Tuesday, May 16, 2017




Plans for construction of a large airport here were revealed today as Air Service, Inc., of New Castle, signed a contract for purchase of a 124 acre tract of land, known as the Ebe Tunnell farm, at Midway, just one and one half miles northwest of town. The land cost $8800 it is known.

The new field, which is square, is high ground with clay soil , will be designed to accommodate the largest air transports now in service. Of the four runways planned, the longest will be 3400 feet and the shortest 2350.

It is understood that when in service nest year, the airport will be a scheduled stop for air service from Washington, D. C. and Newark, New Jersey. There will be a large hanger erected and all modern equipment installed.

Work is intended to begin September 15, 1937 according to Magistrate Leon “Blub” Thompson, the president of Rehoboth Beach Air Club. Mr. Thompson is a veteran pilot of the U. S. Navy in WWI, and is largely instrumental in having the airport placed here. A farm house and other farm outhouses now on the land will be razed and the entire tract is to be scraped and rolled.
Runways will be grass and most work complete by the first of the new year and ready for use by May 1, 1938.

When he as Chief Airport Surveyor for the Aeronautical Branch U. S. Department of Commerce, discovered the tract and persuaded Rehoboth Town Commissioners to purchase it and have the Civil Works Administration to improve it.

The Rehoboth Beach Air Club has a lease on a 45 acre tract being used as a airport which is too small for increased air traffic and unsuitable for large passenger planes.

Many Rehoboth residents advocate the choice of “Commander Thompson Field” as the name to honor Thompson who is the first licensed pilot in lower Delaware and shows continued interest in obtaining an airport for Rehoboth Beach.

Source: Wilmington Morning News, Wednesday, August 25, 1937

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