Jan 24 2018

Mitchel Field Aerials Part I: 1923-1928

Hoping to find new views of the Motor Parkway, in 2003 I began collecting military aerials of Mitchel Field and Roosevelt Field. In the first of a new series, below are the best aerials of Mitchel Field from 1923 to 1928.

The History of Mitchel Field- Source: Cradle of Aviation Museum

Does anyone remember the airplanes from Mitchel Field flying over Long Island?


Howard Kroplick


November 1, 1923 View looking east with the Motor Parkway on the far left.

The Roosevelt Field Motor Parkway Bridge

Meadow Brook Lodge, Merrick Avenue Motor Parkway Bridge and the Newbridge Road Motor Parkway Bridge


April 23, 1924 Meadowbrook Polo Club on the right. Note: MITCHEL on the hangars' roofs.

Femenias Findings: 1924 Aerial Today (Submitted by Frank Femenias)

July 4, 1924 Photographed during an air show.

I remember going to one at Mitchel Field in the late 1950s when I lived in nearby East Meadow!..I was very,very young.

September 4, 1924 View looking northeast

The Roosevelt Field Motor Parkway Bridge

Meadow Brook Lodge and the Merrick Avenue Motor Parkway Bridge

October 1, 1924: View looking east. Note: Mitchel Field was still a huge grass field with no paved runways.


October 10, 1927 View looking east. Note the Ladenburg Estate on the far left corner.

The Roosevelt Field Motor Parkway Bridge


February 28, 1928. View looking north.

In this section of Roosevelt Field, Charles Lindbergh took off for Paris, approximately nine months before this aerial was taken.


Jan 25 2018 Howard Kroplick 9:36 AM

Bill Reid Yeah I remember the larger planes would shake Windows on Betty road ( just east of Merrick Ave) the jets could crack them.

Steve Bachran I remember when a C-119 landed on Meadowbrook Parkway instead of Mitchel Field. He was doing pretty good until the plane tried to go under an over-pass.

Jon Rarrick and fire drills using the old planes as practice, in the 50s

Dave Lappin Yes! We moved from Woodside Queens (under final approach to LGA Runway 4) to EM in May of 1960. I remember the C-119 Flying Boxcars flying over our house in EM and being as loud as the DC-6’s and DC-7’s at LGA. Went to an open house at Mitchell in 1960 or 1961… don’t recall exactly.

Robert Gullo I remember that while delivering Newsday on my bike I saw a plane fall from the sky. Remember seeing a parachute but don’t remember the outcome.

Pete Bachran There was a sign on Merrick Ave, “Low Fling Airplanes”

George Berenz They drove your TV crazy at times.

Tony Pane The Jets would pass too low over our house and vibrate the dishes out of the cabinets.

Andrea Butterweich I remember them flying over Barnum Woods while I was in class.

Tom Donovan C119s used to spray ddt at roof top levels to kill mosquitoes

Linda May Sava-Sawitsky Oh dear Lordy. The night terrors I had when those boxcars flew right over my bedroom at night. I convinced myself that if I held my breath until they passed the House they wouldn’t crash into my bedroom. I lived on Green Valley Rd. Right on landing approach. But on the bright side, I honed my driving skills in rain and snow on their runways when the field finally closed.

Jan 25 2018 Howard Kroplick 4:59 PM

David Lenchner My Dad used to take me to the commissary and the PX and as a young kid, I always enjoyed walking around the base and seeing the planes.

Carol Danderline Stillwell Eckardt lots of memories of Mitchel Field. As a teenage, a hangout. Oh the good old days…

Perry W Los Kamp When Mitchell was abandoned it was the perfect place to race cars.

Jeff S Gutterman I remember.the planes. In 57-58 we had a pet rabbit, cleverly named Hops, that would jump and kick out of control when they went over. Hops scared me much more than the planes!

Al Gutterman Forgot all about Hops!. No picturtes of Hops taken with the old Argus?

Rob Saftler I remember all the flying boxcars lined up. And after it closed the car club I belonged to have the matches there

Maria Lume-Lasurdo Yep! Whole house would tremble

Chip Bertelle Who remembers the old planes the would be burned at Mitchell Field and the black billowing smoke that you could for miles?

Kevin C Appel I worked at Mitchell field Navy commissary as a teenager, cheap ciggies

Andy Jacek always a great area to explore…..

Linda Burros Sonic Booms!

Rob Voit I used to date a girl form Westbury in mid 70’s….her mother when she was young used to fly out of Mitchell Field on fun flights with Charles Lindbergh.

Ralph K Taylor I remember MAB liquor. ... Mitchell Air Base liquor

Shawn B. Finnerty Never knew it stood for that

Linda May Sava-Sawitsky It’s still there.

Chris Tarantino Brajuka Dad used to take us up on the roof to watch them fly over.

Rhonda Levy Is that the college . my kid goes to Nassau got old some old buildings.

Camille Tucci Yes I do . Lots of sonic booms

John Anthony Half my neighbor hood worked or belonged there

Kenneth M. Carlstrom I’m wondering what year it closed. (1960 maybe?). I know the Air Force General donated the football bleachers to St. Raphael’s. A bunch of Father Motts altar boys were drafted into taking them down, reinstalling and painting them blue and gold at “Angel Field”.

Howard Kroplick: Mitchel Field closed in 1961 with most of the property going to Nassau County including land for the Cradle of Aviation Museum , Nassau Community College and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Jan 25 2018 Paul schmaeling 6:17 PM

Moved into east meadow in 1953. Remember going there to watch my father train on plane fires which inspired me to become a firefighter.  Remember a couple of plane crashes that came out or returned to Mitchell field,especially the one on prospect ave across from the temple
Howard Kroplick

Paul, I was an eyewitness to that airplane crash. I was delivering Newsday on a snowy Saturday afternoon.  The plane crashed three blocks from where I was standing.

Jan 27 2018 Lee Chambers 11:50 PM

These photos from 1923 - 1928 pre-date the major reconfiguration in which the layout of the Base was significantly altered, not the least of which was the formation of the Parade Grounds /  Quadrangle, still in existence today. 

Virtually all of the brick buildings still standing now were constructed in the period between 1928 - 1932.  Concrete runways would also follow as biplanes gave way to heavier aircraft prone to getting stuck in the mud (literally) when the Spring thaw came. 

Dramatic expansion of the Base came with the arrival of WW II, extending to the north the railroad tracks (a remnant of the old Central Railroad of LI founded by Alexander Stewart and later taken over by the LIRR) and Ellington Avenue. 

An early attempt to try and reclaim property to the west of the Base, once part of Camp Mills used during WW I in East Garden City was abandoned when the Military acquired the Santini Area, immediately to the south of Hempstead Turnpike, west of Merrick Ave., north of Front St. and east of Cunningham St. in Uniondale, a one time proposed residential housing development by the Santini Brothers which never materialized due to the Depression. 

Also acquired at or about the same time was the narrow tract of land through Barnum Woods on the Uniondale / East Meadow Border, property that was never developed by the Military due to Santini becoming available.  Years later, Robert Moses used Eminent Domain to get that property for the construction of the Meadowbrook Parkway extension in 1954, cutting through both the Cold Stream Golf Club (property once existing as part of the Vanderbilt estate) as well as the Meadowbrook Golf Club in the process. 

The unprecedented explosion of population on the Hempstead Plains following the War foretold the inevitable closure of the Base in April, 1961 after a series of high profile plane crashes, often involving civilians.  Particularly hard hit were the areas of Hempstead, Uniondale and East Meadow, directly in the final approach flight path to the airfield.  Soon afterwards, Nassau Community College vacated its original facilities in the basement of the County Courthouse Building in Mineola and moved to Mitchel, where it has been ever since.

Jan 28 2018 LMK 9:13 AM

Incredible remembrances….

Jan 28 2018 John Van Gasteren 1:24 PM

I too remember as a kid eating dinner with planes flying right over the house, as well as the plane that crashed about a half mile away on Prospect Avenue.  During the ‘70’s I participated in autocross events at Mitchell Field put on by various car clubs (these are timed runs with your car through a course set up with traffic cones).  We also used to sneak onto the police training course there with our cars - great fun in the snow.  As a graduate of and adjunct professor at Nassau Community College, as well as a life long resident of East Meadow, I find these photos absolutely fascinating.  Thanks so much Howard.  BTW, congratulations on the great article on your Tucker in Hemmings Classic Car.

Jan 28 2018 S. Berliner, III 11:57 PM

I vaguely remember air shows at Mitchel and troops parading in the Quad.  The F-82 Twin Mustang out of Mitchel which crashed near Hofstra in Hempstead on 04 May 1949 is noted on my Aviation page 5, <http://sbiii.com/aviatn-5.html#twin>, under F-82 Twin Mustang.  Also, as I recall, there was a semi-buried rifle and pistol range over on the south-west end of the Field and a commercial radio station operated (and may still operate) out of an old communications building.  LIRR steam loco #35 sat next to the westernmost hangar for many years before being moved up to Oyster Bay.  Sam, III

Jan 29 2018 GLENN GORDON 11:01 AM

Remembering a 4-engine bomber flying over sometime around 1957/58. I think it might have been a B-29 not sure. Also was in the Civil Air Patrol in the early 60’s [Mitchel Flight] We used to drill all over the old base. It was a cool place to explore.

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