The Airfield

In the 1940s, the Navy built a training area at the Sampson Naval Training base, just a short distance to the east and south of the Depot. This naval base lasted until WWII was over and then the US Air Force took over the base and subsequently built an air field at the south end of the Depot property. The airfield became a Strategic Air Command base, but ironically never had a single plane assigned to it. It was used initially for training of pilots, but eventually was transferred to the US Army.

Over the decades the airfield was used countless times to unload munitions for storage or pick them up for disposition in the various war theatres the United States became involved.

The airfield at one time was also used by Mohawk Airlines, a predecessor to US Air. President Dwight Eisenhauer and actress Betty Davis were some of the notables who landed at the airfield. The airfield eventually was expanded to 7,000 feet to accommodate the largest planes in the US fleet, and also to provide a backup airfield for emergency landings of the famous U2 spy plane. There are no recorded landings of any U2’s, however, at the airfield.

Today, the airfield is being used by the NYS State Police for training new recruits.