Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Northwestern California

© 2002, © 2014 by Paul Freeman. Revised 6/15/14.





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Stubbs Airport / Clear Lake Oaks Airport (revised 6/28/09) - Enterprise Sky Park (revised 10/20/13) - Kirkwood Aux AAF #2 / Kirkwood Airport (revised 12/29/13)

Peterson Chico Airfield (added 7/17/09) - Peterson Redding Airfield (added 7/21/09)

Redding Sky Ranch (revised 10/20/13) - Shingletown Airport (revised 5/17/14) - Union Lumber Company Airfield (revised 4/9/12)

Williams Intermediate Field (revised 3/9/11) - (Original) Willits Airport (added 6/15/14) - Willow Creek Airport (revised 8/8/13)

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(Original) Willits Airport, CA

39.41 North / 123.34 West (Northwest of San Francisco, CA)

A 7/4/57 USGS aerial photo of Willits Airport.



The original airport for the town of Willits was located in the northeast portion of the town.

According to current Willits Airport manager Dan Ramsey, the original Willits Airport was “built about 1947.”



Chuck Ross recalled, “The old Willits downtown airport... I had my first airplane ride out of Willits in about 1949 in a Piper Clipper.

The pilot was Wilbur 'Andy' Anderson & I am quite sure that he was the 'Andy' of Andy’s Aircraft Sales at Coddingtown Airport.

A Southwest Airways DC-3 landed there in the 1940s or early 1950s & had to be stripped down to reduce weight so they could ferry it out to Ukiah.”



Willits Airport was not yet depicted on the 1956 USGS topo map.



The earliest depiction which has been located of Willits Airport was a 7/4/57 USGS aerial view.

It depicted Willits as having an east/west runway, with a few small buildings & several light aircraft on the west side.



According to the book "Cowboys, Loggers, Airports and Airplanes" by Ron Stamps,

Willits Airport was home of the the "Willits Aeronautics Club".



The 1961 USGS topo map depicted Willits as having a single east/west paved runway,

with a few small buildings along the west side.



The last depiction which has been located of Willits Airport was a 6/12/64 USGS aerial view.

A half-dozen single-engine aircraft were visible parked to the southwest of the runway.



According to the book "Cowboys, Loggers, Airports and Airplanes" by Ron Stamps,

the post-war boom would eventually spell the demise of Willits Airport's in-town location.



The replacement Ells-Willits Airport opened in 1964, farther outside of town to the northwest.

The original Willits Airport was evidently closed at some point between 1961-67,

as only the Ells-Willits Airport was depicted on the 1967 Sacramento Sectional Chart.



Willits Airport was still depicted on the 1983 USGS topo map,

even though it had presumably been closed for almost 2 decades by that point.



Willits Airport was no longer depicted on the 1991 USGS topo map.



An 8/17/13 aerial view shows no trace remaining of the original Willits Airport, with the site covered by a museum & baseball fields.



The site of Willits Airport is located northeast of the intersection of East Commercial Street & North Lenore Avenue.



Thanks to Bryan McCleve for pointing out this airport.

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Peterson Chico Airfield (5Q3), Chico, CA

39.7 North / 121.79 West (Northeast of San Francisco, CA)

The Peterson Chico Airfield, as depicted on the 1970 USGS topo map.

Note the depiction of the airfield on the west side of the road was most likely erroneous.



According to Jonathan Westerling, “The Peterson Tractor Company was founded

during the post-depression era of the mid-1930s by Howard Peterson.

The company was incorporated on November 16, 1936 as the Caterpillar dealership for the 5 Bay-area counties.

When the company expanded into California’s central valley in 1958,

it became evident that they needed a way to get parts from the Bay area to the vast expanses of Northern California,

and looked to aviation to provide that ability.

Times were different then, and California’s northern central valley was mostly farmland,

so Peterson used some of his Caterpillar tractors to clear, grade & pave his own airports behind his Chico & Redding offices.”



According Eileen Grafton, the Peterson Chico Airfield was built in 1963.

It had no hangar but had an apron for 4 planes next to the runway.

Peterson customers frequently used the airstrip to pick up parts from the Chico store.



The earliest depiction which has been located of the Peterson Chico Airfield

was on the 1970 USGS topo map.



Jonathan Westerling reported, “According to Howard Peterson’s grandson Duane Doyle (who is a pilot & also owns & runs the company),

they had 2 planes: a 1955 'T-bone twin' Beechcraft (he thinks it was a B50) & a Cessna 182 from the mid-1960s.

The pilots for the Beech were Bill Gionotti & Dan Derr. The Cessna pilot was Al Mayer.

The Beechcraft was stationed near Peterson’s headquarters in Hayward

and was used to fly company brass up to northern territory & also between the Redding & Chico stores.

The Cessna was based in both Redding & Chico & serviced both locations with parts as needed.”



The 1967 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling)

described Peterson-Chico as having a 2,100' asphalt Runway 11/29.



The 1968 FAA Airport Facilities Record (courtesy of Al Mahr)

described Peterson-Chico as having a 2,573 Runway 10/28.

It listed the owner as Peterson Tractor Company, and the operator as Grant Thompson.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Peterson Chico Airfield

was on the 1973 Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling).

It depicted Peterson as a private field having a single 2,700' paved northwest/southeast runway.



According to Jonathan Westerling, “Bill O’Donnell was Peterson’s Northern Stores Manager from 1973-1981.

He was a big fan of the company’s air service.”

Bill observed, “The airplane saved us a lot of time, particularly in the north where there are lots of narrow, winding mountain roads.

We delivered parts many times to people who had breakdowns in remote areas.”



An undated aerial view of the Peterson Chico Airfield

which hangs in offices at the company’s Chico & Redding stores (courtesy of Jim Lanphear via Jonathan Westerling).

It depicted the field as having a single 2,700' asphalt northwest/southeast runway,

with an asphalt ramp with 4 marked parking spots.

No aircraft were visible on the field.



According to Jonathan Westerling, “Peterson’s Chico store did a number of airdrops

for Guy Atkinson’s Little Grass Valley Dam out of Oroville in the early 1960s.”

Bill O’Donnell recalled, “Almost every day, a truck would go to that job but sometimes they would call in with a dire emergency.

So, we’d fly somebody up there in the Cessna.

We’d wrap up the parts against damage & fashion a parachute-type bundle out of a canvas bag.

Then the pilot would circle over the jobsite’s headquarters, open the door & toss out the bag.

One time it was getting on towards dusk so we rigged a flashlight to the parachute so they could see where it dropped.”



Peterson bagged parts for a number of such emergencies during the two-year course of that project.

What took about 30 minutes or less in the airplane would take a good 3 hours round trip by ground,” continued O’Donnell.

We were able to circumvent the situation, save a lot of time, and still keep their tractors running.”



The 1979 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling)

described Peterson-Chico as a private field having a 2,100' asphalt Runway 11/29, only 36' wide.



Jonathan Westerling reported, “According to Duane Doyle, Peterson quit using the airstrips between 1977-80.

It became cost prohibitive to ship parts by air compared to courier.”



Jonathan Westerling reported, “According to the NTSB there were never any accidents at the Peterson-Chico Airfield.”



The 1999 USGS topo map still depicted the “Peterson Chico Airfield”,

with a single paved northwest/southeast runway.



According to Jonathan Westerling, “Eventually the runway was destroyed

because kids were drag racing on it so Peterson had the asphalt ripped up.”



A circa 2006 aerial view shows the middle portion of the Peterson Chico runway pavement remains inact,

with the pavement on either end of the runway having been removed.



A circa 2006 aerial view looking east at the remains of the Peterson Chico Airfield,

showing a portion of the asphalt runway which remains, along with the tractor company building.



A 2007 photo by Jonathan Westerling “looking east along the orientation of the removed runway at Peterson-Chico.”



A 2007 photo by Jonathan Westerling “looking west behind the Peterson Tractor Company’s Chico location where the airport used to be.”



Jonathan Westerling reported in 2009, “Today, the Peterson Tractor Company continues as a thriving business.

The area that the runway once occupied is now a dirt road behind their Chico store.

I think Mr Peterson’s pair of airfields ranks as unique in California.

Were there any other non-aviation companies who built & maintained more than one airfield?

Both were fairly extensive & apparently important to his company & clients.

I enjoyed talking with some of the employees about these airfields’ histories.”



The site of the Peterson Chico Airfield is located northeast of the intersection of Route 99 & Southgate Avenue.

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Peterson Redding Airfield, Redding, CA

40.63 North / 122.38 West (Northeast of San Francisco, CA)

A 1963 aerial photo of the newly constructed Peterson Tractor airfield (courtesy of Jim Lanphear).



According to Jonathan Westerling, “The Peterson-Redding Airport was the second of 2 airports & a heliport

owned by the Howard Peterson Tractor Company.

The airport was primarily used to ferry tractor parts between the company’s northern California stores.

According to Eileen Grafton, Howard Peterson’s granddaughter,

customers were also allowed to use the airstrips to pick up parts from the warehouse next to this airport,

and from the Chico location which also had an airfield.”



Jonathan continued, “The Peterson-Redding airfield was built in 1963

over the top of a grass strip that the previous property owner had put in.

According to Al Mayr who was the company pilot,

the Peterson runway orientation was superior to the earlier grass strip because it fit better into the property lines,

and was better for the prevailing winds.”



The earliest depiction which has been located of the Peterson Redding Airfield

was a 1963 aerial photo (courtesy of Jim Lanphear).

It depicted the field as having a single asphalt north/south runway,

with an asphalt taxiway leading to a ramp on the southeast corner, next to the Peterson building.

It also depicted the predecessor grass northeast/southwest runway.



According to Jerry Evans (who managed the Redding store for many years),

I remember we had 2 wheels-up landings at the strip.

One was by a customer. He was coming in to pick up parts & forgot to go wheels-down.

There was one heck of a noise & we went out to see what was happening

and a very sheepish [pilot] was walking toward the shop.

I believe they repaired the plane at the shop (they brought in aircraft mechanics) & he flew it out.”

Jerry continued, “We also used [the airstrip] to deliver parts – in emergencies to our customers.

There was a time when Lee Stower was working on the back side of Mt. Lassen.

Someone forgot to put one of the bearings for a final drive in the part given to him.

It would have taken about 5 hours for him to drive for the part & return to the job.

If I remember it was less than a half hour for us to fly to the site.

We wrapped the bearing – which was maybe 8” in diameter & about 2” thick – in newspaper.

Many, many wraps, then put heavy duty tape around that.

Then we put it in a box & stuffed that full of paper & put tape over every inch of the box.

I went up with Al Mayr – our pilot – and when we got to the site, Al got as low & slow as he safely could,

then I opened the door, held it open with my knee & at the right moment dropped the box.

It hit the ground, bounced a number of times & rolled to about 10 feet of where Lee was standing.”



According to Jonathan Westerling, “Al Mayr (the pilot at Redding) fondly recalls the strip as being fairly narrow,

but on a hill up the valley which kept the fog away more so than the nearby municipal airfields.

He said it was always a private facility, but they didn’t paint X’s on the runway because that would have been 'unfriendly'.

The Redding facility had a 1,000 gallon tank of 80 octane fuel on site & a single ‘T’ hangar.”



A 1965 aerial view looking southwest at the Peterson Redding facility (courtesy of Eileen Grafton),

with aircraft parking spots behind the store,

and a taxiway leading to the runway, the southern end of which is visible in the background.



An undated promotional photo showing parts being loaded into a Peterson Piper (courtesy of Eileen Grafton).



The 1967 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling)

described Peterson-Redding as having a 2,500' asphalt Runway 18/36.



The 1968 FAA Airport Facilities Record (courtesy of Al Mahr)

described Peterson-Redding as having a 2,376' north/south runway.

It listed the owner as Peterson Tractor Company, and the operator as Grant Thompson.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Peterson Redding Airfield

was on the 1970 Sectional Chart (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling).

It depicted Peterson as a private field having a single 2,700' paved northeast/southwest runway.



An undated aerial view looking northeast at no less than 13 aircraft at the Peterson-Redding airfield (courtesy of Al Mayr).



According to Duane Doyle (Peterson’s grandson & now owner of the company), they quit using the airstrips between 1977-80.

It became cost prohibitive to ship parts by air compared to courier.



The 1979 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling)

described Peterson-Redding as a private field having a 2,500' asphalt Runway 18/36, only 36' wide.



The 1991 USGS topo map still depicted the Peterson “Landing Strip” as a single north/south runway,

as well as the grass northeast/southwest runway that predated it.



According to Duane Doyle (Peterson’s grandson & now owner of the company),

eventually the runway was destroyed because kids were drag racing on it so Peterson had the asphalt ripped up.



A circa 2006 aerial view of the Peterson Redding Airfield,

showing that the paved runway has become Charles Drive,

but the outline of the northeast end of the predecessor northeast/southwest runway is still perceptible.



A circa 2006 aerial view looking north at the site of the Peterson Redding Airfield.

The company's store remains, but the runway has been completely built over.



A 2009 photo by Jonathan Westerling “looking south along what used to be the runway at Peterson-Redding airport.”



Jonathan Westerling reported in 2009, “Today, the Peterson Tractor Company continues as a thriving business, though without their airfields.

The north part of the runway has been reused as Charles drive.”



The site of the Peterson Redding Airfield is located northwest of the intersection of Route 273 & Caterpillar Road.

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Shingletown Airport (0Q6), Shingletown, CA

40.52 North / 121.82 West (Northeast of San Francisco, CA)

Shingletown Airport, as depicted on a 9/3/54 USGS aerial photo.



The date of construction of Shingletown Airport has not been determined.

The earliest depiction of Shingletown Airport which has been located was on a 9/3/54 USGS aerial photo.

It depicted a single unpaved northeast/southwest runway.



The Shingletown Airport was not yet depicted at all on a 1954 Mt. Shasta Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).



The 1958 USGS topo map depicted a single northeast/southwest runway, labeled simply as “Landing Strip”.



Jonathan Westerling reported, “According to the FAA, this airport was opened in 1960.”



The earliest listing of Shingletown Airport which has been located

was in the 1960 Jeppesen Airway Manual (according to Chris Kennedy).



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

was on the November 1963 Mt. Shasta Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted Shingletown as a public-use airport having a 2,400' unpaved runway.



The 1980 Flight Guide (according to Chris Kennedy)

listed Shingletown as having a 2,000' unpaved runway.



The Low-use section of the 1994 Flight Guide (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted Shingletown as having a single 2,340' “Oiled Ruf” Runway 1/19, sloping 2.6% up toward the north.

A ramp was depicted as having a single small hangar on the southwest side.



In the 1998 USGS aerial view of the Singletown Airport,

it appeared as if closed-runway “X” symbols had been painted on the runway at some point,

and then painted over (with gray paint) at some later point, as if the runway was re-opened.



The Shasta County website (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling) noted in 2007

that “The airport was closed indefinitely, effective November 1, 2002.

Please be advised that the Shasta County Department of Public Works

has been notified by the California Department of Transportation (DOT), Division of Aeronautics

that, due to the unsafe condition of the airport, and in meeting DOT's public safety mandate,

the airport permit for the Shingletown Airport is suspended, effective November 1, 2002."



Jonathan Westerling reported in 2007, “I interviewed Thomas Hayes who is the airport manager for Shasta County.

He confirmed that the county has voluntarily surrendered

its suspended airport permit to the State.”

Hayes said they have “Walked away from the airport.

We stuck a fork in it, and it's done.”



Acording to Jonathan Westerling, “Hayes said he had tried several times to secure government grants to fix the runway.

Apparently the County was in a catch-22 regarding Shingletown since it did not own the land that the airport was on.

Since it didn't own the land, Shasta was unable to get any FAA funds to fix the airport.

Also, since the runway was in such bad shape

the County was unable to secure any airport grants to purchase the land from the owner.”



Lamenting the loss of the airport,

Mr. Hayes admitted that "With only 600 flights a year, it just wasn't a good candidate for grant money."



Jonathan Westerling reported that Hayes “did however indicate that several parties

had approached the landowner (Bady & Associates Redding, CA)

with an interest in taking over the airfield.

While none of these conversations have yet amounted to anything,

now that the County has decided to loose its year-to-year lease on the property,

perhaps the opportunity exists for an enterprising individual to resurrect this nice little airfield in the northern hills of CA.”



A 2007 photo by Chris Knudson looking north along the former Runway 1 at Shingletown.

Note both the yellow “X” closed-runway symbol over the runway number,

but also evidence right above it of a previous closed-runway “X” which had been painted over with gray paint.



Chris Knudson visited the site of the Shingletown Airport in 2007.

He reported, “I saw a road sign called 'Airport Road' & had to check it out.

The Shingletown Airport has a simple gate barring access to vehicles but you can easily walk around the gate.

All that is left at the field is 2 abandoned wooden hangars in bad shape

and the 2,340' runway that looked in good shape, but after walking on it seemed cracked & crumbly.

There is evidence that the locals may use the runway as a makeshift drag strip.

Start & line-up markers have been spray painted on the runway with some sort of tire burnouts.”



A 2007 photo by Chris Knudson looking west at the two former hangars at Shingletown.



A 2007 photo by Chris Knudson of the interior of a former hangar at Shingletown.



Michelle Stone reported in 2007, “The biggest single use for the Shingletown Airport now is for amateur astronomers.

For several years, they have been gathering there to do astronomy.”



A 2009 aerial view showed that the Shingletown hangars had been removed at some point between 2007-2009,

but the runway pavement remained intact.



A 2010 aerial view showed that the runway pavement had been removed.



A 9/23/12 aerial view looking north at the remains of the Singletown runway.



The site of the Shingletown Airport is located north of the intersection of Emmigrant Trail & Airport Road,

appropriately enough.

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Kirkwood Auxiliary Army Airfield #2 / Orland Auxiliary Airport #2 / Kirkwood Airport,

Kirkwood, CA

39.79 North / 122.13 West (Northwest of Sacramento, CA)

Kirkwood Airport, as depicted on a 7/10/47 USGS aerial photo.

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



According to the Army Corps of Engineers,

the history of this airfield began on 10/8/42 when the War Department acquired 360 acres of farmland

through direct purchase to build an auxiliary airfield.

This airfield was one of 5 auxiliary fields subordinate to the Chico Army Air Field.

The Site provided a location for emergency landings by aviation cadets & any other transient aircraft operating in the area.

The Site also provided an off-site training location for the Army Air Forces Basic Flying School at Chico AAF.

USACE records indicated that the field had the capacity of supporting 40 aircraft per day.

As this field supported a basic flying school, the primary aircraft operating at this field would have be the Vultee BT-13 “Valiant”.



WAA records indicate that the infrastructure at the Site consisted of a 3,000-foot square asphalt landing mat

with a few Theater of Operations-type buildings to provide a minimal level of support.

No evidence of fueling systems, tanks, ammunition storage, or maintenance facilities was located during research.

There was no troop housing or messing facilities located at this installation.



The layout of the Kirkwood airfield, consisting of a square paved landing mat,

is identical to other nearby airfields built to serve as auxiliary airfields for Chico AAF,

including Chico Aux AAF #3, and Orland Airport.



In 1944, basic pilot training at Chico Army Air Field ended which resulted in reduced use of the Kirkwood airfield.



Chico AAF itself (the parent field) was inactive by the time of the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock),

and the Kirkwood auxiliary field was no longer listed in the directory.



On 11/20/46, control of the Kirkwood auxiliary field was transferred to the WAA.

The WAA in turn quitclaimed the Site to County of Glenn on 6/19/47.



The earliest depiction of the field which has been located was a 7/10/47 USGS aerial photo.

It depicted a square paved landing mat, with one small building on the east side.



After WW2, the Kirkwood airfield was evidently reused as a civilian airport.



The 1950 USGS topo map depicted “Orland Auxiliary Airport #2” as a square outline.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction of the field which has been located

was on the 1954 Sacramento Sectional Chart (courtesy of Dann Shively).

It described Kirkwood Airport as having a 3,000' hard-surface runway.



The 1967 Sacramento Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss)

depicted Kirkwood's unusual square runway layout, which was described as being 4,200' long.



The 1968 USGS topo map continued to label the site as “Orland Auxiliary Airport #2”.



The County of Glenn operated Kirkwood as an airfield until approximately 1970.



The Kirkwood Airport was evidently closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1967-70,

as it was depicted as an abandoned airfield on the 1970 San Francisco Sectional Chart (courtesy of Dann Shively).



The 1971 USGS topo map labeled the site as “Kirkwood Airport”.



Dann Shively recalled, “I flew out of nearby Haigh Field in Orland in 1971-72.

Haigh originally was one of the several big squares of pavement used in WW2 training

which was extensive in the Northern Sacramento Valley.

Apparently Kirwood Airport was yet another practice mat.

When I was flying around there, I noticed this pad but never thought too much about it other than it was interesting.

Nothing appeared to be going on there & I never gave it much attention.

I didn't know at the time it was an airport only a few years earlier.”



The 1985 Sacramento Sectional Chart (courtesy of Dann Shively)

depicted Kirkwood as an abandoned airfield.



According to the Army Corps of Engineers, “The original asphalt landing strip was demolished after disposal of the site

and the paving debris placed in 3 piles on the property.”



By the time of the 1990 Sacramento Sectional Chart (according to Dann Shively)

the former Kirkwood airfield was no longer depicted at all (not even as an abandoned airfield).



Although it had evidently been closed for several years,

the 1991 USGS topo map still depicted “Kirkwood Airport” as having a square landing mat.

 

The 1998 USGS aerial photo shows that the pavement of Kirkwood's former landing mat has been completely removed,

with the property reused for farming.

The 3 piles of rubble from the former airfield pavement are evidently still visible

as the 3 shapes along the south side of the road in the center of the picture.



A 2008 aerial view by Dann Shively looking northeast at 2 of the 3 piles of former airfield pavement at the site of the Kirkwood airfield.

Dann observed, “The piles are still there amid the orchards in the area; although at least one seems to be dwindling.

I shot the other two, one of which has a lot of trash around it.

Not often an airport goes away but the pavement is just piled on the site.”



The site of the Kirkwood Airport is located west of the intersection of 6th Avenue & Cutler Avenue.



Thanks to Dann Shively for pointing out this airfield.

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Williams Intermediate Field, Williams, CA

39.09 North / 122.15 West (Northwest of Sacramento, CA)

Williams Intermediate Field Site 9, as depicted on the March 1943 Sacramento Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The Williams Intermediate Field was one of the Department of Commerce's network of airfields which were established in 1930s

for the emergency use of commercial aircraft along major airways in between major cities.



The date of construction of the Williams field has not been determined.

The earliest reference to the field which has been located

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

It described Williams as the Department of Commerce's "Site 9" along the San Francisco - Seattle Airway.

The field was said to consist of a rectangular sod field, measuring 2,640' x 1,320'.

 

The earliest depiction of the Williams Intermediate Field which has been located

was on the March 1943 Sacramento Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The only photo which has been located of Williams Intermediate Field

was a 9/10/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

Williams had evidently been expanded at some point between 1933-45,

as it depicted the field as having 3 unpaved runways.

No buildings were depicted at the airfield.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described the Williams Intermediate Field

as a 206 acre irregularly-shaped property having 3 sod runways, the longest being a 3,950' northwest/southeast strip.

Williams was not said to have any runways, to be owned by private interests, and operated by the Civil Aeronautics Administration.



The November 1945 USAAF Pilot's Handbook (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted the Williams Intermediate Field as a sod field measuring 4,246' east/west by 3,366' north/south.

No buildings were depicted at the airfield.



The February 1949 Sacramento Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted the "Williams (CAA)" airfield as having a 4,200' unpaved runway.



The Williams airfield was evidently closed at some point between 1949-52,

as it was no longer depicted at all on the November 1952 Seattle to San Francisco Flight Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).

Like many other Intermediate Fields, it was evidently no longer needed, due to advances in aircraft reliability.



Although the 1973 USGS topo map no longer depicted any traces of the former airfield,

the windmill at the northeast corner of the airfield was still depicted

(the same windmill depicted on the 1945 airfield diagram).

 

As seen in the 1998 USGS aerial photo,

the site of the former Williams Intermediate Field has been reused for farming,

and not a trace appears to remain of the former airfield.

 

The site of the Williams Intermediate Field is located south of the intersection of Zumwalt Road & Myers Road.

 

Thanks to Chris Kennedy for pointing out this airfield.

____________________________________________________



Union Lumber Company Airfield, Fort Bragg, CA

39.43 North / 123.82 West (Northwest of San Francisco, CA)

The Union Lumber Company Airfield, as depicted on the March 1954 USAF Sacramento Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



This private airfield was located in an extremely picturesque setting,

being on the tip of a peninsula which juts out into the Pacific Ocean.



According to Kevin Bunker, “This strip was graded, paved & opened in 1948-49

when the Union Lumber Company took delivery of its sole corporate aircraft, a Twin Beech monoplane.”

The earliest chart depiction of this field which has been located

was on the March 1954 USAF Sacramento Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted the airfield as having a 2,400' hard-surface runway,

for "Emergency use only" (which evidently was how a private airfield was labeled).

 

The 1962 AOPA Airport Directory described the Union Lumber Company Airfield

as having a single 2,700' asphalt Runway 13/31.



Chuck Ross recalled, "At one time a USAF F-102 crashed at that airport.

There is a picture of the wreck on page 112 of "The Mendocino Coast - a Pictorial History Volume II",

published by the Fort Bragg Advocate.

It incorrectly identified the plane as being from the Point Arena Air Station;

that station is just a radar base & had no airfield.

The plane looked as though it was not badly damaged by the (apparently) wheels-up landing

but was partly consumed by post-crash fire."

 

The Union Lumber Company Airfield was still depicted as an active private airfield

on the 1967 Sacramento Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss).

 

According to Kevin Bunker, “Union Lumber Company operated the strip to shuttle its corporate officers & official guests

from its San Francisco headquarters to its mill offices & woods properties in Fort Bragg & the surrounding county until 1969.

Union Lumber Company ceased independent business in 1969 when it was acquired by the Boise-Cascade Corporation.

Boise-Cascade Corporation was forced to divest of the Fort Bragg mill properties in a Sherman Act (anti-trust) breakup.

To my knowledge, the runway remained in service as late as 1970 but not likely any later.

Georgia-Pacific & subsidiary Louisiana Pacific Corporations acquired

the former Boise-Cascade Corporation / Union Lumber Division properties in 1972.”



The earliest photo which has been located of the Ft. Bragg Airfield was a 1972 aerial view looking southeast

(Copyright 2002-2009 Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman, California Coastal Records Project, www.Californiacoastline.org, used with permission),

showing a closed-runway “X” symbol painted on the runway end.



At some point in the 1970s or 1980s,

the extremely picturesque setting of the Union Lumber Company Airfield

caused it to have its "moment in the spotlight":

as it was the backdrop for a widely used marketing photo

taken air-to-air by aviation photographer Paul Bowen.

He captured a Cessna Citation SII from head-on in a steep climb,

with the seaside runway of the Union Lumber Company Airfield being dramatically set in the background.

The photograph was taken from the tail turret of a vintage B-25 Mitchell WW2-era bomber.



A 1979 aerial view depicted the Ft. Bragg Airfield in basically the same condition as depicted in 1972.



According to Kevin Bunker, “[The runway's] surface was reclaimed for lumber storage sometime around 1980.”





Back in 1984 my buddy who was 19 & I 20yrs old, flew up to Fort Bragg from the Nut Tree airport in Vacaville with our girlfriends in his parents Muskateer.



The Union Lumber Company Airfield was still depicted as an active private airfield

on the 1987 CA Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of John Voss).



According to Jeffrey Osier-Mixon, "They did indeed have lumber stacked on it, beginning in the early 1990s,

about when the Union Lumber Company sold the property to Georgia-Pacific, who use helicopters & bizjets for travel -

bizjets prefer to land at Little River Airport, and the helicopters can land without a runway."



The Union Lumber Company Airfield it was no longer depicted at all on the 1998 aeronautical chart.



A 1984 aerial view by Gonzalo Curiel looking northwest at the Union Lumber Company Airfield.



A 1984 photo by Gonzalo Curiel of his friend Ross' Muskateer at the Union Lumber Company Airfield.

Gonzalo recalled, “My buddy & I flew up to Fort Bragg from the Nut Tree airport in Vacaville with our girlfriends in his parents' Muskateer.”



In the 1998 USGS aerial photo, the runway was being used to store lumber.

 

Jeffrey Osier-Mixon reported in 2004, "As of 2002, the mill has been closed & the bluff -

all 300-some-odd acres of it - is up for sale.

There has been no end of controversy around it, as the lumber company left quite a toxic mess to clean up,

and the property will need a lot of redevelopment work by whomever chooses to purchase it.

I don't think the town would tolerate a runway there at this point,

though as a local resident pilot I think it would be nice!

In any case, sometime in the next 10 years we all expect to see housing developments, maybe a few shopping centers,

and hopefully a few bluffside parks to take advantage of the only coastside property in Fort Bragg."



A beautiful 4/1/12 aerial view by Gonzalo Curiel looking east at the Union Lumber Company Airfield & the dramatic coastline adjacent to it.

 

The airport site is along the Pacific coast, at the western end of North Noyo Point Road.

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Willow Creek Airport, Willow Creek, CA

40.95 North / 123.62 West (Northwest of San Francisco, CA)

Willow Creek Airport, as depicted on the 1976 USGS topo map.



This small airport was apparently built at some point between 1966-68,

as it was not depicted on the 1966 Mt Shasta Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss).

According to K.O. Eckland, in 1968 the Willow Creek Airport had a 2,375' northwest/southeast paved runway.



The earliest depiction which has been located of the Willow Creek Airport

was on the 1976 USGS topo map.



Willow Creek Airport closed in 1982.

Stuart Till reported, "The Humboldt County Airports Department placed X's on the runway…

because they did not want to accept the liability…

they did not want the general public landing there."



According to Gene Roberts, “I think that the reason it was closed

is that trees on both ends grew too tall & there may have been either an accident or concerns.

A good pilot with a STOL plane could probably land there OK in an emergency.”



Stuart Till reported that he continued to operate from Willow Creek Airport

"as a law enforcement agency even though it was X'd [marked as closed].

I flew in & out of Willow Creek airport from about 1982-86.

We used this airport for mountain flying instruction

when I was Chief Pilot for the California Department of Justice.

We used Cessna T-210 & T-182RG aircraft,

which were also used for law enforcement surveillance.

This is a very demanding airport with obstacles on both ends, wind shear, and it is short to boot.

This is typical of runways built along rivers in narrow valleys,

i.e. they require check-outs & demonstrated competency."



An August 18, 1988 aerial view looking north at Willow Creek showed at least 2 single-engine aircraft parked on the ramp,

which also had painted “Willow Creek” lettering.



As depicted in the 1993 USGS aerial photo, the airfield consisted of a single 2,500' asphalt Runway 13/31,

and a small paved ramp area west of the southern runway end.

It is not known if there were originally any buildings at the airport.

 

Tim Swenson reported in 2004, "I was just in the Willow Creek area vacationing when I came across the airport.

I was driving through town looking for a way down to the Klamath river.

There a sign pointing to place for river access & what looks to be a very rough boat launch area.

It turns out that the river access is at the southern end of the runway about 20 yards from the threshold.

I even walked out to the threshold.

I did not see any buildings at the airport, but I think I did see a wind sock."



A 2006 photo by Gene Roberts looking north at several Bell 212/205 helicopters on the Willow Creek runway,

while they were part of firefighting operations during the Orleans Complex Fire.

Gene reported, “The Willow Creek Airport strip is often used as a helicopter base when local fires occur.

The grass field to the west of the runway is also used to park helicopters when it is used for this purpose.

I was a Fire Captain with CDF, one of my Incident Command System qualifications was a Call When Needed Helicopter Manager,

and I was managing a Bell 214ST & a UH-1H helicopter & spent 2 weeks at Willow Creek.

Having the river 50' away was a real temptation!”



A 2009 aerial view by Roger Kubeck looking northwest at 5 helicopters on & around the Willow Creek runway,

including a Sikorsky/Erickson Skycrane at the north end.

Roger reported, “Notice the unusual runway markings are still visible.

I landed at Hoopa a few minutes after taking the pictures & that airport has the same yellow diamond markings.”



A 7/31/13 aerial view by Dallam Oliver-Lee looking south at the Willow Creek runway.



The Willow Creek Airport site is adjacent to the east side of Route 96, a half mile north of Route 299.

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Enterprise Sky Park (Q93), Redding, CA

40.58 North / 122.32 West (North of San Francisco, CA)

Enterprise Sky Park, as depicted on the May 1966 Mt. Shasta Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



This small general aviation airfield was apparently built at some point between 1963-66,

as it was not listed among active airfields in the 1963 AOPA Airport Directory (according to Chris Kennedy)

nor depicted on the 1965 USGS topo map.

The earliest reference to Enterprise Sky Park which has been located

was on the May 1966 Mt. Shasta Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted the field as having a 3,100' unpaved runway.



The 1969 USGS topo map depicted a single north/south runway, labeled simply as “Landing Strip”.



The earliest photo which has been located of Enterprise Sky Park was a 7/31/69 USGS aerial view,

which depicted the field as having a single north/south runway, with 8 light aircraft visible around the south end of the runway.



A July 1977 aerial view by Charles Seevers, looking west at the southern end of Enterprise Sky Park,

with Route 44 in the upper left corner, and several light planes visible on the field.

Charles recalled, “I was a member of the Enterprise Flying Club [from] 1975-1982.

Those were fun times & some of the best years for general aviation.”



The 1984 USGS topo map continued to depict a single north/south runway, labeled simply as “Landing Strip”.



The 1993 Flight Guide (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) depicted the Enterprise Sky Park

as having a single 2,950' paved Runway 16/34, with an additional 1,000' overrun on the north end.

A ramp was located at the south end of the runway, around which were located three buildings,

which housed the Enterprise Fly Club & Gloria's Runway Café.



Enterprise Sky Park apparently closed at some point between 1993-98,

as the 1998 USGS aerial photo depicted that a road had been built over the northern portion of the former runway.

Several former hangars apparently still remained, at the south end of the former runway.



Enterprise Sky Park was definitely closed by 2000,

as it was not listed among active airfields in the 2000 AOPA Airport Directory.

Although the specific reason for the field's closure has not been determined,

it appears to have been squeezed out by new residential development which have surrounded it,

an all-too-common fate for small general aviation airports.



A 2004 photo by Dann Shively looking south down the former runway from Airstrip Road & Viking Drive.



Dann Shively reported in 2004, "I swung by the old Enterprise Sky Park to see how things looked.

In the aerial photo from 1998 you can see a street covering part of the north end of the runway.

That area is now developed with houses sitting on the property.

The tiny stretch of street running east & west is Viking Drive

and now continues, paved, to the east with more houses.

From that cross street (Viking Drive) south, the property & former runway is undeveloped

until the south end where there is a mini storage facility.

Part of that facility shows up on the aerial photo although it's now developed more."



A 2004 photo by Dann Shively of the storage facility at the south end of the field looking north.



A 2004 photo by Dann Shively of a street sign for Airstrip Road.

"Airstrip Road ran north/south parallel to the runway on the west side when the airport was in operation.

It was just a gravel road & remains so today until the north end where it's paved where the houses are."



A 2004 photo by Dann Shively of one of the remaining former hangars on the west side of the former Enterprise Sky Park.



A 2004 photo by Dann Shively of one of the remaining former hangars on the west side of the former Enterprise Sky Park.

Dan reported, "There are still several hangars standing on the west side but are now used for other businesses.

Interestingly just on the south side of the property on the approach to what was Runway 34,

there are still some warning balls on the power lines that cross east to west."



A circa 2006 aerial view looking west at 2 former hangars at the site of Enterprise Sky Park.



The site of Enterprise Sky Park is located north of the intersection of Tarmac Road & Airstrip Road,

appropriately enough.

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Redding Sky Ranch (O74), Redding, CA

40.5 North / 122.38 West (North of San Francisco, CA)

Redding Sky Ranch, as depicted on a 9/29/48 USGS aerial photo.



This small general aviation airfield was apparently built at some point between 1945-48,

as it was not depicted on a 10/1/43 USGS aerial photo nor on the 1945 Mt Shasta Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss).

The earliest photo which has been located of Redding Sky Ranch was a 9/29/48 USGS aerial view.

It depicted Sky Ranch as having 2 runways with a small building on the east side.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Redding Sky Ranch

was on the 1948 Mt Shasta Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy),

which described the field as having a 2,400' unpaved runway.



The 1957 USGS topo map depicted Redding Sky Ranch Airport as having 2 runways, with a building on the east side.



The 1962 AOPA Airport Directory described the Redding Sky Ranch

as having 2 runways (12/30: 2,700' road mix & 4/22: 2,100' bare),

and listed the operator as Baker Aircraft Sales.



Redding Sky Ranch, as depicted on the 1966 Mt Shasta Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss).

 

The 1976 Pilot's Guide to CA Airports (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted Redding Sky Ranch as having a 2,440' paved Runway 12/30 (which also had a 500' overrun)

and a 1,830' dirt Runway 3/21.

A parallel taxiway along the northeast side of Runway 12/30 led to a ramp with several hangars,

including the facilities of Shasta Aviation Inc.

 

In the 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury),

Runway 12/30 was a 2,200' asphalt strip, and Runway 3/21 was an 1,800' gravel strip.

The operator was listed as North Star Aviation.

 

Redding Sky Ranch closed [for reasons unknown] in 1993.



 

As of the 1998 USGS aerial photo,

both runways still existed (with closed runway "X" markings on the paved runway),

and two hangars still stood north of the runways.

 

The Redding Sky Ranch was no longer depicted at all (even as an abandoned airfield) on 2002 aeronautical charts.



A September 2005 photo by James Douglas looking west at the long T-hangar

which remains in very decent condition at the former Redding Sky Ranch.

Note the windsock on the right side.



James Douglas visited the site of the Redding Sky Ranch in September 2005.

He reported, “ talked to some people who told me a little about the place.

It seems a local that owns a couple of roofing or electrical supply business & is quite well-heeled owns the land.

The city boundary is right up against the northern property line.

The extended centerline of Runway 30 has an Indian casino a few thousand feet dead ahead.

This could be a great place, but it will never happen.”



A September 2005 photo by James Douglas looking southeast along the former Runway 12,

with the former airport office building on the left.



A circa 2006 aerial view looking north at the remains of the Redding Sky Ranch.

Both runways still existed (with markings on the paved runway),

and the hangar & airport office building still stood.

Shipping containers were stored just northwest of the runway intersection.



It was reported in 2006, “The Redding Sky Ranch is now being used by a model airplane hobby/shop club.

These guys pay a fee to the club & use the old airstrips to fly planes & helicopters.”



The airport site is located south of the intersection of Route 273 & Canyon Road,

south of the town of Girvan.

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Stubbs Airport / Clear Lake Oaks Airport, Clearlake, CA

39.02 North / 122.66 West (North of San Francisco, CA)

Stubbs Airport, as depicted in a 1930 Department of Commerce Airway Bulletin (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling).

Photo of the airport while open has not been located.



The date of construction of this early general aviation airfield has not been determined.

The earliest depiction which has been located of the Stubbs Airport

was in the 1930 Department of Commerce Airway Bulletin (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling).

It described the Stubbs Airport as a commercial field, owned & operated by the Stubbs brothers.

The field was described as an irregularly-shaped 109 acre sod field,

with a 4,000' east/west landing area.

The field was said to not have any hangars.



In 1935 the town of Stubbs had its name changed to Clearlake Oaks,

according to “California’s Geographic Names” (courtesy of Jonathan Westerling).



The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airports Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo)

described the Stubbs Airport as having an irregularly-shaped 109 acre sod field with a 4,000' runway.



Stubbs Airport was evidently renamed Clear Lake Oaks Airport at some point between 1937-39,

as that is how it was labeled on the 1939 Sectional Chart (courtesy of Dann Shively).

It depicted the airport as being located adjacent to the east side of the town of Clear Lake Oaks,

on the shore of Clear Lake.



The Clear Lake Oaks Airport was apparently closed during WW2

(due to wartime security concerns, like many other small civilian airports along the coasts during the war),

as it was not listed in the Airport Directory Company's 1941 Airport Directory (according to Chris Kennedy)

or in the April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer).

However, unlike many other fields for which their wartime closures were temporary,

Clear Lake Oaks Airport apparently never reopened after the war,

as it was not depicted on the 1946 Sectional Chart (according to Dann Shively) or subsequent charts.

 

In the 1950s & 1960s, a residential development called the Clear Lake Keys was developed along the shore of Clear Lake,

in which land was dredged out creating canals where homeowners could dock their boats.

Although the precise location of the former Clear Lake Oaks Airport has not been determined,

this would appear to be the most likely location of the former airport.

A meadow adjacent to the east side of the Clear Lake Keys also could be the site of the former airport.

 

A 1998 USGS aerial photo of the Clear Lake Keys development,

as well as the empty meadow to the east - either of which may be the site of the former airport.

No trace appears to remain of the airfield.

 

A 2004 photo by Dann Shively of the empty meadow adjacent to the east side of the Clear Lake Keys development,

which may be the site of the former Clear Lake Oaks Airport.



The site of Clear Lake Oaks Airport is located south of the intersection of Route 20 & Keys Boulevard.



Thanks to Dann Shively for pointing out this field.

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