Monday, September 1, 2014

U.S. Navy WWII Airport at Half Day, Illinois

From March 11, 2012, Chicago Tribune  "Pilot putting region's old airports on the radar" by Jon Hilkevitch.

Approximately 45 old airports in the Chicagoland area are no longer in existence.  Nick Selig is researching the histories of 76 airports in the area and among them is/was Chicagoland Airport, near the northwest suburb of Half Day in Lake County.

It was one of 15 airports the U.S. Navy built to train pilots during World War II.  An old farmhouse served as the airport office and it continued operations into the 1970s.

"Very few people know these suburban airports.  What I am trying to put across in my book is that at the beginning of World War II, if it had not been for these little dirt and sod airfields to train the pilots we needed for the war, it might have been a significantly different outcome." said Nick Selig.  He estimates that some 90% of U.S. Navy pilots trained at Chicago airports during the war.

Of interest:  Dick Lloyd bought the Sky haven Airport near Bensenville in the mid-1940s and operated it until 1955.  He had a wooden leg and in those days before post-it notes, used to thumbtack notes to his leg.

His book "Lost Airports of Chicago" has been published and is available on Amazon and other sites.

--Ouch!!  --GreGen

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