Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Search for the Iselin Airport

I received a very enjoyable email this evening, from Jim of Somerset. He wrote: 
"I moved to NJ in 1986 and moved into the apartments above the Oaktree Shoprite. To learn the area, I had a county map and on it was a marking "Airport" north of the Oaktree road. I assumed there must have been an abandoned airport in the area, but I could never find evidence of its actual location.
I recently found the website www.historicaerials.com. I did a little exploring and found pictures of the Iselin airport.
Your blog entry on 4/13/2011 was the only web page I could find that mentioned an "Iselin Airport" so I thought you might be interested in what I had found.
The airport was just north of Oaktree Road, between Woods Ave and the GSP. The airport appears to have existed around WW II. It's on a 1947 aerial photograph, but not on a 1940 photograph. In the 1947 picture, the construction on the GSP has just started and it's cut through the end of one of the runways. The next aerial photograph is from 1954 and all evidence of the airport has disappeared and been replaced by a housing development, which still exists to this day. Click here for a link to Historic Aerials with the aiport. "
You really should take a look at the Historic Aerials website - I found it fascinating.  If you click on the link above, it brings you right to the location of the airport.  You can see the runways.  To help you get your bearings, the road going across the bottom of the map is Oak Tree Road, and the curvy road going up and down is the parkway.  You can turn on an option called "Overlay - Major Road" from a menu at the top of the map.  You can also zoom in, if you go to the bottom right corner of the map - the little dots will zoom you in and out.  You can even click on the map and move it, so you can find your own house.  And on the left side, there are choices of a several different years that you can look at - so you can see the same location as it changes over the course of a few decades.  I had a great time looking at it with my husband!

Jim sent me a picture of the original map that set him looking for the airport in Iselin - a 1986 map from AAA of New York and Vicinity.  It was a bit outdated, and actually pretty inaccurate - it shows the Woodbridge airport still existing, and in the wrong spot.

In the April 13 2011 post
Jim mentioned, I quoted Bob Brinckmann, who had emailed me that "The Iselin Airport was open during WW2, I had my very first airplane ride there when I was 12 years old in 1943. When they started to build the NJ Parkway they closed the airport. I think that was in the late 40's. I went off to the Air Force in 1951 as did a lot of us guys from Iselin at the start of the Korean War. When I came back home in 1954 the Parkway was completed and homes were built where the airport used to be."

Anyway - take a look at the Historicaerials.com website if you want to get another look at old Iselin.  Thanks, Jim!


  1. There were actually air shows at this airport. I remember going to them when I was a kid. I also had a cousin who flew his plane in and out of there up until Woodbridge Oaks was built and the airport was no more. Sad.
    When I was in the Civil Air Patrol in 1954-1957 we used to fly out of Hadley Airport in what is a huge shopping mall in Edison now.
    The first Air Mail went from Hadley airport.

  2. I didn't realize Hadley was an airport! I wish I could have seen Iselin back then. Any photos?
    I'd love to put them up on here!