Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Maryland, Northwestern Baltimore area

© 2002, © 2017 by Paul Freeman. Revised 7/8/17.

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

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City Line Airport (revised 12/28/16) - Curtiss-Wright Airport / Pimlico Airport (revised 6/2/14)

Park Heights Flying School / Handler Field / Handler Airport / Service Field (revised 6/13/14) - Rutherford Field / Baltimore Airport (revised 7/8/17)

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City Line Airport, Pikesville, MD

39.37, -76.71 (Northwest of Baltimore, MD)

The City Line Airport, as depicted on the 1929 "Rand McNally Standard Map of MD with Air Trails" (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

Photo of the airport while open has not been located.



This commercial airfield was in operation during the same time frame

and in very close proximity to the Park Heights Flying School Airfield (located less than 1 mile to the northwest).



The date of establishment of the City Line Airport has not been determined.



The earliest reference to the City Line Airport which has been located

was on the 1929 "Rand McNally Standard Map of MD with Air Trails" (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It described the City Line Airport as a 53-acre commercial airfield

operated by the Aircraft Corporation of Maryland.



City Line Airport, as depicted on the 1929 Washington to New York City Air Navigation Map #3.



City Line Airport was apparently closed at some point between 1929-30,

as it was not depicted on a circa 1930 Cram's street map (courtesy of Greg Stec),

listed in the 1931 Commerce Department Descriptions of Airports & Landing Fields (courtesy of David Brooks),

depicted on the May 1932 J-18 Washington D. C. Airway Map (courtesy of Chris Kennedy),

subsequent aeronautical charts, or the 1943 or 1946 USGS topo maps.



By the time of a 1957 aerial photo, not a trace appeared to remain of the former City Line Airport.



As seen in the 1993 USGS aerial photo,

the presumed location of the former airport has been covered by a school & dense residential development.

Not a trace appeared to remain of the former airport.



A 2015 aerial photo showed no trace remains of City Line Airport.



The exact location of the former City Line Airport has not been precisely determined,

but its depiction on the 1929 Rand McNally map would place it roughly along Seven Mile Lane,

roughly midway between Park Heights Avenue & Reisterstown Road.

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Park Heights Flying School Airport / Handler Field / Handler Airport / Service Field, Pikesville, MD

39.39, -76.72 (Northwest of Baltimore, MD)

A 1928 photo (courtesy of Mike Hull) of a group in front of a JN-4 Jenny at the Park Heights Flying School:

unknown, Louis Vollman, Warner Hull, Winfield Peck, George Hain, Mrs. Peck, and unknown.



The date of establishment of this flying school airfield has not been determined.

The earliest depiction which has been located of the Park Heights Flying School field which has been located

was a 1928 photo (courtesy of Mike Hull) of a group in front of a JN-4 Jenny at the Park Heights Flying School:

unknown, Louis Vollman, Warner Hull, Winfield Peck, George Hain, Mrs. Peck, and unknown.



Warner Hull's 1928 membership card (courtesy of Mike Hull) from Park Heights' Baltimore Aero Club.



The Park Heights Flying School Airfield (red circle northwest of the center)

and the City Line Airport (red circle southeast of the center),

as depicted on the 1929 "Rand McNally Standard Map of MD with Air Trails" (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It described the Park Heights Flying School Airfield as a 72-acre commercial airfield.



Park Heights Flying School Airfield, as depicted on the 1929 Washington to New York City Air Navigation Map #3.



According to the book "Maryland Aloft" by Preston, Lanman, and Breilhan, this field was also known as Service Field.



A circa 1929-30 advertisement for Baltimore Airways Company described flights from Handler Field to Newark NJ.



A circa 1930 Cram's street map (courtesy of Greg Stec) depicted “Handler Airport” at this location.



The 1930 Commerce Department Airway Bulletin (courtesy of Michael McMurtrey) depicted the airfield at Park Heights

as consisting of a single 2,000' x 300' grass runway, oriented northwest/southeast.

The airport property was a total of 72 acres,

with a single hangar located at the south end, along Park Heights Avenue.

The Bulletin included the remark,

"Those landing on Park Heights Flying Field for the first time should use northern half of field.

South of trees in center of field are knolls & depressions with which pilot should be familiar."



The 1931 Commerce Department Descriptions of Airports & Landing Fields (courtesy of David Brooks)

described “Service Field” as a commercial field located 6 miles northwest of Baltimore & 1 mile northwest of Curtiss-Wright Field.

Service Field was described as being a irregularly-shaped 46 acre turf field having 2 runways,

the longest being the 2,205' north/south strip.



A 5/28/31 photo (courtesy of Mike Hull) of the members of Park Heights' Baltimore Aero Club.



It was depicted as "Service" Field on the May 1932 J-18 Washington D. C. Airway Map (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



Ray Watson recalled, “In the early 1930s my father took me to all the airports in the area.

I had my first lesson at Handler (Service) Field. About 1933 only the south end of the area shown as Service Field was in operation.

My first lesson was in a Curtis Robin with an OX 5 engine owned by Doug Ruthvan. He traded it for a Waco.”



The only photos which have been located showing aircraft at Service Field were two circa 1933-34 photos by Ray Watson;

this photo showed Doug Ruthvan in front of his Waco at Service Field.



A circa 1933-34 photo by Ray Watson of an unidentified pilot in front of a German biplane (type undetermined) at Service Field.



The 1934 Commerce Department Descriptions of Airports & Landing Fields (courtesy of David Brooks)

described “Service Field” as a commercial field located 1 mile northwest of Curtiss-Wright Field.

Service Field was described as being a irregularly-shaped turf field having 2 runways,

the longest being the 2,205' north/south strip.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located

of the Park Heights Flying School was on the October 1934 Sectional Aeronautical Chart (according to the book "Maryland Aloft").



The Park Heights Flying School was apparently closed at some point between 1934-35,

as it was no longer depicted on the August 1935 Sectional Aeronautical Chart (according to the book "Maryland Aloft")

nor listed in the 1936 Commerce Department Descriptions of Airports & Landing Fields (courtesy of David Brooks).



A circa 1937-38 aerial view (from the JScholarship Sheridan Libraries Collection)

showed that the former grass airfield area of the Park Heights Flying School remained clear,

but there was no sign of any recent aviation activity,

and the single hangar depicted on the 1930 diagram at the south end of the field was gone.



Park Heights Flying School was no longer depicted at all on the 1943 or 1946 USGS topo maps.



By the time of a 1957 aerial photo, not a trace appeared to remain of the former Park Heights Flying School –

it had been covered by a housing development.



As seen in a circa 2001 aerial view,

the site of the former airport was redeveloped into the Fields of Stevenson, a housing development,

and no trace appears to remain of the airfield.



The site of The Park Heights Flying School is located on the north corner of Stevenson Road & Park Heights Avenue.

The Baltimore Beltway (695) runs along the northern border of the former airport site.

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Curtiss-Wright Airport / Pimlico Airport, Baltimore, MD

39.38, -76.69 (Northwest of Downtown Baltimore, MD)

The airfield area at Curtiss Airport, as depicted on a 1930 Commerce Department Airway Bulletin

(courtesy of Michael McMurtrey).



This general aviation airport was located in Baltimore County, just above the Baltimore City line,

southwest of the intersection of Smith Avenue & Greenspring Avenue.



Curtiss-Wright Airport began operations in 1929.

The Curtiss-Wright company got the urge to build airports

after Lindbergh created a stir in the public's mind with his Paris flight.

Their field in Baltimore was one of a dozen the company built around the country.

The hangars in particular were distinctively a Curtiss-Wright innovation.



According to the book "Maryland Aloft" by Preston, Lanman, and Breilhan,

upon the field's completion, it replaced Logan Field as the primary base of the local Curtiss-Wright Flying Service.

Curtiss-Wright Airport was described as the "Million Dollar Airport",

and it "offered instruction for pilots & mechanics, maintenance, flight services, and basing for private aircraft."



As depicted on a 1930 Commerce Department Airway Bulletin (courtesy of Michael McMurtrey),

the airfield consisted of a total of 260 acres,

with a 4,000' x 4,000' irregularly-shaped grass landing area.

Two 100' x 120' hangars sat at the north end of the field.

The owner was listed as Baltimore Air Terminals, Inc. (with a New York address, ironically!),

and the operator was listed as Curtiss Airports Corporation.

The Flying Club of Baltimore was listed as using the field.



A circa 1930 Cram's street map (courtesy of Greg Stec) depicted “Curtiss Airport”.



The 1931 Commerce Department Descriptions of Airports & Landing Fields (courtesy of Jim David Brooks)

described Curtiss-Wright Airport as an irregularly-shaped 240 acre sod field having 4 runways,

the longest being the 3,000' east/west strip.



Ray Watson reported, “I recall 2 passenger biplanes stationed at Curtis Wright Airport that were involved in commercial service.”



A 1931 ticket stub (courtesy of Richard Black) for his flight from Curtiss Wright Airport.

Richard Black recalled, “Curtiss Wright Airfield... my brother & I hitchhiked from Baltimore to the airport in the 1930s,

and we always hoped someone would offer us a ride - which never happened.

I had a stub for a plane ride ticket. For age was filled in '7'.

I recall very little about what happened, except my mother had taken me to the airport, and for a plane ride.

The airplane was a twin-engine biplane. There were seats on either side of the center aisle.

Probably single row. The engine covers were held down by spring-handled catches such were used on automobiles at the time.

I was terrified until the airplane left the ground. As I saw the houses pass underneath the plane, I was so impressed, I knew my future would be in aviation.”



Curtiss Wright Field, as depicted on the May 1932 J-18 Washington D. C. Airway Map (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



According to the book "Maryland Aloft",

Curtiss-Wright Airport was "dominated by 2 imposing concrete-block hangars in the Art-Deco style.

On the airfield side, each hangar had rows of large windows,

set in a single-story projection that was flanked by 2-story sections.

Aerial shows at the field included members of the Thunderbird Flying Club, formed at the airport in 1933.

Behind the excitement at Curtiss-Wright Airport was Colonel William Tipton,

who leased & ran the facility during its heyday.

A World War 1 ace pilot, he commanded the Maryland National Guard air unit based at Logan Field,

and was also a flying club president & a columnist on aviation topics.

Curtiss-Wright Airport was an excellent stage for his promotion of air-mindedness;

however it lacked the space to become the air transportation hub he may have envisioned,

and seems not to have been particularly profitable as a business venture."



The 1/1/36 Department of Commerce Airway Bulletin

described Curtiss-Wright Airport as a commercial field, consisting of a irregularly-shaped sod field.

It was said to have a total of 4 runways, with the longest being the 3,000' east/west strip.

A hangar was said to be marked with “Curtiss Wright Baltimore” on the roof.



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

described Curtiss-Wright Field as having 3 grass landing strips, with the longest being 3,000'.

The aerial photo in the directory depicted 2 hangars on the field.



A circa 1937-38 aerial view of Curtiss-Wright Field (from the JScholarship Sheridan Libraries Collection),

showing the grass airfield area & the 2 hangars on the north side of the airfield.

No planes were visible on the field.



Curtiss-Wright was Baltimore's largest private flying center by 1941.

Both the field & its school, the Baltimore School of Aeronautics, were in charge of chief pilot Lester Sipe.



At one point Curtiss-Wright had many yellow Piper or Taylorcraft Cubs on the flight line.



According to Joe Handelman, “There was a Kreutzer Air Coach (most likely an K-5) Tri-Motor at the Curtiss-Wright Airport.

The aircraft crashed into a tree off the airport property.”



An undated (circa 1940s?) street map depicted “Curtiss Airport”.



Curtiss-Wright Field may have been a Civil Air Patrol center during WW2.



According to the book "Maryland Aloft",

"Curtiss-Wright Airport closed, at least for civilian operations, during the war [WW2]."



The 1943 USGS topo map depicted 3 hangars at the site of Curtiss Wright Airport, but did not label the property at all.



A 9/25/43 aerial view looking northeast at Curtiss-Wright Airport from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

depicted the field as an open grass area with 2 hangars along the north side.

The directory described Curtiss-Wright Airport as a 260 acre irregularly-shaped field

within which was a sod all-way landing area measuring 3,000' x 2,100'.

The field was said to have 2 hangars: 120' x 100' concrete & steel, and 100' x 50' wood & metal.

The field was described as being privately owned & operated.





Curtiss-Wright Airport was still depicted on the 1945 AAF Aeronautical Approach Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).



According to the book "Maryland Aloft",

the 1946 Haire Publishing Airport Directory indicated that the field was still owned by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation,

and was operated by W. E. Mainville.



Curtiss-Wright Airport was still depicted on 1946 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).



According to the book "Maryland Aloft", in 1946 "the facility was renamed Pimlico Airport,

and presumably changed owners at that time.



Pimlico Airport, as depicted on the 1946 USGS topo map.



The outline of Pimlico Airfield, as depicted on a 1946 USGS map.



A 1947 MD Airport Directory listed the field's owner as Knipp Aviation Industries.



Pimlico Airport was depicted on April 1947 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

as having a 3,200' unpaved runway.



Pimlico Airport evidently closed at some point between 1947-49,

as it was no longer depicted at all on the 1949 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).



An article in the December 12, 1949 Harness Horse described an effort

to build a harness horse racing track on the site of the former Pimlico Airport.

It said “Eugene Beer & his associates lost out in a long effort to build on the site of the old Pimlico Airport,

in the Smith Avenue - Seven Mile Lane area of northern Baltimore.

Residents of the area protested the proposal to establish the track there,

and the harness racing group finally decided to locate elsewhere.”



Some time after its closing, some war surplus aircraft were stored there.

A silver B-18, possibly a B-23, possibly a B-17,

and perhaps a Beech C-45 were parked at one point near the hangars.



The 1953 USGS topo map depicted 3 hangars at the site of Curtiss Wright Airport, but did not label the property at all.



A circa late 1950s aerial view looking west at Curtiss-Wright Airport.



A 3/10/56 aerial view depicted the abandoned Pimlico Airport

as still remaining intact, with 2 hangars on the north side of the field, and an open grass landing area.



Some time later Bendix Aviation utilized the field for radar & electronics work,

with radar antennae to be seen from Smith Avenue.

After Bendix left, the old airfield laid abandoned for some years.

By 1958-1960, the place was a ghost town, with empty hangars.

There was a large wall map of the world in what appeared to have been an operations room.



According to Steve Scheinberg, who lived nearby,

"I still remember playing in the empty concrete shells of the hangar.

It had a big wing-looking thing over the entrance."



According to the book "Maryland Aloft",

"Photographs published by a local weekly in January 1963 showed that the hangars were still basically intact;

however, the article pointed out that a retail complex was proposed for the property."



A 1964 aerial view showed that the majority of the airfield remained intact,

but housing had been built over a northeastern portion of the property.



A closeup from the 1964 aerial view showing the 2 hangars remaining standing at the abandoned Pimlico Airport.



Between 1964-66, the former airport property was covered with the Pickwick Apartments & the Smith Avenue shopping center.

By the time of a 1966 aerial photo, not a trace appeared to remain of the former Pimlico Airport.



A circa 2000 aerial view of the site of the former Curtiss-Wright / PimlicoAirport, showing no remaining trace of the airfield.



Thanks to Joe Handelman for providing details about Curtiss-Wright.



See also:

Baltimore Magazine, 11/1941.

http://www.geocities.com/cd19/curtiss.html

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Rutherford Field / Baltimore Airport, Woodlawn, MD

39.336, -76.753 (West of Baltimore, MD)

Rutherford Field, as depicted on the 1929 Washington to New York City Air Navigation Map #3.



According to the book "Maryland Aloft" by Preston, Lanman, and Breilhan,

Rutherford Field "was established in 1929 by Oliver Rutherford,

proprietor of a nearby gun & recreation club.

Rutherford's company operated 3 aircraft & offered pilot training, rides, and aerial tours.



Rutherford Field was incorporated in November 1929 on 135 acres of land,

and began operation on 5/1/30, according to the November 1941 issue of Baltimore Magazine.



Michael Turk reported that his great-grandfather, O.B. Rutherford,

owned the land of Rutherford Field (or was the major stockholder in the corporation).



The earliest depiction of Rutherford Field which has been located

was on the 1929 Washington to New York City Air Navigation Map #3.



A 1929 seal for “The Baltimore Airport, Inc.” (courtesy of Kristin Shaffer, who found it as she was cleaning out her uncle's basement).

My great-grandfather (Chester Jennings Sr.) was an investor in the Airport.

My grandfather (Chester Jenning Jr.) owned a small plane after WWII,which he kept at the airport.



A circa 1930 Cram's street map (courtesy of Greg Stec) depicted “Rutherford Flying Field”.



The 1931 Commerce Department Descriptions of Airports & Landing Fields (courtesy of David Brooks)

described Rutherford Field as an irregularly-shaped 125-acre sod field measuring 2,250' x 1,875'.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction of Rutherford Field which has been located

was on the May 1932 J-18 Washington D. C. Airway Map (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



A 1933 directory listed the operator as The Baltimore Airport, Inc.,

however the hangar roof displayed a more modest designation, Rutherford Field."



The 1934 Department of Commerce Airport Directory (according to Chris Kennedy)

described "Baltimore Airport (Rutherford Field)" as having an irregularly-shaped 2,250' x 1,875' sod landing area.



Ray Watson recalled, “I hung around Rutherford field after Service Field closed”, [circa 1934-35].



Aerial view looking south at Rutherford Field,

from the Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airports Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).

The directory described Rutherford Field as having a 100 acre all-way landing area.

The aerial photo in the directory depicted 2 hangars next to the field,

one of which had "Baltimore Airport" painted on the roof.



The Airport Directory Company's 1938 Airport Directory (courtesy of David Brooks)

described Rutherford as a commercial airport,

consisting of an irregularly-shaped 100 acre sod field.



Steve Hurtt was told "that Howard Hughes flew in to Rutherford in the 1930s with one of the prototype DC-1s."



Charlie Macgill recalled, “Rutherford Field, where I made my first solo in 1940.

As a school boy riding the bus past those red & silver Wacos lined up in front of the hangars,

I knew that it was meant to be that I should FLY!

In 1940, after I got my first job, I signed up with Johnny Hinson's Flying School

and met my hero, Bill Tyler, who was to be my instructor.

Bill used to snap roll a J-3 Cub which was a no-no due to the possibility of the tail coming off... but it never did.

One of the best acrobatic pilots who I have ever known... Eddy Waderman.

That guy could make a plane talk!”



Rutherford Field was operated by John Hinson from 1940 until the start of WW2,

according to an article by Clayton Davis.



A 9/25/43 aerial view looking northeast at Rutherford Airport from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

depicted the field as an open grass area with hangars along the north side.



The 1944 USGS topo map labeled “Rutherford Air Field” but did not depict any other details.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Rutherford Airport as a 130 acre irregularly-shaped field

within which were 3 sod runways, with the longest being the 2,250' northeast/southwest strip.

The field was said to have 2 hangars: 120' x 60' & 110' x 60', both being wood & steel.

The field was described as being privately owned & operated.



Howard L. Stevens, pictured in 1945 at Rutherford Field in front of a Piper Cub (courtesy of Howard Stevens).



According to Howard Stevens, his father, Howard L. Stevens, operated a flight school at Rutherford Field,

under the name of Stevens Flying Service.

"I went through his scrapbook & found newspaper articles about his flight school in Baltimore,

(Rutherford Field) which he had opened & operated when he was about 20 years old [circa 1938]."

Howard L. Stevens later went on to establish & operate Stevens Airport, in Frederick.



Rutherford Field, as depicted on the 1945 AAF Aeronautical Approach Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).



According to "Maryland Aloft",

a 1946 MD Airport Directory described Rutherford Field as having 4 runways,

with the longest being a 2,100' northeast/southwest strip.

The airport had 2 hangars & a building containing an office & a lounge.

The manager was listed as Raymond McNemar.



Rutherford Field, as depicted on the 1946 USGS topo map.



Julian Cottrell recalled, "If you needed a Piper part, if the Pailles' at Davis Field in Laytonsville didn't have it,

Mrs. Mack at Rutherford did.

In fact the first time I flew into Rutherford I almost landed on the taxi strip

as it looked much more like the runway than the real runway."



Art Downs recalled, “As a child in the late 1940s, and a resident of West Baltimore,

the field was within walking distance when my dad & I took some very long walks.

He had gone to work in the aviation industry as a young man, briefly at a forgotten company called Berliner-Joyce

and soon thereafter for the Glenn L. Martin Company.

Despite this, he was not that interested in flying.

He & a friend had built a Heath Parasol that they sold to a teacher at McDonough School & the plane & pilot did not last that long.

I do remember walking to the field one day & being impressed by a biplane, probably a Stearman.”

George Phillips recalled, “I grew up, having moved there in 1949,

just on the other side of the Mackin Farm, which was to the west of the airport,

and spent most all my childhood playing in the fields & streams around the runways.

William (grandfather) and George Phillips (father) were lifelong visitors to the Windsor Inn

and friends to most all the old flyers there.

When the old Windsor Inn burned down in the 1950's,

us kids salvaged a good supply of tobacco, booze, and naughty books that would have made our mothers faint.

I was always sad to see such a wonderful airport go.

Propeller caps from abandoned & crashed planes that were kept in the old barn which was along the dirt road to the west,

served us kids as pointy medieval helmets.

Our home on 2 Rollwin Road was exactly under the path of planes taking off.

As a tiny guy, the noise would frighten me to crying,

but soon that droning of the propellers came to be, and still is,

one of the most beautiful sounds one could ever hear.”



The 1950 MD Airport Directory (courtesy of Stephen Mahaley) described Rutherford Field as having 2 turf runways:

northeast/southwest 2,400' & west-northwest/east-southeast 2,100'.

The airport office & at least 3 hangars were located along Windsor Mill Road,

north of the runway intersection.

The operator was listed as United Flying Service,

and the manager was still listed as Raymond McNemar.



The January 1951 Washington Local Aeronautical Chart ((courtesy of Tim Zukas)

depicted Rutherford Field as having a 2,100' unpaved runway.



An 8/26/52 aerial view of Rutherford Field (from the JScholarship Sheridan Libraries Collection, via George Phillips),

showing the 2 runways, 2 checkerboard-roofed hangars, and at least 8 light single-engine aircraft.



The 1953 USGS topo map depicted “Rutherford Airfield” as having a single unpaved northwest/southeast runway, with several buildings on the northwest side of the field.



Rutherford Field was historic in that it was the birthplace of the Aviation Branch of the Maryland State Police.

Their first aircraft was a Stinson L-5, which was based at Rutherford Field

after being donated in 1954 by the Turnbull Enterprises Company (according to MD State Police Sgt Don Teesdale).

Rutherford was the closest airport to the State Police's headquarters, in nearby Pikesville.



Brooks Walker recalled, “I went for my first airplane ride at Rutherford in 1954

as well as numerous other times in the 1950s in a plane belonging to my next door neighbor.”



According to "Maryland Aloft",

a 1955 newspaper article "reported that McNemar & his wife had a staff of 10 to help them

with activities that included flight instruction, repairs, and aircraft sales.

The airport was described as increasingly popular with business representatives flying in & out of Baltimore.

The McNemars said that they would like to expand the facility,

but noted that adjacent farmland was now priced at residential levels.

This rising land value was probably already a threat to the airport's future,

but the tone of the article was highly optimistic."



A 1957 aerial view depicted Rutherford Field as having 2 unpaved runways, with several hangars on the north side of the field.

Over a dozen light aircraft were visible parked on the field.



Bob Bloch recalled, “I learned to fly at Rutherford Field in 1958.

I had an Aeronca Chief there that I learned to fly in.”



A 1959 photo by Bob Bloch of Howard Bloch & grandfather Sam Bloch alongside their Aeronca at Rutherford Field.

Howard Bloch noted, “I’m grinning like a possum eating a sweet potato.”



Brooks Walker recalled, “I worked at Rutherford Field part time from 1959-63.

During that time Rutherford Field was operated by United Flying Service.

At that time Thelma McNamar & her step-son Charles McNamar operated the field.

Thelma was a schoolteacher who married Mr. McNamar senior.

I believe he had started the business but had passed away before I arrived on the scene.”



A 1960 photo by Brooks Walker, looking northeast at Rutherford Field.



A circa early 1960s aerial view by Brooks Walker looking northeast at the hangars at Rutherford Field,

after just having taken off to the northwest.



By 1960, the primary runway had apparently lost 300' of its length.

Rutherford was listed among active airports on the 1960 Washington Sectional Aeronautical Chart,

with 2 turf runways (the longest being 2,100').



Art Downs recalled, “In 1962, a man I knew who did fly took me up a few times

and let me have my hands on the controls, once in a J-3, the next time in a Tri-Pacer.

Dad never knew & I never bothered to tell him.”



Rutherford Field was listed among active airports in the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory,

with the operator listed as United Flying Service Inc.

It was described as having two 2,100' sod runways

(5/23, and 15/33, which also had a 1,300' macadam portion).



Brooks Walker recalled, “I joined the Navy early in 1964

and only returned to Rutherford once since then, I think later in 1964.

United Flying Service was still operating the field at that time,

and I believe they operated the field until it closed in the late 1960s.”



A 1964 aerial view of Rutherford Field,

in which the northwest/southeast runway almost appeared to be paved.

The crosswind runway still remained intact, but did not appear to be much-used.



A closeup from the 1964 aerial view, showing Rutherford Field perhaps at it zenith,

with a total of over 25 light aircraft visible parked on the field.



Steve Hurtt recalled "having grown up in Rutherford Heights, the subdivision across Windsor Mill Rd from the airfield.

My family moved out to Windsor Mill Road in the early 1960s

and Rutherford was a neat place to buy a 6 cent, 6 ounce Coke, a Lance cracker, and watch the planes.

As a young lad, the airport was a great hangout & I constantly begged Miss Mack for a job there.

She always told me to come back when I was 16. I did & was hired as a lineboy!

I worked there [starting in] 1964.

Probably the heyday of the field was in 1965, when we had 60 plus planes based at the airport.”



Bruce Bowersock recalled, “I had Richard & Bobbie Green as instructors [at Rutherford Field].

Donald Berger was my flight instructor when I soloed on 4/4/65.”



The 1965 Washington Local Visual Navigation Chart depicted Rutherford Field

as having a 2,100' unpaved runway.



Steve Ames recalled, “Rutherford Field... I started taking flying lessons there in 1965,

soloed & was working towards my Private Pilot when they announced that the airport would be closed. That was in 1966 I think.

When I started at Rutherford the rental airplanes were all Pipers: Colts & Tri-Pacers.

The FBO (Mrs. Mack) then moved her operation to Friendship Airport where I finally completed my PPL in 1966 or 67.

I believe that I met Senator Sarbanes at Rutherford (before he was a senator).

I seem to remember that he was in a partnership that owned a Piper Comanche.

At about the time the airport closed, I seem to remember that she went to the newer Piper Cherokees.”



Charlie Wood recalled, “I began my flying at Rutherford on 7/1/65.

I owned a Tripacer, N3343A, which was a joy to fly. I was living in Glen Burnie at the time.

My flight instructor at Rutherford was good, but he hated his job.

I don't think he quite realized that except for the occasional 'let me show you how'

he would be spending all of his hours in the right seat watching.

Shortly after I left Rutherford, he did too, and he went to work in a greasy spoon restaurant.

That was too bad because it takes a lot of work to earn a CFI rating.”



Charlie continued, “I kept my plane in the hangar at Rutherford

which meant I had to call ahead so they could pull it out for me by the time I arrived.

That was seldom easy for them because the aircraft were gloved in there

to get as many as possible inside the protection of the hangar.

That sun was brutal on the fabric covering of aircraft common in those days.

It was the poor line boy of course who extricated the various aircraft from the hangar.”



Charlie continued, “I have many fond memories of Rutherford.

I don't recall the main runway orientation, maybe 14/32.

When using Runway 32, the 1st half was paved (macadam) and the 2nd half was gravel.

The whole time I was there, almost a year, I never saw the crosswind runway used.

Runway 14/32 offered its own excitement.

On the approach to Runway 32 one had to fly over some power lines,

marked with a couple of large orange balls to aid seeing them.

On takeoff there was the usual grove of trees right off the departure end.”



Charlie continued, “I started my training July 1, 1965, in the Piper Colt,

the 2-passenger version of the Tripacer with a 108 hp engine (and no flaps).

By November of 1965 I wanted the flexibility of my own plane

and they had a very nice 1953 Tripacer, 3343A, hangared there & for sale.”



A 1966 photo by Charlie Wood looking northeast at the Rutherford Field office & hangar.



A 1966 photo by Charlie Wood of “my 1953 PA22-135 Tripacer 3343A

when it was hangared at Rutherford, before my move to Friendship airport.”



Rutherford was still depicted as an active commercial airfield

on the 1966 Washington Visual Navigation Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe),

with a 2,100' unpaved runway.



A 1966 aerial view showed a total of 17 light aircraft parked outside at Rutherford Field,

in its last year of operation.



Steve Hurtt recalled the he worked at Rutherford up "to the closing of the airfield in the Spring of 1966.

I was told that the land the airfield sat on was leased & the 40 year lease term was over,

making the opening year of the field 1926."



A 2013 photo by Steve Hurtt of an undated business card for United Flying Service Inc, Rutherford Airport.

Steve recalled, “I was told about the airports demise in the summer of 1966,

I foraged around in the old parts room & found the frame & the business card.”



A 2013 photo by Steve Hurtt of an undated license plate frame card for United Flying Service Inc, Rutherford Field.

Steve recalled, “I was told about the airports demise in the summer of 1966,

I foraged around in the old parts room & found the frame & the business card.”



Michael Turk reported that his great-grandfather, O.B. Rutherford,

sold the land of the airport in the mid-1960s to developers.



Unfortunately, two very large developments occurred near this little airport in the 1960s

which probably combined to make the land at Rutherford Field

too valuable to continue to be used as a small general aviation airport.

The Baltimore Beltway was built only a quarter mile east of the field,

and the massive headquarters of the Social Security Administration was built a few miles to the southeast.

Both of these factors boosted land values tremendously in the nearby area,

and undoubtedly hastened Rutherford Field's demise & conversion into more a more densely-built commercial property.



Micheal Dolin recalled, “Rutherford Field... was the first field I landed at in Baltimore.

It was closed when I touched down in the spring of 1967.

In fact it was rumored that the police were watching for airplanes that wouldn't give up the field shortly after it closed.

I must have landed my Taylorcraft long after anyone gave up looking for unauthorized airplanes landing.

I might have flown with an out of date chart then.”



Rutherford Field was no longer listed among active airfields in the 1968 Flight Guide (courtesy of Robert Levittan).



A 1971 aerial photo showed Rutherford Field to be in a state of abandonment,

with all of the planes gone, and trucks (construction vehicles?) parked in their place.

The main hangar still remained, and the runways were still clear,

but one of the buildings along Windsor Mill Road had already been removed.



Lee Hughart recalled of Rutherford Field, “In the 1970s the field was used for a Boy Scout Camporee for the Frontier Council

and a Civil War reenactment was held there.”



By the time of the 1975 Washington Terminal Area Chart (courtesy of Ed Drury),

Rutherford Field was no longer depicted at all (not even as an abandoned airfield).



David Pipes said, "The land stood vacant until the late 1970s.

At that point, the area began to be developed,

and I recall that by 1980 very little open land was left in that area."



A 1993 aerial photo showed no trace remaining of Rutherford Field.



Art Downs observed, “I felt a strong sense of sorrow when the field was no longer there.

Sic transit gloria mundi.”



A 2015 aerial photo shows Rutherford Field lives on in name only, as the Rutherford Business Park, an office park.

No trace remains of the airport.



The site of Rutherford Field is located southwest of the intersection of the Baltimore Beltway (695) & Windsor Mill Road.

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