Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:
© 2002, © 2017 by Paul Freeman. Revised 5/27/17.
This site covers airfields in all 50 states: Click here for the site's main menu.
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Eberts Field (revised 5/27/17) - Worth James Airport (revised 5/27/17)
Eberts Field, Lonoke, AR
34.8, -91.92 (East of Little Rock, AR)
A circa 1918 aerial view looking north at Eberts Field (courtesy of the Lonoke County Historical Society & Shirley McGraw, enhanced by Bill Grasha).
According to the Arkansas History Commission, the 640-acre Eberts Field
was named for native Arkansan, West Point graduate, and Signal Corps Captain Melchior Eberts.
Eberts died in May 1917 while making airplane exhibition flight at Columbus, NM.
Construction of Eberts Field began 12/11/1917.
The Primary Flying Course was an 8-week course with a student capacity of 300.
Eberts Field also housed a Temporary Storage Depot.
The earliest depiction of Eberts Field which has been located
was a a circa 1918 aerial view looking north at the field (courtesy of the Lonoke County Historical Society & Shirley McGraw).
It depicted the field as having a long row of hangars running north/south along the east side of the field,
with the airfield area to the west.
A circa 1918 photo of a JN-4 being refueled at Eberts Field (courtesy of Johnnie Bransford).
An undated photo of an Eberts Field JN-4 Jenny modified for gunnery instruction.
An undated photo of Eberts Field (courtesy of Colin Christie, enhanced by Bill Grasha).
According to Colin, the original panoramic photo depicted “the planes lined up... wing tip to wing tip... containing more than 100 planes.
Each plane has 2 soldiers at attention in front of their Jennys.
My Grandfather, George Christie, was a flight instructor at Eberts Field.”
A 1918 Eberts Field postmark (courtesy of Dana Donahue) on a letter sent by Dana's Great-Uncle, (Frederick Dehmer).
Dana observed that Dehmer “as a young man apparently died of Pneumonia while stationed at Eberts Field in 1918.
As far as I know he made it to the rank of Corporal, although one of his letters makes it sound as if he was due for promotion to Sergeant soon and hoped to become a pilot.”
According to a historic marker at the site of the field,
approximately 2,500 enlisted men & officers were stationed at Eberts Field from 1918-19.
Although a large number of planes were reportedly operated from the field,
not a single fatal accident occurred at Eberts Field.
A 1918 Army Signal Corps aerial view looking south along the row of hangars at Eberts Field.
Several WW1-era photos of hangars & biplanes at Eberts Field (courtesy of Robert Horton).
The First World War ended (11/11/18) before Eberts Field's first class graduated.
Construction at Eberts Field ended in January 1919, at a total cost of $1,829,560.
The airfield at Eberts Field was evidently reused as Lonoke Municipal Airport,
as that is how it was listed in The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airport Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).
The field was described as being located 1.5 miles west of the town of Lonoke.
It was said to consist of a 320-acre rectangular field, measuring 5,200' x 2,460'.
However, no airfield in Lonoke was depicted on the 1940 USGS topo map.
According to Scott Murdock, “I believe that this was also the site of a WW2 contract glider school,
operated by Kenneth Starnes Flying Service for the AAF.”
However, no airfield in Lonoke was listed in the April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)
nor depicted on the March 194 Little Rock Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante).
A 12/19/75 USGS aerial photo showed that the row of at least a dozen concrete hangar foundations was still visible along the east side of the site of Eberts Field.
Some of the foundations had more recent sheds built upon them.
A single north/south “Landing Strip” was depicted along the eastern edge of the site of Eberts Field on the 1984 USGS topo map.
A single north/south “Landing Strip” was depicted along the eastern edge of the site of Eberts Field on the 1990 USGS topo map.
However, the majority of the airfield area of the former Eberts Field had been flooded & turned into a fish farm.
In the 2001 USGS aerial photo, the row of at least a dozen concrete hangar foundations was still visible along the east side of the site of Eberts Field.
It appears as if some of the foundations have had more recent sheds built upon them.
The majority of the former airfield area was filled in with fish ponds.
A 2005 photo by Scott Murdock of the remains of a concrete hangar foundation at the site of Eberts Field.
Scott observed, ““The line of hangars for this W.W.I airfield runs north-south, at the east edge of the former flying field.
I had access to the hangar foundations - about a dozen of them - via a paved road running north-south just to their west.
A historical marker describes the field & its wartime contribution.
Much of the area of the flying field itself is now bermed-up & used as a fish farm.”
A 2005 photo by Scott Murdock of a historical sign at the site of Eberts Field.
[The assertion that “a thousand planes” were used here is particularly suspect.]
The site of Eberts Field is located southwest of the intersection of Interstate 40 & Route 89.
Worth James Airport, Little Rock, AR
34.707, -92.328 (Northwest of Memphis, TN)
A 4/3/60 USGS aerial view of Worth James Airport.
This small airfield was located on the west side of Little Rock.
Worth James Airport was evidently established at some point between 1957-60,
as it was not yet depicted on the 1957 USGS topo map.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Worth James Airport was a 4/3/60 USGS aerial photo.
It depicted the airport as having 2 perpendicular unpaved runways, with 2 hangars on the west side.
There were no aircraft visible on the field.
A closeup from the 4/3/60 USGS aerial view of the hangars on the west side of Worth James Airport.
The 1961 USGS topo map depicted “Worth James Landing Field” as having 2 perpendicular unpaved runways,
with 2 hangars on the west side.
The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Worth James Airport
was on the January 1966 Little Rock Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Kunse).
It depicted Worth James as a private airfield having a 4,600' unpaved runway.
A 1970 aerial photo depicted Worth James Airport in the same fashion as the 1960 aerial view.
The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Worth James Airport
was on the November 1974 Memphis Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante).
It depicted Worth James as a private airfield having a 4,500' unpaved runway.
The last labeled map depiction which has been located of Worth James Airport was on the 1986 USGS topo map,
which depicted it in the same fashion as the 1961 USGS topo map.
Worth James Airport was evidently closed at some point between 1986-94,
as 1994 USGS aerial view looking north showed the western portion of the airport's former 2 grass runways were still intact, along with 2 hangars to the northwest of the runway intersection.
But the eastern portion of the airfield had been removed.
A 2014 aerial view looking north showed the site of Worth James Airport had been covered with a surface mining operation,
with no trace remaining of the little airport.
The site of Worth James Landing Field is located southeast of the intersection of Mabelvale Pike & Asher Avenue.
Thanks to M.L. Anthony for pointing out this airfield.
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