Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Central Kentucky

© 2003, © 2020 by Paul Freeman. Revised 9/25/20.

This site covers airfields in all 50 states: Click here for the site's main menu.

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Codell Field / Histle Field (revised 3/27/16) - Creech AAF (revised 6/10/20) - Lackey Airport / Berea-Richmond Airport (added 10/6/17) - (Original) Marshall Field (revised 9/9/19)

Thorn Hill Airfield (revised 7/1/18) -Warsaw Airport (added 9/25/20) - Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport (revised 9/9/19)

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Warsaw Airport, Warsaw, KY

38.778, -84.911 (Southwest of Cincinnati, OH)

Warsaw Airport, as depicted on the March 1933 Cincinnati Sectional Chart.



The date of construction of this small general aviation airport has not been determined.



The earliest depiction which has been located of Warsaw Airport was on the March 1933 Cincinnati Sectional Chart.

It also depicted the Commerce Department Airway Beacon #5B about a mile to the southeast.



The earliest photo which has been located of Warsaw Airport was a circa 1945-49 aerial view looking northeast (from George Malcomb's book “The Last Kentucky Barnstormer”, courtesy of Ron Malcomb).

It depicted Warsaw Airport as a rectangular grass airfield.

Ron Malcomb observed, “The office is at the far end of the field in the upper-left corner.

You can see the wear & tear on the field where the aircraft landed in a diagonal run across the field.”



Ron Malcomb recalled, “My father, George Malcomb, operated a flight school at Warsaw Airport in the 1940s.

He had several Cubs & Aeroncas, a Stearman, and an AT-6.

He leased the ground after the military ended using the field after the war.

Most of the training was for guys returning from the military using the GI Bill.

There was a Link Trainer & a pool table in the office.

I was very young at the time but I do remember the office & flying with my dad.”



A circa 1945-49 photo of partners Joe Wise & George Malcomb in front of the Warsaw Airport office building (from George Malcomb's book “The Last Kentucky Barnstormer”, courtesy of Ron Malcomb).



A circa 1945-49 aerial view of the Breakfast Fly-In at Warsaw Airport attended by Mr. Piper (from George Malcomb's book “The Last Kentucky Barnstormer”, courtesy of Ron Malcomb).



The last photo which has been located showing aircraft at Warsaw Airport was a 1949 aerial view.

It depicted Warsaw Airport as a rectangular grass airfield, with 2 light single-engine planes parked near a small building on the north corner.



The earliest topo map depiction which has been located of Warsaw Airport was on the 1951 USGS topo map.

It depicted “Warsaw Airfield” as a rectangular property outline, having a few small buildings on the north corner.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Warsaw Airport was on the January 1952 Cincinnati Sectional Chart.

It depicted Warsaw Airport as having a 3,000' unpaved runway.



Warsaw Airport was evidently closed (for reasons unknown) at some point in 1952,

as it was no longer depicted on the June 1952 Cincinnati Sectional Chart.

However the nearby Commerce Department Airway Beacon #5B continued to be depicted.



A 1955 aerial view showed the site of Warsaw Airport had been subdivided & planted with crops, and the airport office building had been removed.

The only remaining trace of Warsaw Airport was the circular driveway on the north corner.



A 1965 aerial view showed the circular driveway had been removed from the north corner, erasing the last trace of Warsaw Airport.



A 2016 aerial view looking north showed the majority of the Warsaw Airport site remained clear, but unrecognizable as a former airport.



Thanks to Ronald Malcomb for pointing out this airfield.

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Lackey Airport / Berea-Richmond Airport, Berea, KY

37.646, -84.284 (Southeast of Lexington, KY)

Lackey Airport, as depicted on the 1965 USGS topo map.



This small general aviation airport was evidently established at some point between 1954-65,

as it was not yet depicted on the 1954 USGS topo map.

The earliest depiction which has been located of Lackey Airport was on the 1965 USGS topo map,

which depicted a single northeast/southwest unpaved runway, with a taxiway leading to 5 small buildings on the northwest side.



The earliest photo which has been located of Lackey Airport was a 1965 aerial view.

It depicted a single northeast/southwest unpaved runway, with 1 light single-engine aircraft parked near 5 small hangarss on the northwest side.



Lackey Airport was evidently renamed Berea-Richmond Airport, as that is how it was depicted on the 1965 Nashville Sectional Chart.

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



Eric Karnes recalled, “Lackey Field was located on Menelaus Road (KY-2880) west of US-25 between Berea & Richmond.

I went there frequently on weekends in the 1970s when a friend operated a skydiving club there.

Miller Lackey & his father before him operated the airport.

I remember Miller showing me a photo of a Civil Air Patrol Champ that was based at the airport years before.



The 1979 USGS topo map depicted Berea-Richmond Airport

It was depicted as having a a single northeast/southwest unpaved runway, with a taxiway leading to 5 small buildings on the northwest side.



The last photo which has been located showing Berea-Richmond Airport in operation was a 1997 USGS aerial view looking southeast.

Three light single-engine planes were parked near the hangars on the northeast side (bottom-right).



Bearea-Richmond Airport has met the fate of so many other nice grassroots airports: a 2017 aerial view looking southeast shows it had been closed at some point between 1997-2017.

The individual T-hangars had been removed, but the grass runway remained.



The site of Berea-Richmond Airport is located southwest of the intersection of Menelaus Road & Raven Drive.



Thanks to Eric Karnes for pointing out this airfield.

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Codell Field / Histle Field, Winchester, KY

38.02, -84.22 (East of Lexington, KY)

Codell Field, as depicted on the 1956 USGS topo map.

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



The date of establishment of this small airfield has not been determined.

The earliest depiction which has been located of Codell Field was on the 1956 USGS topo map,



The 1965 USGS topo map depicted Codell Field as a single southeast/northwest runway, labeled simply as “Airstrip”,

with 1 small building on the south side.



The only aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Codell Field

was on the January 1966 Nashville Sectional Chart (courtesy of David Stevenson).

It depicted Coddell as a private field having a 3,000' paved runway.



The earliest photo which has been located of Codell Field was a 1997 USGS aerial view looking northeast.

It depicted Codell as having a single paved runway, which was deteriorated & had closed-runway “X” symbols at each end.

A single hangar was located south of the runway.

A series of smaller buildings adjacent to the southeast side of the runway were presumably farm-related & not airfield-related.



A 2014 aerial view looking northeast showed the Codell Field paved runway & hangar remained intact.



According to Jacob McHone, this airfield may also have been known as Histle Field.

Jacob reported in 2015, “Histle Field in western Winchester just north of Interstate 64...

Hangars are still there but last time I was there the drive is now a private drive & the airfield is now a farm.

The hangars are used as stalls; the runway looks in good shape still.

I assume the owner of Histle Field sold the land & moved to Mt. Sterling because there is a strip south of KIOB listed as Histle Field on the Cincinnati Sectional Chart.”



The site of Codell Field is located northwest of the intersection of Van Metre Drive & Rockwell Drive.



Thanks to Jacob McHone for pointing out this airfield.

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(Original) Marshall Field, Georgetown, KY

38.19, -84.57 (Northwest of Lexington, KY)

The original Marshall Field, as depicted on a 3/1/52 USGS aerial photo.



The original airport for the town of Georgetown was located on the south side of town.

The earliest depiction which has been located of the original Marshall Field was a 3/1/52 USGS aerial photo,

which depicted a very well-defined northeast/southwest grass runway, with a parking area & airport circle marking on the south side side.

There were no hangars on aircraft visible on the field.

There was also a drive-in movie theater directly adjacent to the south side of the runway, probably a little too close for comfort.



Eric Karnes recalled, “The original Marshall Field... was a short but busy little airport.

I remember the runway (about 1,800') running perpendicular to US-25.”



Marshall Field was not yet depicted on the December 1952 Cincinnati Sectional Chart.



The 1954 USGS topo map depicted Marshall Field as having an unpaved northeast/southwest runway, with a drive-in theater adjacent to the south side.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Marshall Field was on the June 1955 Cincinatti Sectional Chart.

It depicted Marshall Field as having a mere 1,800' unpaved runway.



A 1959 aerial view showed Marshall Field to be much busier,

with a total of 16 light single-engine aircraft on the parking area on the south side of the runway.



A 2/15/65 USGS aerial photo view of Marshall Field showed a dramatically different scene compared to the 1952 photo,

with a total of 22 light single-engine aircraft completely filling the available parking area on the south side of the runway.



The last topo map depiction which has been located of the original Marshall Field was on the 1993 USGS topo map.



Eric Karnes recalled, “The original Marshall Field... was replaced by a much larger Georgetown-Scott County Airport east of town.”

Georgetown-Scott County Airport opened in 1993, at which point the original Marshall Field was closed.



A 1994 aerial view showed the original Marshall Field remained intact, but devoid of any aircraft.



A 1997 aerial view showed several baseball diamonds had been constructed over the site of the original Marshall Field.



A 2014 aerial view of the site of the original Marshall Field shows the property reused as Marshall Park,

but the alignment of the former runway is still recognizable.



Eric Karnes reported in 2015, “The original Marshall Field... Today it's Marshall Park, on Airport Road at US-25.”



The site of the original Marshall Field is located at the western terminus of Airport Road, appropriately enough.



Thanks to Eric Karnes for pointing out this airfield.

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Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport (4I1), Williamsburg, KY

36.83, -84.19 (South of Lexington, KY)

The Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport, as depicted on the 1965 USGS topo map.



Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport was evidently established at some point between 1960-65,

as it was not yet depicted on the 1952 USGS topo map or the June 1960 Nashville Sectional Chart.

The earliest depiction which has been located of the Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport was on the 1965 USGS topo map.



The 1969 USGS topo map depicted the Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport

as having a single unpaved northeast/southwest runway.



The earliest photo which has been located of the Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport was a 5/27/69 USGS aerial view.

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



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport was on the July 1969 Nashville Sectional Chart.

It depicted Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport as having a 2,500' unpaved runway.



The 1982 USGS topo map depicted the Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport

as having a single unpaved northeast/southwest runway.

A single small building had evidently been added on the southwest side at some point between 1969-82.



Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport had evidently gained a paved runway at some point between 1982-97,

as a 1997 USGS aerial view depicted the field as having a single paved Runway 6/24, with a single small hangar on the southwest side.

There were no planes visible on the field.



In March 2005 a larger Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport was built to the southwest,

and the Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport was presumably closed at the same time.



As of 2009 the Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport was no longer depicted on aeronautical charts.



A 2015 aerial view looking north shows the Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport remained intact.



The site of the Williamsburg Cumberland Falls Airport is located northeast of the intersection of Pilot Drive & Airport Road, appropriately enough.



Thanks to Aaron Renfro for pointing out this airfield.

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Thorn Hill Airfield, Kenton, KY

38.86, -84.45 (South of Cincinnati, OH)

A 4/19/60 USGS aerial photo appeared to show the Thorn Hill Airfield when it was newly constructed.



According to drag racing historian Bret Kepner, this airfield had a colorful history.

Through information from locals & the track's employees during a visit around 1985,

he learned that "the airfield was built by alcohol bootleggers during Prohibition.

The airstrip was created deep in the woods where it was virtually undetectable from the ground.

The moonshine, brewed in the nearby Kentucky hills,

was smuggled on night flights to nearby Cincinnati, OH.

Near the end of Prohibition, the operations at the Kenton airstrip were sacked by Treasury agents,

resulting in a large number of arrests.

The Feds eventually bequeathed the seized land to the town of Kenton,

whose mayor apparently assisted in the bust.



However 1949 & 1952 USGS aerial photos just showed a farm field, with no recognizable sign of an airfield.

And no airfield was depicted at the site on the 1953 USGS topo map.



According to drag racing historian Bret Kepner, “The airstrip sat, unused, until the hot rodding craze of the 1950s

resulted in the local arrest of a young street racer...the mayor's son!

The mayor agreed to allow the kid to turn the abandoned airfield into a drag strip

if it would keep his son's racing activities off the street.

Thus was born Thorn Hill Drag Strip!"



The earliest photo which has been located of the Thorn Hill Airfield was a 4/19/60 USGS aerial photo.

It appeared to show the Thorn Hill Airfield when it was newly constructed,

with a single northeast/southwest runway.



Thorn Hill Landing Strip”, as depicted on the 1961 USGS topo map.



It was not listed among active civil airfields in the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory.



According to Steve Trutschel, “Ralf Payne owned & operated that property until his passing in the mid-1990s.

I used to fly my Cub in there all the time & if they were racing I would enter the pattern

and the guy lining up the cars at the starting line would hold them in place & motion me to land.

I flew in & watched the races many Saturday evenings as Thornhill is only about 5 miles from the private airstrip where I live.

I also flew ultralights into there years before I owned my Cub.”



Steve continued, “My father raced there when he was a kid in the mid-1950s

and it was a dirt drag strip when he started racing there.

Everyone would use snow tires for traction.

He remembers how great it was the day Ralf blacktopped the first 100 or 150 feet of the strip for traction for them.

When I was a kid in the mid-1960s there were at least 3 airplanes kept there.

I ended up buying a worn-out 1946 Stinson 108-3, that ironically, was one of the 3 planes that used to be kept there.

It is still very much country out there & I know of no ordinances that would prevent aircraft operations there.

Our nickname for the dragstrip was, and still is, Ralf's Palace.”



Steve continued, “Over the years I would have several friends fly into the dragstrip

and I would pick them up because my strip is very short & a Cub is one of the few planes that can go in there.

One day I met a couple of friends at the dragstrip & they were flying a completely restored Beech T-34,

complete with all the Navy military markings.

Ralf ALWAYS drove out & met you at the plane.

I assume it was Ralfs wife with him as he met the T-34.

My buddy slid the canopy back, stood up in the seat, looked around & said,

"I don't know, this doesn't look like Kansas to me!"

Ralfs wife stood there looking at the military plane in total disbelief

and said, "Oh my God, you guys are no where near Kansas!"”

Steve continued, “I quit flying the Cub in there because I tore it down to restore it.

Sadly Ralf passed away before it was finished & he never got to see it again.

I know several people that still race there every Saturday in the summer.

In this day & age there are more & more houses being built, and more & more complainers.

Most of the complainers are on the other side of the river & that is a different county so it is complicated.

But I enjoy the races & I can hear them at my house, It's just part of that area.

I know several people that race there & one of them has even asked the new owner if I could fly in there again.

His response to them was, "As long as I get an airplane ride." We'll see.”



The earliest depiction which has been located of the Thorn Hill Airfield was on the 1961 USGS topo map.

It depicted “Thorn Hill Landing Strip” as a single northeast/southwest runway, with a small building on the north side.



Thorn Hill was not listed among active civil airfields in the 1982 AOPA Airport Directory.



The 1983 USGS topo map depicted the single former runway but did not label it at all.

The former runway was labeled "drag strip" on the 1984 USGS topo map.



A 1993 USGS aerial view looking south showed Thorn Hill to not show any sign of recent aviation use.



The Thorn Hill property was also used until 2001 for flying radio controlled model aircraft, until that use was also precluded by zoning.



Thorn Hill was labeled "drag strip" on the 2002 Sectional Aeronautical Chart.



According to Jim Decker, the current property owner said zoning is causing problems with the drag strip,

and precludes him from renting tie-downs for aircraft.



The 7/9/01 issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that neighbors had been making complaints about the noise from drag racing at Thorn Hill.



A circa 2006-2010 aerial view looking west at the north end of the former Thorn Hill runway, now reused as a drag strip.



An 11/14/12 aerial view by Paul Freeman looking northeast at the former Thorn Hill runway.



A 2017 aerial view looking south along the former Thorn Hill runway.



The Thorn Hill Airfield is located along the west bank of the Licking River,

a half mile southeast of the town of Kenton.

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Creech Army Airfield, Arkansas City, KY

38.08, -84.32 (East of Lexington, KY)

Creech AAF, as depicted on the March 1959 Cincinnati Sectional Chart.



According to an Army Corps of Engineers report, the Lexington Signal Depot

was built early in WW2 to store, repair & issue the Signal Corps' communications & electronic equipment.



Creech AAF was not yet depicted on the September 1958 Cincinnati Sectional Chart.



According to the 11/20/58 Lexington Herald (courtesy of Mark Hess), Creech Army Airfield was dedicated on 11/19/58.

The airfield was built to support the activities of the Lexington Blue Grass Army Depot.



The earliest depiction of Creech Army Airfield which has been located was on the March 1959 Cincinnati Sectional Chart.

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



The 1960 Jeppesen Airway Manual (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) depicted Creech AAF as having a single 2,000' Runway 11/29,

with a taxiway leading to the southwest to a ramp with an operations building & several other buildings.

A control tower was depicted south of the runway.



A January 1960 photo (courtesy of Mark Hess) of a Bell H-13 helicopter being refitted with new UHF & FM radio equipment by a Lexington Signal Depot avionics crew.



A March 1960 photo (courtesy of Mark Hess) of the Lexington Signal Depot's L-20 aircraft.

Creech AAF was described as having a 2,000' steel pierced planking runway & a control tower.



An 11/9/60 USGS aerial photo showed Creech AAF to have a single paved Runway 12/21,

with a taxiway connecting the runway to a ramp with two small hangars.

A control tower was south of the runway, and a total of 4 light fixed-wing aircraft were parked on the ramp.



The 1961 Cincinnati Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) described Creech AAF as having a single 3,000' pierced steel planking runway.



The 1965 USGS topo map depicted Lexington Blue Grass Army Depot as having an airfield with a single paved northwest/southeast runway,

a tower, and a taxiway leading to a ramp with 3 buildings on the southwest side.



The January 1966 Nashville Sectional Chart (courtesy of David Stevenson) depicted Creech AAF as having a 3,000' paved runway.



The 1968 Cincinnati Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy) described Creech AAF as having a single 3,000' pierced steel planking runway.



Creech AAF, as depicted on the 1970 Cincinnati Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



A 1974 Facility Layout Plan of the Lexington Blue Grass Army Depot,

depicting the existing runway & the (apparently planned but never built) crosswind runway.



William Kempf recalled that in 1984 "I was stationed there & it had a nice set of runway lights & bumpy dirt runway."

He recalled that the runway would have been usable for small single engine fixed wing aircraft.

"But what I remember most was a large 75' high x 100' wide x 200' long hangar from at least the mid 1940's

that seems to be on the map but is missing from the photo?"



The Depot was placed on the Base Realignment & Closure list in 1991, and was scheduled to be transferred to the Kentucky National Guard in 1994.

According to JSH, "The depot's main DOD contractor, Raytheon,

moved most of its operations to the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond after the Lexington Blue Grass Army Depot's closing."



As seen in the 1993 USGS aerial photo, the Creech airfield consisted of a single 3,000' paved runway (which was crossed along its southeastern end by a road),

and a taxiway connecting the runway to a ramp with two small hangars.

There was no sign of the control tower depicted on the 1960 diagram.

East of the ramp was a helipad which was built at a later date than the runway, as it did not appear in the above 1974 plan,

and it appeared to have been used up to a later date than the runway.



The date of closure of the Creech airfield is unknown,

but it was depicted as an abandoned airfield on the 1998 World Aeronautical Chart.



A circa 2002 photo by William Kempf of the odd-shaped building at Creech AAF,

with what appears to be a rear fuselage portion from an unidentified aircraft at left.

William reported, “They seem to be used sometime before 2002 for helicopter depot rebuilding.”



Bill North reported in 2003 that the "odd shaped buildings or Quonset huts…

that is where the first radar units were tested after their development.

Other than the metal outer skin, there is no metal in the building & the interior is all wood."

Bill reported of the buildings used for the first radar testing,

"There has been some talk as to placing them under some sort of historical preservation but I am not sure the status of that effort."



A 2004 aerial photo showed dramatic changes since the 1993 photo,

with the runway pavement having been completely removed,

and a new hangar & helipad having been built just northeast of the odd-shaped buildings southwest of the runway.



A 2006 aerial view showed further changes since 2004, with a second, larger hangar having been built over the site of the helipad,

and a replacement helipad having been constructed on the east side of the 2 hangars.



A circa 2006-2008 aerial view looking west showing the odd-shaped buildings at the top of the photo,

along with the recent-construction National Guard hangars & helipad, along with a sole UH-60 Blackhawk.



A 2008 aerial view showed 2 CH-47 Chinooks on the ramp,

and a new paved taxiway leading to 2 paved helipads located over the location of the west end of the former paved runway,

bringing the facility full-circle in a sense.



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