Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Eastern Oregon

© 2002, © 2016 by Paul Freeman. Revised 12/8/16.

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Pendleton Intermediate Field (added 12/8/16) - Umatilla Army Airfield (revised 9/19/16)

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Pendleton Intermediate Field, Pendleton, OR

45.67, -118.712 (East of Portland, OR)

The location & layout of Pendleton Intermediate Field, as depicted on the 10/26/28 Commerce Department Airway Bulletin #478.



This small airfield was evidently established as one of the Commerce Department's network of Intermediate Fields,

which were built for potential emergency use by airliners flying along airways between major cities.



The date of construction of Pendleton Intermediate Field has not been determined.



The earliest depiction which has been located of Pendleton Intermediate Field

was on the 10/26/28 Commerce Department Airway Bulletin #478.

It described Pendleton as Site #48 along the Salt Lake City – Pasco Airway.

It was said to be leased to the government, and operated by the Commerce Department.

The field was described as a 60 acre rectangular grass field, measuring 2,640' east/west by 1,320' north/south.

An airfield circle marking was depicted in the center of the field, but it was said to not have any hangars.



The earliest topo map depiction which has been located of Pendleton Intermediate Field was on the 1935 USGS topo map.

It depicted Pendleton as a T-shaped property outline, labeled simply as “Landing Field”,

with an airway beacon along the west edge.



The 1948 USGS topo map depicted Pendleton Intermediate Field in the same fashion as the 1935 topo map.



Pendleton Intermediate Field was evidently closed at some point between 1948-53,

as it was no longer depicted on the 1953 USGS topo map.

Many of the Commerce Department's Intermediate Fields had been made obsolete by advances in the range & reliability of commercial airliners.



A 1994 USGS aerial view showed no recognizable trace remaining of Pendleton Intermediate Field.



A 2016 aerial view showed no recognizable trace remaining of Pendleton Intermediate Field.



The site of Pendleton Intermediate Field is located south of the intersection of Mission Road & Purchase Lane.



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Umatilla Army Airfield, Umatilla, OR

45.803, -119.396 (Southeast of Seattle, WA)

Umatilla Army Airfield,

as depicted on the October 1964 USAF Operational Navigation Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



This military airfield was located on the grounds of the 19,728-acre Umatilla Army Depot.

The Umatilla Depot was established in 1941 to store conventional munitions

in support of the United State's entry into WW2.



The Depot evidently gained an airfield at some point between 1956-64,

as it was not depicted on the 1956 La Grande Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).

The earliest reference to the airfield which has been located

was on the October 1964 USAF Operational Navigation Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy),

which labeled the airfield as "Umatilla Army Depot".



The March 1966 USAF Operational Navigation Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

described the "Umatilla Army Depot Airstrip" as having a 3,000' runway.



The earliest photo which has been located of the Umatilla Army Depot Airfield was a 7/6/70 USGS aerial view,

which depicted the field as having an asphalt Runway 6/24 with a small ramp & a single small building on the south side.



The January 1975 Seattle Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted the "Umatilla Army Depot" Airfield as having a single 3,000' paved east/west runway.



However, the airfield may have been closed within the next 2 years,

as it was labeled simply "Airfield" on the 1977 USGS topo map.



The Base Realignment & Closure Commission listed the Umatilla Army Depot for closure in 1988.



Umatilla was labeled simply as "Landing Strip" on the 1991 USGS topo map.

It depicted a single paved east/west runway, with no buildings.



A 1994 USGS aerial view looking northwest showed Umatilla AAF to consist of a single 3,100' paved Runway 6/24, with no other facilities - no taxiway, ramp, hangar, buildings, etc.

The airfield appeared to still be open - it was marked as an active runway.

A road led away from the end of Runway 24 to the south,

and another road led away from the middle of the runway toward the ammunition bunkers to the north.



The Umatilla airfield was definitely closed by 1998,

as it was labeled "Umatilla AAF (Closed)" on the 1998 World Aeronautical Chart.



The closure of the Umatilla Army Depot was scheduled to occur in 2004.

A Superfund cleanup project at Umatilla Depot had been attempting to clean up the site for eventual reuse.

The property was planned to be made available for wildlife management,

commercial & industrial development, and, possibly for agricultural use.



A 2015 aerial view looking northwest at the former Umatilla AAF showed the airfield remained completely intact,

including the paved Runway 6/24 & paved ramp.



Umatilla AAF is located northwest of the intersection of Interstate 82 & Interstate 84.



Thanks to Chris Kennedy for pointing out this airfield.



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