking northeast showed Clark's Dream Airport to remain in fine condition,
with the one Bonanza still parked to the southeast of the runway.
The 2016 Sectional Chart depicted Clark's Dream Airport as a public-use airport having a 2,400' unpaved runway.
An 8/26/16 photo by Randy Coller of the Clark's Dream Airport office & runway.
Airport inspector Randy Coller reported in 2016, “On my summer Ohio tour, I closed down some airports.
Not something I relish or take pride in.”
An 8/26/16 photo by Randy Coller of the door to Fox Aviation at Clark's Dream Airport.
Randy observed, “This little place was a hotbed of things aeronautic in its day -
you can tell by the signs on the abandoned office door proclaiming proudly, 'Fox Wing - Wrong Brothers Air Force'.
They must have been quite the group of characters! I'll bet they were a fun bunch.”
An 8/26/16 photo by Randy Coller of the interior of the Clark's Dream Airport office.
Randy observed, “Proud memorabilia fall from the walls.”
An 8/26/16 photo by Randy Coller of the interior of the Clark's Dream Airport office.
Randy observed, “Tarnished trophies tell tales of heroics & sunburned bulletin boards proclaim stories of 'mission accomplished'.
Ole 'C.K.', the guy who lovingly built it, slipped the surly bonds of earth several years ago.
His son & daughter who inherited the place are now slowly cleaning it out, as fast as their emotions & sentiments will allow,
savoring the memories of each abandoned log book & knick-knack that carries its own story.
The son tends to hang on to the past more than the daughter. He's not in a hurry to let go.
You can tell the old aerodrome still holds great value in their hearts.”
An 8/26/16 photo by Randy Coller looking north at Clark's Dream Airport.
Randy observed, “Clark's Dream, as it was so proudly called, lies abandoned amid the memories.
The carefully graded & tended runway now plowed up & growing a great crop of soybeans instead of young pilots.”
An 8/26/16 photo by Randy Coller of remains at Clark's Dream Airport.
Randy observed, “The old beacon tower, or maybe it was a fancy windsock mast, lies fallen in disarray on it's side,
asleep like the corpse that it is, no longer summoning bold pilots from afar to come visit for a spell.
Ashamed that it can no longer serve its once noble purpose.”
An 8/26/16 photo by Randy Coller of a forlorn Beechcraft Bonanza at Clark's Dream Airport.
Randy observed, “Two rusting hulks, remnants of glory days past, sit in the shadows anxiously awaiting their next flight that will never happen.
The old Bonanza, left to the harsh elements outside, lies buried in mud & weeds,
it's exit blocked by a large piece of concrete in front of the nose gear hints at a tale of a disgruntled unpaid mechanic.”
An 8/26/16 photo by Randy Coller of a forlorn Piper Tri-Pacer at Clark's Dream Airport.
Randy observed, “And there, behind a half-broken hangar door, frozen in time lies an old gem of a plane.
What was her name? They always have a name you know, that mistress of the air.
That proud but forlorn old Tri- Pacer, forever smiling, looking like she may still be capable of flight if she just had one more chance,
anxiously awaits the return of her 4 suitors, those loveable old airport bums who surely are coming back to weave their tales of heroics in the air.
Their places in the circle ready for their return... why haven't they come back to her?
Maybe they will take her for just one more spin... nevermore.
And this old inspector gets a lump in his throat. R.I.P. Clark's Dream.”
Clark's Dream Airport is located west of the intersection of Florence Chapel Pike & Fox Road.
Thanks to Randy Coller for pointing out this airfield.
Columbus Airport (original location) / Sullivant Avenue Airport, Columbus, OH
39.94, -83.1 (Southeast of Downtown Columbus, OH)
The original Columbus Airport, as depicted on the February 1935 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
The original “Columbus” Airport was located on the southwest side of Columbus.
It was evidently established at some point between 1933-35,
as it was not yet depicted on the April 1933 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Columbus Airport was on the February 1935 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
This airport was evidently renamed Sullivant Avenue Airport at some point between 1935-40,
as that is how it was labeled on the March 1940 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
The earliest photo which has been located of Sullivant Avenue Airport
was a 9/28/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Sullivant Avenue Airport
as a 100 acre irregularly-shaped field having 4 sod runways, the longest being a 3,100' northwest/southeast strip.
The field was said to have 3 concrete hangars, the largest measuring 90' x 80',
and to be owned & operated by private interests.
Sullivant Avenue Airport, as depicted on the 1947 USGS topo map.
Sullivant Avenue Airport, as depicted on the July 1947 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
The 1953 Huntington Sectional Chart depicted Sullivant Avenue Airport as having a 3,100' unpaved runway.
A 1954 aerial view looking west depicted a significant change in the configuration of Sullivant Avenue Airport,
with a new paved north/south runway having replaced the multiple unpaved runways (traces of which were still visible).
Several hangars & a dozen light planes were visible on the north side of the field.
The 1955 USGS topo map depicted Sullivant Airport as having a single north/south runway, and one small buildings on the northeast side.
A 1957 aerial view showed over a dozen light planes parked on the north side of Sullivant Avenue Airport.
The last aeronautical chart depiction which have been located of Sullivant Avenue Airport was on the May 1958 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante).
It depicted Sullivant Avenue Airport as having a 3,100' unpaved runway.
Sullivant Avenue Airport evidently closed at some point between 1958-60,
as it was no longer depicted on the July 1960 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
Like thousands of other small general aviation airports,
Sullivant Avenue Airport fell prey to rising property values as residential development increased,
and the 1965 USGS topo map (according to Dan Schneider) showed that it had been covered by a subdivision.
A 1972 aerial photo showed no trace remaining of Sullivant Avenue Airport, with dense housing covering the site.
A 2010 aerial view shows no trace remaining of Sullivant Avenue Airport.
The site of Sullivant Avenue airport is located south of the intersection of Sullivant Avenue & Holly Hill Drive.
Thanks to Dan Schneider for pointing out this airfield.
Price Field, Columbus, OH
39.92, -82.9 (Southeast of Downtown Columbus, OH)
Price Airport, as depicted on the 1943 USGS topo map.
The date of establishment of Price Airport has not been determined.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Price Airport was on the 1943 USGS topo map.
The earliest photo which has been located of Price Field
was a 9/28/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
It depicted Price Field as having an open grass landing area.
The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Price Field
as a 100 acre irregularly-shaped field having 4 sod runways, the longest being a 2,200' northeast/southwest strip.
The field was said to have a single 105' x 37' metal hangar,
and to be owned & operated by private interests.
According to Wesley Conn, “Price Field was an 88 acre square field.
It provided flight training under the GI Bill.
They had grass runways in the summer & dirt in the winter. They had corner-to-corner runways.
The southeast was a little further north to clear the hangar.
They also had east/west & north/south [runways].
I soloed on the north heading which had electric lines on the approach.”
Wesley continued, “I was just a kid hanging around the airport all day, almost every day.
W.W. Cohen was the manager. I think he leased the property from the owner,
who lived in a house in the woods on the southwest corner of the property.
They had 6 or 8 Aeronca Champions, a J-3, a J-4, 1941 Bellanca Cruiser with a 90 horse Le Blond radial engine.
Chief Pilot was Harry Jorden. He also taught the ground school.
Another instructor was Ken Prutsman, and there was Col. Frank Ward, he was Commanding Officer of the air wing of the OH National Guard.
He couldn’t get enough flying on duty so he worked as flight instructor in his off time.”
Wesley continued, “The G.W. Holms Company in Columbus bought & reconditioned a few N3Ns & kept of them at Price Dield.
Dail Matheni got his flight training there & later become the company pilot for Holmes.
Zack Mosley, creator of Smiling Jack comics, tied down his purple SR-7 there for a few weeks. This was quite a spectator draw.
A couple of years went buy & I got hired as a line boy at 35 cents an hour.
Charley Britt was the chief mechanic & the A&E. I finally started my flight training.
The airplane cost me $3/hour, and the instructor $2/hr.
Col. Ward was my instructor & he wouldn’t take the $2 instructor's fee. All the money I made went to flying.
I do not have pictures of all this – I wish I did, but what teenager back in those days would be doing with a camera?”
The 1953 Huntington Sectional Chart depicted Price Field as having a 2,000' unpaved runway.
A 3/1/53 USGS aerial view showed Price Field to have 3 grass runways, with a small building & 10 light planes on the southeast side.
The 1955 USGS topo map showed Price Field to have 3 unpaved runways & several small buildings along the south side.
Susan Rodda recalled, “My father, Eugene 'Whitey' Jost, built a hangar at the opposite end of the field from the original hangar at Price Field in the late 1950s
to take over the maintenance, repair, rebuilding & inspection services from the Fixed Base Operator of the field at that time.
He became the FBO of the entire field around 1960 as Jost Aero Services.
Also around that time, the services for the Lockbourne Flying Club was moved to Price Field.
He used Cessna aircraft to provide flying lessons, rentals & rides to the public.
Within a couple of years he added a Stearman biplane he had rebuilt to tow banners for advertising for local businesses & for rides for the public.
For a couple years Geraldine Mock became a partner & the business became Jost & Mock Aero Services.
During that time, he fitted out one of the planes for her solo flight around the world.”
In 1961 Jerry Mock became the first woman licensed by OH to manage an airport, Price Field, a job she held for about a year.
On Sundays she was there alone, which meant fueling airplanes, tying them down, and even doing despised household chores like making coffee.
“The male instructors did not like a woman telling them what to do”, Mock recalled. “I did not worry about it & ignored them.”
Susan Rodda recalled, “Sometime after that, he became sole operator again & replaced his Cessnas with Pipers.
He had at least one twin-engine part of that time.”
The last photo which is available showing Price Field still in operation was a 5/6/63 USGS aerial view.
The east/west runway appeared more distinct than the others, and there were several dozen light aircraft on the southeast side.
A 2nd hangar (on the middle of the south side of the field) had been added at some point between 1953-63.
The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Price Field
was on the August 1965 Huntington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Kunse).
It depicted Price Field as having a 2,200' paved east/west runway.
Susan Rodda recalled, “Around 1965 [Eugene 'Whitey' Jost] moved the entire operation [Jost Aero Services] to Port Columbus, leaving Price Field.”
A 1971 aerial view depicted 19 light aircraft on the southeast side of Price Field.
The last photo which has been located showing Price Field still in operation was a 1972-73 photo by Tom Williams of a Piper J3 Cub.
Tom recalled, “The most fun airplane to fly was this J3 Cub.”
Tom Williams recalled, “Price Field... I got my Private Pilot License at this little field of potholes & gravel (smile).
We used the east/west runway 95% of the time.
Bob Boston was the Operator & my main Flight Instructor. A tough Instructor, but his training saved my life an a few occasions.
I have fond memories flying at Price Field. Many a Pilot got their license there.
One day I arrived for my one hour lesson from Bob.
His wife said that he was in the hangar & that I should preflight a Cessna 150 & that he would be with me soon.
Well, I finished my preflight & was sitting there waiting. Suddenly Bob came running past me into the office.
I thought that there was a fire, so I ran into the office. There they were (him & his wife) trying to catch a wild raccoon, swamping about.
The raccoon was in the ceiling & was a little too heavy for the thin panels & fell through on top of the desk where his wife was working.
I can’t remember how, but they caught him & threw him into the bushes.
Laugh - training went well that day, just the same.”
Tom continued, “Due to complaints of the new homeowners around Price Field the Fixed Base Operator was closed down
and my friend Eric Weber & I ferried the remaining aircraft down to Lancaster Airport.
Price Field was evidently closed at some point between 1972-76,
as it was no longer depicted on the August 1976 Cincinnati Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mitchell Hymowitz).
The last depiction which has been located showing Price Field was on the 1985 USGS topo map.
It depicted Price Field as having 3 unpaved runways & several small buildings along the south side.
The 1994 USGS topo map no longer depicted Price Field, just a clearing,
but the 2 hangars remained depicted on the southeast side.
A 1994 USGS aerial photo depicted 2 hangars remaining on the south & southeast side.
A 2002 aerial photo showed the hangar on the southeast side had been removed at some point between 1994-2002.
A 5/28/10 aerial view showed the site of Price Field remained clear, with 1 hangar remaining on the south side.
A circa 2011 aerial view looking west at a hangar which remains standing along the south side of the Price Field site.
The hangar on the southeast side had been removed.
A circa 2011 aerial view looking north at the remains of the ramp & the hangar foundation on the southeast side of the Price Field site.
Wesley Conn reported in 2013, “The [southeast] hangar is gone now but looking close,
the concrete floor can still be seen as well as the round circle of the gas island.”
The site of Price Field is located northwest of the intersection of Refugee Road & Courtright Road.
(Original) Springfield Municipal Airport, Springfield, OH
39.9, -83.73 (Northeast of Dayton, OH)
Springfield Airport, as depicted on the 1928 Air Navigation Map (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The original airport for the town of Springfield was located approximately 4.5 miles southeast of the town.
The date of construction of the original Springfield Airport has not been determined.
The earliest depiction of the field which has been located
was on the 1928 Air Navigation Map (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The 1934 Air Pilots Register (courtesy of Michael Banks)
depicted Springfield as having 2 macadam runways:
a 2,850' northeast/southwest strip & a 2,450' east/west strip.
A number of buildings were depicted on the northeast corner of the field.
The earliest photo which has been located of Springfield Municipal Airport
was an undated aerial view in The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airport Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).
The directory depicted Springfield Municipal as having 2 macadam runways:
a 2,660' northeast/southwest strip & a 2,375' east/west strip.
Several buildings were located east of the runway intersection.
The April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)
described Springfield Airport as having a 2,700' runway.
The field was said to conduct "Extensive training."
The last photo to be located showing Springfield Municipal Airport in operation
was circa 1943-45 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
It depicted Springfield Municipal as having 2 grass runways, with 2 hangars on the east side.
The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Springfield Municipal Airport
as a 126 acre irregularly-shaped field having 2 gravel runways, the longest being a 2,700' northeast/southwest strip.
The field was said to have 3 hangars, the largest being a 80' x 60' metal structure.
Springfield Municipal was described as being owned by the City of Springfield & operated by private interests.
According to Durward Lewis, “There was a great deal of flying activity at the old airport,
as the operator ran a CPT [Civilian Pilot Training] program during the war.”
The May 1945 Huntington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)
still depicted the original Springfield Municipal Airport.
The original Springfield Municipal Airport was apparently abandoned at some point between 1945-51,
and the property was reused as a fairgrounds.
Phil Brust recalled, “When I was five (1951), my parents took me to a circus at the fairgrounds.
There was an abandoned B-25 or B-26 still on the property
and my father boosted me up into the cockpit (tragic how surplus equipment was treated back then).
So the airport had been converted to fairgrounds by 1951.”
The 1953 Flight Chart (courtesy of Scott O'Donnell) depicted a new Springfield Airport on the southwest side of the town,
but no longer depicted the original field to the southeast.
The new airport had much longer runways.
Presumably the original Springfield Airport was constrained from being expanded with longer runways.
A 1/19/59 USGS aerial view of the site of the original Springfield Municipal Airport showed the 2 paved former runways were still completely intact,
and at least 2 original hangars (the arch-roofed buildings in the northeast corner of the photo) still remained standing.
A large number of more recent buildings had been constructed for the fairgrounds around the runways (including one built over the runway).
The 1962 USGS topo map labeled the site of the airport as the Clark County Fairgrounds.
The former runways of the Springfield Airport were still quite recognizable on the 1995 USGS topo map.
Dave Noordeloos reported in 2004, "I was on a trip in Springfield a few weeks ago
and stumbled on the Clark County Fairgrounds while on the way back to the highway.
I noticed some old hangars & a very wide concourse for the fairgrounds & pulled in."
Durward Lewis reported in 2005, “The runways are still there.”
A circa 2006 aerial view looking north at the 2 hangars which remain at the site of the original Springfield Municipal Airport.
The pavement of the 2 former runways is also visible at the top & bottom.
A July 2011 photo by Tom Townsend looking west along the former Springfield Municipal Airport runway.
Tom reported, “It is now the site of the Clark County Fairgrounds.
I looked up & down both runways for any sign of light fixtures, but if they were there, they've long been paved over.
The runways are both still there in their entirety, but used for parking, the midway, and a building has been built on one of them.”
Chris Mokren reported in 2014, “They are in the process of tearing down the hangars at the original Springfield airport.
The one on the right is now completely gone & they have started on the left one.
The plan, from what I have heard, is they want to build a hotel on that site.”
A March 2014 photo by Chris Mrocken of the demolition of the original Springfield Municipal Airport hangars.
Chris observed, “All that is left is the concrete floor.”
A 2016 aerial view looking north at the site of the original Springfield Municipal Airport, showing the very recognizable runways which remain.
The site of the original Springfield Municipal Airport is located
west of the intersection of Interstate 70 & Route 41.
Columbus Air Terminal / Norton Field, Columbus, OH
39.97, -82.88 (South of Port Columbus Airport, OH)
An artist's conception looking south at the planned Columbus Air Terminal from a 1923 Aero Club of Columbus promotional flyer (courtesy of Tom Heitzman).
According to the Fall 2000 "OH Aviation News" (via Billy Spiropoulos),
the genesis of Norton Field began with the formation of the Aero Club of Columbus,
shortly after the end of the First World War.
After the first convention of Associated Aero Clubs of Ohio in 1920,
various members set about the serious business of getting an airfield established in the Columbus area.
A 100-acre property was located & a 10 year lease was secured from Jim Lamp & paid for by the Pure Oil Company.
A 1923 Aero Club of Columbus promotional flyer (courtesy of Tom Heitzman) described their plans for the Columbus Air Terminal,
said to be located “on East Broad Street, 6 miles from the OH State Capitol & adjoining the Columbus Country Club.”
This property was then provided to the War Department.
For $1/year as the community’s part of the deal,
Columbus' airfield was equipped by the War Department with 2 steel hangars, a fueling dock & a beacon light on a tower.
Regulations stated an Army field must be named after a deceased flyer.
An outstanding local person eminently fit the need for the name.
Fred Norton was an outstanding Ohio State University student athlete
who had gone on to become a member of the 27th "Eagle" Pursuit Squadron in France,
and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross & the French Croix de Guerre with Palm.
Thus, Norton Field was named for this heroic pilot who was also the first Ohio State graduate to be killed in the war.
Norton Field was dedicated on 6/30/23.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Norton Field was a 7/13/23 aerial view looking northeast, taken only 2 weeks after the field's dedication.
The Aero Club clubhouse can be seen at lower-left, and 2 hangars erected by the Army can be seen at top-left, along with 5 aircraft.
The Army furnished aircraft to establish the 108th Observation Squadron, to be used by Army pilots.
Although the squadron was administered under Ft. Hayes
it also accommodated any civilian flying activities that adhered to the Army’s regulations.
The Aero Club secured a WW1 surplus barrack from Ft. Hayes purchased for $1
to later be refurbished for use as a clubhouse.
The Army was experimenting in establishing model airways (a scheduled military air service over established air routes) & the ability to conduct operations at night.
Thus the 1st Lighted Airway (which later became the model for the airways system of the US)
was established with beacon lights between McCook & Norton Fields.
The experiments were flown regularly to perfect aviation lighting systems & night flying.
Experiments in aerial photography at night were also conducted.
Over the succeeding 6 years, many prominent pilots utilized this airfield including Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and Orville Wright.
In 1928, a Columbus native & Ohio State University student Curtis LeMay obtained a commission in the Army
and while awaiting his application to Army flight school took unofficial instructional flights at Norton Field.
He went on to flight training in the fall of 1928 as a National Guard Officer
and after graduation was recommissioned as an Army Pursuit Pilot at Selfridge Field.
While there he arranged to return to serve at Norton Field as Assistant Engineering & Operations Officer
in order to complete his final quarter at Ohio State.
He later went on to fame as the Cold War commander of the Strategic Air Command (SAC).
Charles Lindbergh returned to Norton Field on 5/29/28
as a Technical Advisor for Transcontinental Air Transport in surveying a cross country train-plane route.
He found the field to be too small for TAT’s needs & recommended the city find a larger facility adjacent to the railroad tracks.
This brought about the construction of Port Columbus in 1929.
In 1929 the Army set up & conducted a large scale mock war maneuver of Red & Blue Army & Air Forces between the cities of Dayton & Columbus.
Between May 15th & 25th air fleets composing more than 200 aircraft (the largest up to this date)
were based at Wilbur Wright Field & Norton Field, and were employed in mock air warfare in this maneuver.
The Army remained at Norton Field for 2 more years until relocating to larger facilities at Port Columbus in June 1931,
effectively abandoning Norton Field.
Harold Distelhorst came to the rescue of Norton Field in October 1931 & took over the operation.
In so doing he promoted & hosted such aviation activities as Air Carnivals, Air Shows, Air Races
and several times did emergency medical flights in the romantic years of civil aviation.
Distelhorst kept vigorous activity at the airport until the Denton family of Northway Cab Company took control in 1936.
The Denton family & Herb Stump set up the Mid West Aviation Corporation,
which operated Norton Field through the WW2 days.
Norton Field, as depicted on the February 1935 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
An undated aerial view from The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airport Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo)
depicted Norton Field as a square grass field with 2 buildings at the northwest corner.
The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airport Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo)
described Norton Field as consisting of a 2,250' x 2,000' rectangular sod field.
A single hangar was said to be in the northwest corner, with "Norton Field" painted on the roof.
An advertisement for Norton Field from The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airport Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).
Norton Field was depicted as a commercial airport on the June 1939 Huntington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
An aerial view looking north at Norton Field from The Airport Directory Company's 1941 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The field was described as a 100 acres square sod field.
A hangar was said to have "Norton Field Midwest Aviation Corp." painted on the roof.
During the Second World War, Norton Field conducted a very active training program,
under the government sponsored War Training Service & Civilian Pilot Training programs,
utilizing a large fleet of training aircraft.
These government programs provided an introduction to the regular Army & Navy pilot training programs.
A circa 1941-42 photo (courtesy of Mark Hess) of Carl McGary, instructor at Norton Field,
in front of a Piper Cub with students Walter Beaver, Keith Fields, Bernard Hatch, and and Bob Chew.
A WW2-era photo of a collection of training planes in front of the hangar of Midwest Aviation Corporation at Norton Field,
along with the taxicabs of the Northway Cab Company also owned by the Denton family.
Norton Field, as depicted on the 1943 USGS topo map.
Norton Field was described by the April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)
as having a 2,800' unpaved runway,
and it was listed as conducting Army flight operations.
Parks Aircraft Company purchased the Norton Field property from the Lamp family in 1944.
A 1945 view of several Pipers in front of the Norton Field control tower & hangar (courtesy of the Whitehall Historical Society).
An aerial view of Norton Field from the Haire Publishing Company's 1945 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The directory described Norton Field as having a 2,200' x 2,000' sod field, with a single hangar.
The manager was listed as Herman Swingle,
and the operator was listed as the Northway Flying Service.
The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Norton Field
was on the July 1947 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
The Denton family moved their operation from Norton to their new field in 1947.
After the move Norton Field continued to be used for the operations
of H. R. "Dutch" Swingle (who operated a flight training school)
and Vern Acheson of the Columbus Aircraft & Sales Company.
A 9/1/48 USGS aerial view showed Norton Field remaining intact, but there were no aircraft visible on the field.
The last photo which has been located showing Norton Field in operation
was a 1949 aerial view of several aircraft parked next to the Norton Field hangar (courtesy of the OH Historical Society).
The date of closure of Norton Field has not been determined,
but the airfield property was sold to become a housing subdivision on 11/16/49.
Norton Field was no longer depicted on the November 1950 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
A 3/1/53 USGS aerial view showed housing covering the site of Norton Field,
but amazingly the hangar on the northwest corner remained standing, on which the lettering “Norton Field” was still legible.
The control tower reportedly survived longer than the rest of the airfield buildings,
but the last remaining original Norton Field building was demolished in December, 1979.
The original role of the site of Norton Field has been somewhat remembered,
as the 1994 USGS topo map depicted a "Norton Field Playground" at the location of the former airfield,
and some of the residential streets on the site have names including "Norton Lane",
"Rickenbacker Avenue", "Langley Avenue", and Wright Avenue".
The 1994 USGS aerial photo showed that the site of Norton Field had been covered by a housing development,
and not a trace of the airport remained visible.
The Ohio Bicentennial Commission dedicated a Norton Field Historical Marker at the site on 6/24/00.
A 2004 photo by Christopher Trott of the Norton Field historical plaque.
A 2004 photo by Christopher Trott of the site of Norton Field.
Christopher reported, "They are trying to sell the field that's still there for retail development.
I don't know how long or if it'll be sold & developed, but that's the last signs of Norton Field as it is."
As seen in a 2018 aerial view looking north, the site of Norton Field has been covered by a housing development, and not a trace of the airport remains visible.
Joseph Biser reported in 2018, “I live in the Norton Field subdivision. The remaining open field has been used to build the Whitehall Branch of the Columbus Public Library.
There is still a small clump of trees that cover the foundation of the last remaining hangar, but it is very small. Not much left at all.”
The site of Norton Field is located southwest of the intersection of East Broad Street & Hamilton Road.
Thanks to Billy Spiropoulos for pointing out this field.
Clickenger Airport / South Columbus Airport (4I2), Columbus, OH
39.88, -82.97 (North of Rickenbacker Airport, OH)
"Clickenger" was depicted as a commercial/municipal airport on the December 1932 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
This small general aviation field was originally named Clickenger Airport.
The date of construction of Clickenger Airport has not been determined.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Clickenger Airport was on the December 1932 Cleveland Sectional Chart,
which depicted it as a commercial/municipal airport.
The Airport Directory Company's 1933 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)
described Clickenger as a commercial airport having 3 graded earth runways within a 3,200' x 1,900' rectangular field.
A hangar was said to have "Clickenger Airport" painted on the roof.
The Airport Directory Company's 1938 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)
described Clickenger as an "Auxiliary" airfield having 2 sod runways, with the longest being a 2,640' north/south strip.
A hangar was said to be located along the north side of the field.
The June 1939 Huntington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) depicted Clickenger as an auxiliary airfield.
The earliest photo which has been located of Clickenger Airport
was a 9/28/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
It depicted Clickenger as an irregularly-shaped grass field with several hangars along the northwest side.
Clickenger Airport, as depicted on the 1943 USGS topo map.
The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Clickenger Airport
as a 40 acre rectangular field having a 2,600' x 1,600' sod all-way airfield.
The field was said to have a single 80' x 48' wood & concrete block hangar.
Clickenger was described as being owned & operated by private interests.
Clickenger Airport was described by the 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)
as having a 2,600' runway.
A 1945 aerial view looking north at Clickenger Airport (courtesy of Don Johnson).
A 1946 photo of a Porterfield Collegiate in front of a hangar at Clickenger Airport (courtesy of Don Johnson).
David Ostrander recalled, “Sometime after 1948 my mother (Lucille) started working for Vern Atchison at Clickenger Airport as airport manager.”
Richard Christ recalled, “I was stationed at Lockbourne AFB from 1951-54.
During that time I joined the SAC Flying Club which was based at Clickenger Airport, and obtained my private license (1952).
During the time I was there, Vern Atchison was the manager/FBO owner
and the Strategic Air Command Flying Flub was one of his best customers.
The club charged it's members $4/hr dual for flying the planes they had and $2/hr for solo, using instructors who were also members.
My license cost about $125 total! Almost unbelievable compared to todays costs.
I assume that Vern made a fair amount of money by selling fuel to us & on the maintenance of our airplanes.
I was one of the earlier members when the club had only a J3 Cub & an Aeronca Champ
but the membership grew fast, and they added several more Champs & a new Mooney Mite.
The Mooney was a blast to fly but the club didn't keep it too long because on 2 occasions it was landed gear up
by newly licenced & inexperience members & had to be shipped back to the Mooney factory for repairs.
Thank goodness I wasn't one of them.
I still have an 8x10 photo of myself standing in front of it when the club auctioned it off.
$1 per ticket, and 6 for $5 according to the sign.
The demise of the airport was inevitable because of the city growing around it.
The railroad yards off the end of the main runway were always a worry in case of an engine failure, because of nowhere to land safely.”
The 1953 Huntington Sectional Chart depicted Clickenger as having a 2,700' unpaved runway.
The 1953 Flight Chart (courtesy of Scott O'Donnell)
described Clickenger as having a 2,700' unpaved runway.
A 1953 aerial view looking north at Clickenger Airport depicted dozens of light planes parked on the grass in front of a hangar.
David Ostrander recalled, “The hangar burned shortly after 1953 & the whole operation moved to Price field.
I used to ride my bicycle to Clickenger after school & flew with anyone who had an empty seat.
I flew with Bernie Chupka, Norm Crabtree & an instructor name 'Mac' McLoud. Mac had a printing shop across Williams Road from the hangar.
My mother had an encounter with General Curtiss Lemay wen he insisted on renting one of the Aero Club planes even though all were scheduled.
My mother was acquainted with 'Jerry' Mock but not impressed.”
The layout of Clickenger Airport, as depicted in the 1955 OH Airport Directory (courtesy of Stephen Mahaley).
The directory described Clickenger as having 3 runways, with the longest being a 2,750' northwest/southeast strip.
A single hangar was depicted on the north side of the field.
The operator was listed as Jones Flying Service.
A 1957 aerial view depicted Clickenger Airport as having 3 grass runways,
with a total of 13 light aircraft parked around a building on the northwest side of the field.
Susan Rodda recalled, in the 1960s “My father, Eugene 'Whitey' Jost, became the Fixed Base Operator for South Columbus.”
By 1962, it had been renamed South Columbus Airport,
which is how it was listed in the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory.
It was described as having a single gravel runway, and the operator was listed as Jones Flying Service.
The August 1965 Huntington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Kunse)
depicted South Columbus Airport as having a 3,000' unpaved runway.
The layout of South Columbus Airport, as depicted on the 1966 OH Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted the field as having a single 2,700' unpaved north/south runway.
The runway at South Columbus was evidently lengthened & paved at some point between 1966-71,
as a 1971 aerial view depicted the field as having a single north/south paved runway,
which extended considerably farther south than the previous airport boundary.
The original hangar remained on the northwest side,
but had been replaced by a much larger group of hangars on the west side of the new runway.
The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of South Columbus Airport
was on the August 1976 Cincinnati Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mitchell Hymowitz).
It depicted South Columbus as having a north/south paved 5,100' runway.
The 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury) described South Columbus Airport as having a 5,150' asphalt Runway 18/36.
The operator was listed as E.C. Aviation.
John Berryman recalled, “I begin my flight training at the old South Columbus Airport as a 15 year old in 1987.
At that time it was already in decline but there were active pilots who kept their aircraft hangared there
as well as the FBO 'American Aviation Services' where I trained.
It was ran by a man named Bob Maroldy who had recently retired from the Army & just opened it when I flew there.
As a matter of fact I worked as a ground crewman on the banner towing planes
during the Ohio State Football games in exchange for flying time.
When I returned briefly in 1993 to get a picture of the plane I trained with,
the FBO was closed & a friend of his still had one of the planes & was trying to get investors to revitalize the airport.
But this was highly unlikely as that area had become mostly industrial
and Bolton Field & Don Scott are 2 class D airports very close by, much more convenient to get to.
However, I do believe that there were people who wanted to see the airport fail & had their eyes on the land.”
The last photo which has been located showing South Columbus Airport still open was a 1994 USGS aerial view looking northwest.
A total of 9 single-engine aircraft were visible parked on the ramp.
The airfield consisted of a single paved 5,400' runway, and a ramp on the west side with at least 3 hangars.
Unfortunately, by this time, development around the field had become extensive,
with several large industrial buildings having been built immediately along the east side of the runway.
South Columbus Airport was evidently closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1994-99,
as it was depicted as an abandoned airfield on the July 1999 Cincinnati Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante).
A 2002 aerial photo showed 2 large buildings had been built over the central portion of the former South Columbus Airport runway,
and a housing development had been built over the southern portion of the runway.
However, about half of the runway remained intact on the northern end,
complete with the circular turn-around characteristic of a runway at the north end.
The remaining runway portion was evidently being used to store trailers or containers.
The former terminal building also remained intact.
At some point after the airport closed, the former main hangar was apparently reused as the “Airport Tennis Club”.
A 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos of the former main Hangar of South Columbus Airport.
Billy observed, “The place is indeed an industrial park now.
It had an eerie, desolate, decrepit atmosphere,
even though there are several businesses operating on the site."
A 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos of the runway.
Billy observed, "The runway is all cracked up & potholed, with endless rows of cargo trailers parked on it,
but still plainly evident as you look down its length."
A 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos of the former main Hangar of South Columbus Airport.
A 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos of the what used to be an office attached to the main Hangar of South Columbus Airport.
Note the faded lettering on the windows, which apparently used to read, "Airport Tennis Club".
A 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos of the former Hangar 6 at South Columbus Airport.
Billy Spiropoulos noted, "I spotted the ramp & the remaining hangars as well.
The 2 narrow buildings are rusty sheetmetal with numbers still on the walls;
each of the 2 smaller hangars still has an older style Shell Oil logo hanging on it."
An "artsy" 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos
of one of the many junked autos resting at the former South Columbus Airport,
one of Detroit's finest, an early 1970s Ford Torino.
Billy noted, "The ramp area is littered with abandoned older cars
(for example: two 1970 or '71 Ford Torinos,
rusty but still complete & still sitting on old-fashioned bias-ply tires)."
A circa 2006 aerial view looking south at the 3 former hangars which remain at the former South Columbus Airport.
A circa 2008 aerial view looking south at the north end of the former South Columbus Airport runway.
The darker-colored portion of the building at bottom-right is a former hangar from Clickenger Airport (predating South Columbus Airport),
which dates back to at least 1955.
A 2014 aerial view looking northwest showed the majority of the South Columbus Airport site has been redeveloped,
but a 2,000' portion of the north end of the runway remains intact, including a circular turn-around pad.
A 4/21/15 photo by Tink Schaffer of “the old street sign going into a solid waste yard still there at Lockborune”, for “South Columbus Airport Road”.
The site of South Columbus Airport is located
southeast of the intersection of Lockbourne Road & East Williams Road.
Biglow Airfield, New London, OH
41.095, -82.388 (Southwest of Cleveland, OH)
A 5/8/59 USGS aerial view of Biglow Airport.
According to property owner Ralph Danison, a tile plant on this property “was built in 1882 by Anthony Ruse.
The Biglow Company... sold out in the late 1920s or early 1930s.”
No airfield was yet depicted at this location on the 1948 USGS topo map.
At some point between 1948-55 an airfield was constructed on the property.
According to Ralph Danison, “The man who flew out of this airport's name is Earl Deer.
He was superintendent of the company's plants. They built that airport just for him.”
Ed Ganz recalled of the airfield, “I think it had 2 sod strips. Hangars were at the southwest corner of the property.
I hauled tile out of there in 1955 & it was still there. The buildings to the west are the tile company's.
They had a plane; I don't remember what kind. I think they had 2 more plants west of there & would fly between them."
The only photo which has which has been located of aircraft at Biglow Airfield was on a 5/8/59 USGS aerial view.
It depicted the airfield as having 2 unpaved runways, with 3 T-hangars & one single-engine aircraft on the west side.
However, no airfield was depicted at the location on the the 1960 Cleveland Local Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
The earliest topo map depiction of which has been located of Biglow Airfield was on the 1960 USGS topo map.
It depicted the airfield as having 2 runways, labeled simply as "Landing Field".
Don Murray recalled, “I grew up in New London & frequented the Biglow property to fish in the ponds north of the hangars, roughly 1963-68.
There were 2 aircraft based there in this time period.
One was a Piper Apache twin. It was green & was kept in the 'still intact' hangar with the sliding doors.
We only saw this plane when it was coming or going, the hangar being locked otherwise.
The other was an all metal taildragger maybe a Cessna 170 & was kept in the open-front cement block hangar.
I think it was yellow. I remember that it had 2 venturis for vacuum instruments on the right side of the aircraft.”
Biglow Airfield still was not depicted at all on the May 1970 Cleveland Sectional Chart.
Ralph Danison recalled of the property, “It was used by Hancock Brick until the late 1960s & early 1970s.
I would say that the early 1970s was the last [the airfield] was used, unless some one 'sneaked' a landing.
The gentleman who flew out of there used his single-engine aircraft to go on sales calls & business related trips.
Hancock Brick also had more than one factory.”
The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Biglow Airfield
was on the May 1971 Detroit Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted "Biglow" as a public-use airfield having a 3,800' unpaved runway.
The 1972 USGS topo map depicted Biglow Airfield as having 2 runways (with the longest being the 2,800' northeast/southwest strip),
labeled simply as "Landing Field".
The Biglow Airfield was not listed in the January 1972 Flight Guide (according to Chris Kennedy).
Ralph Danison recalled, “My father purchased the property in 1974.”
The London Tile Company is their family business.
Ralph added, “The airstrip was maintained during our time down there, but was not used to my knowledge.”
The Biglow Airfield was not listed in the 1976 AOPA Airports USA Directory (according to Chris Kennedy),
or depicted on the 1977 or 1986 USGS topo maps.
Ralph Danison recalled, “We manufactured tile there until 1985 [when they moved a few blocks away].
We ran limited operations from the late 1980s until 2001 at the Ledgitt Street location.”
A 1991 aerial photo (courtesy of Ralph Danison) looking east at the Biglow Company factory, kins, garage, and a hangar (at the top-right).
A 1994 USGS aerial view looking north showed the cleared grass area of the 2 former runways at the site of Biglow Airfield was still barely recognizable.
A December 2005 photo by Ralph Danison of the exterior of the Biglow hangar.
A December 2005 photo by Ralph Danison of the interior of the Biglow hangar.
Ralph Danison reported in 2005 that 2 former airfield buildings were still standing.
“They're made of brick & are intact in the weeds, and still in good shape!
One was made of cinder block, it looks like it was disassembled for spare blocks.
I'm not sure if it was a hangar or a storage building.
The other building is certainly a hangar.
It is custom built around an aircraft, that is the hangar is shaped somewhat like an airplane.
It is made E. Biglow Company's famous 'hollow' brick (they basically made their own hangar).
The red brick hangar is in fantastic shape, not one hole in the roof, the airplane door in still on the rack,
the entrance door is still on its hinges, and the hangar is free of vandalism & has not one loose brick.”
A circa 2006 aerial view looking north at the site of the Biglow Airfield,
with the outline of the 2 runways still barely recognizable,
and the 2 former hangars visible just below the ponds.
A 2015 aerial view looking north showed the site of Biglow Airfield was no longer recognizable as a former airfield.
The site of the Biglow Airfield is located east of the intersection of East Fir Street & Ledgett Street.
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