Harvard Aviation Field

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Harvard Aviation Field
Operator Private
Location Quincy, Massachusetts
Built Unknown
In use 1910-1916
Occupants Private
Elevation AMSL 3 ft / 1 m
Coordinates 42°17′57.05″N 71°2′2.59″W / 42.2991806°N 71.0340528°W / 42.2991806; -71.0340528

Harvard Aviation Field was an airfield operational in the early-20th century in Quincy, Massachusetts.[1]


In 1910 the Harvard Aeronautical Society leased an undeveloped 500-acre (200 ha) parcel of marshland and upland located on the Squantum Peninsula from the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and named it Harvard Aviation Field. It used the airfield to hold the 1910 and 1911 Harvard-Boston Aero Meets. In addition, other groups used the Harvard Aviation Field for the first Intercollegiate Glider Meet in 1911, as well as for the ill-fated 1912 Boston Air Meet.[2][3][4][5]

The airfield's location on the Harvard 1910 meet posters was given as Atlantic, Massachusetts, and the railroad station nearest the field was also called Atlantic. This station was just after the old Neponset station on the New Haven Railroad line (Old Colony Railroad branch)[5][6] and right before the modern day Red Line North Quincy Station.[7]

In 1915, after the lease expired with the Harvard Aeronautical Society, the New Haven Railroad rented the former Harvard Aviation Field to Harry M. Jones, who used the site to provide flight instruction. W. Starling Burgess also made occasional use of the former Harvard Aviation Field around this time for flight testing purposes and to provide flight instruction to buyers of his company's aircraft.

In 1916, Sturtevant Aeroplane Company of Hyde Park in Boston took over the former Harvard Aviation Field for flight testing and flight instruction purposes.[8] The Sturtevant Company, which later in 1945 became part of Westinghouse, was the first builder of airplane engines in Massachusetts, the first to produce all-metal fuselage planes for the US Navy and Army, and the only large scale aircraft manufacturer in the Boston area.[9]

Accidents and incidents[edit]


  1. ^ "Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Southeastern Boston area". Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields. 3 April 2013. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Lenger, John, Features: Conquest of the Air: In aviation’s early days, Harvard pioneers advanced aeronautics and brought flight to the masses", Harvard Magazine, May–June 2003.
  3. ^ Harvard Aeronautical Society: Records of the Harvard Aeronautical Society : an inventory, Harvard University Archives
  4. ^ "Harvard-Boston Aero Meet", The Harvard Crimson, Monday, November 20, 1911
  5. ^ a b Thayer, William Roscoe; Castle, William Richards; et al., The Harvard Graduates' Magazine, Harvard Graduates' Magazine Association, 1911, v.19 (1910-1911). Cf. "The Harvard Aviation Meet", pp. 196-199.
  6. ^ Harvard University Archives, "Harvard-Boston Aero Meet 1910 poster. It says: Harvard-Boston Aero Meet, Harvard Aviation Field, Atlantic, Mass., September 3–13, 1910".
  7. ^ O'Regan, Gerry, "MBTA Red Line: The South Shore Extension". "The new Old Colony main now crosses beside us on a bridge built in the 1990s. Beneath the northerly bridge approaches lies the site of the Old Colony's former Neponset Station. The view from this bridge is second only to that from the Longfellow, and includes many pleasure craft, a salt marsh, and the Boston Skyline in the background. We descend to a brief cut, passing under Quincy Shore Drive, and through the site of Atlantic Station on a southerly curve. Hancock St. passes overhead, and the route curves to the southeast again, passes through the scissors crossover at Interlocking 22, and enters North Quincy Station."
  8. ^ Sturtevant Fan Company History
  9. ^ Sturtevant Company World War I Aviation history