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Linda Sue Airport At Highway 288 And Holmes Rd.


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Another topic on old airports got me interested in this one.

I used to know where there was an old Houston map online showing this small airfield located along Holmes Rd near Sunnyside. Now, I can't find the link to the map, or remember the name of the field. I believe it sounded like it was named after a female person. I asked someone about it on an aviation forum a few years back, and according to them, it was the "colored" air field in Houston. I think it closed down in the 50s or 60s, and I don't think any trace of it exists since 288 goes right over Holmes Rd. where it was. Does this airport description ring a bell for anyone?

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Another topic on old airports got me interested in this one.

I used to know where there was an old Houston map online showing this small airfield located along Holmes Rd near Sunnyside. Now, I can't find the link to the map, or remember the name of the field. I believe it sounded like it was named after a female person. I asked someone about it on an aviation forum a few years back, and according to them, it was the "colored" air field in Houston. I think it closed down in the 50s or 60s, and I don't think any trace of it exists since 288 goes right over Holmes Rd. where it was. Does this airport description ring a bell for anyone?

this is from a '56 humble map of houston

post-6184-1229031763_thumb.jpg

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Am I the only one who knows how to use Google? :)

From http://www.airfieldsdatabase.com/TX/Texas%20R7b%20H.htm

(Caution: this will display in Safari but not in Firefox)

Source Date FIELD NAME Status-current (C-closed) Town Type LAT LAT LONG---Note:-All-long.-Degress-are-positive-(west) LONG Note: All long. Degress are positive (west) ELV SURFACE Number of Runways RUNWAY LENGTH Remarks & Notes

AvWeek Dir. 1953 Linda Sue C Houston AF 29-41 29.683333 95-22 95.366667 50 Turf 3 1,800 4.5 miles South

AvWeek Dir. 1957 Linda Sue C Houston AF 29-41 29.683333 95-22 95.366667 50 Turf 3 1,800 4.5 miles South. This field was apparently not charted.

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O.........M..........G :o

You DON'T KNOW how long I've been looking for such a site! Seeing Houston in 1957, 1964, 1973, and 1981 is SUCH a treat! Thanks!

If you use the comparison feature, you can manipulate a split screen and literally watch as neighborhoods are paved over by freeways. An amazing web site.

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Way cool.. I always thought this house was built in 59, but the 1958 pictures

show it in place. And the pictures are obviously earlier than the 1960 picture

I have of the same area.

I also was able to figure out why I had trouble finding an old house in Dallas

which I lived in during the late 50's, early 60's.

For one thing, it seems they renumbered the street/houses as the block

numbers don't seem anything like I remember. I always remembered

just three numbers instead of four like that street has now. I didn't realize

they ever renumbered streets, but it appears they did in this case.

Anyway, the reason I had trouble finding it on google street maps was

that the house is gone and replaced with a much larger house..

Kind of a mini-McMansion...

But I did comparisons through the years and did verify the changes.

IE: the old house was there up until the newer maps.

In fact, in both the 1957 and 1958 maps I was actually able to see

our car sitting in the driveway, and it was in the right spot.

I was also able to verify that it was the right house as we had a short

brick wall next to the sidewalk, and the grass sloped downhill to the

upper part of the wall. About a 2 ft sheer drop from the lawn to the sidewalk.

I was able to see the shadow made from that wall shining on the sidewalk.

Now, we later removed that brick wall from the lawn, and sloped the

grass down to the sidewalk. I remember we used the bricks to

build a patio in the backyard.

What's wild, is using the google street maps, I can still actually see traces

in the present day lawn where it's got a slight ridge where that wall used

to be.

Using a picture taken of me in the driveway about 1960, I was able to

further verify I had the right house as I used the google street view to see

if the house across the street matched. It did... :) Still had the same

basic windows in the front, in the right places.

I also tried to find an earlier house that I lived in after I was born.

It was only about a mile away from the other one. But the address

no longer makes sense, and the address on that street doesn't exist.

Where the address is, is a school. And that school was there in 1957.

I did a "walk" down that whole existing street and none of the houses

matched the picture I had. So... I guess it's gone.. I'm wondering if

maybe they ripped up that section of street to make a school, or if

the street was renumbered and the location still exists, but with a

different house..

Also.. that site gives a good look at the old gambling house on old main

for those interested. I was there around 1973-74 or so, so those 1973

pictures are a good match to the time I was there.

I notice that it looked almost freshly mowed in 1964.. Almost better than

1958.. But I can attest to it being a jungle of weeds in 1973..

I'm surprised the old lawn art still shows up as well as it does in the 73

pix. I sure couldn't see any of that from our ground view. Just tall

weeds and brush.

Ain't this internet mess grand...

Edited by nm5k
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That is the most awesome sight I have seen in a while! I just wasted at least 6 hours, and learned the answers to questions I have wondered about my whole life! How the hell is this the first time that someone has shared that site on this messageboard?

Thanks again!!!

Actually...it's been mnetioned before. I noticed it a year or two ago......

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Interestingly enough, the lat-long coordinates are not the same in historicaerials as they are on Google Earth. Based on the description of the airport as being near Holmes Road, I am inclined to go with GE's. Anyway, using the lat-long coordinates on the airfield database site, I found a 1957 aerial photo showing a long grass open area near a neighborhood, just north of Holmes. At the south end of that area are some long rectangular buildings that could be hangars. I could see some automobiles but unfortunately no aircraft. Maybe I'll post a screen cap if I have time.

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Wow, I worked for many years right by that location, interesting posts. My old map shows that Holmes was a major road in that area before the loop 610 was built. Will have to look at it again for traces of the airport. I do know there is an abandoned road that has one of those deadend wooden plank barracades right where Holmes meets Hwy 288, on the feeder SW side, clues of a original road.

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OK, the large open area I described in my earlier post is east of Scott St. That comes from my attempts to identify the location in the airport database based on lat-long coordinates. The Houston map posted earlier, however, shows the airport west of Scott St.

Here's the '57 aerial of that area. Blue lines are roads, existing and future. There's a small, rectangular building and parking lot in the lower left center, at the end of a road off Almeda, which MIGHT be a hangar, when zoomed in. Lots of open space, but unfortunately no aircraft visible.

l_s2.jpg

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I was up half the night last night that site is incredible...

Hunter, you have doomed me to aboslute geekdom!

Your welcome everyone and I undersand. I actually spent a whole night on this site and was actually surprised when I saw the sun rising, I have learned so many things and a lot of my questions were answered as well and a ton of new questions. I never knew that there use to be a round hosue at the old Katy Repair facility.

I also always wondered what that old house that use to sit at the corner of 610 S, 610 N and Braes bayou use to look like. Now there is just a huge hole there.

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You can see Linda Sue airport on the 1957 map. The runways run SW-NE and NW-SE

in a X. The lower left leg of the X seems to be grass only. The other legs, and the whole

NW-SE runway looks to be shell, or whatever they were using.

In the 1964 map, it was already being built over, and you could see the runway outlines,

but already starting to grow over.

BTW, you can also get a pretty good look at Sam Houston airport runways before it

started being built over.

Edited by nm5k
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You can see Linda Sue airport on the 1957 map. The runways run SW-NE and NW-SE

in a X. The lower left leg of the X seems to be grass only. The other legs, and the whole

NW-SE runway looks to be shell, or whatever they were using.

In the 1964 map, it was already being built over, and you could see the runway outlines,

but already starting to grow over.

BTW, you can also get a pretty good look at Sam Houston airport runways before it

started being built over.

Where is it? I looked in both documented places and didn't see anything like that.

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You can see Linda Sue airport on the 1957 map. The runways run SW-NE and NW-SE

in a X. The lower left leg of the X seems to be grass only. The other legs, and the whole

NW-SE runway looks to be shell, or whatever they were using.

In the 1964 map, it was already being built over, and you could see the runway outlines,

but already starting to grow over.

BTW, you can also get a pretty good look at Sam Houston airport runways before it

started being built over.

What you are describing, is that on the northeast corner of Almeda and Holmes? I didn't think it was that far west, but if it is, and that's really the airport, then it looks like there are already some structures near the cross of the X in the 1957 photo -- maybe hangars? Anyway, later photos show what appear to be the same three buildings -- a quonset hut type, a large metal shed, and a bigger warehouse type building. Modern Live Search birdseye pictures show those same buildings there, albeit in very bad condition. Additionally, there appears to be overgrown old pavement around the old buildings and much of the open land to the south and east now appears to be covered with smallish trees. This is just south of Shepler's on Almeda. Could this be some surviving vestiges of Linda Sue Airport?

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Hunter,

I know you've already recieved many thanks for this, but I've got to add mine to the list here. This site has answered so many questions I've had about a great many things, not only about Houston and the neighborhood I grew up in, but also several other areas of the country.

I do wish the functionality of the site were a little better, but all in all great site!

Thanks again,

Rhino

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The one that I think is probably Linda Sue is on Holmes"north side" , a bit west

of Scott, but east of the present day 288 freeway. The apparent northern

borders of the airport seem to lie about along what would be the South

Loop service road now. I see what seems to be three runways, some grass,

some parts seem to be shell. There seems to be a grass strip along about a

020-200 heading, one about 070-250, and the other looks to be about a

110-290 heading. And judging by the way the runways almost seem to

end at the streets, best not be lazy with the throttle on takeoff, or too fast

and long on the landings.. :P:lol::rolleyes:

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I am becoming a little obsessed with the Historic Aerials site, too. Scrolling through the years (1957-2004) is really interesting when you pick a location.

This one is the Astrodome area, 1957 - on the right side, click on 1964 and so on in order...neat evolution (or devolution since in the next round of aerials, Astroworld/Waterworld will be gone, and maybe even the Astrodome...):

http://www.historicaerials.com/?poi=3442

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is an interesting statement here, under Holmes (under streets catagory). Reference to the first black woman (who lived in Sunnyside) in Texas to get her Private Pilots license. Wonder if she flew at Linda Sue Airport...

http://www.archivaltexas.com/default_content.html

The Sky Ranch...believe that is the one that is North of Ellington Air Force Base, South of Crenshaw St. Interesting history.

(Wrong! see my below correction...that one was Genoa).

Edited by NenaE
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Your welcome everyone and I undersand. I actually spent a whole night on this site and was actually surprised when I saw the sun rising, I have learned so many things and a lot of my questions were answered as well and a ton of new questions. I never knew that there use to be a round hosue at the old Katy Repair facility.

I also always wondered what that old house that use to sit at the corner of 610 S, 610 N and Braes bayou use to look like. Now there is just a huge hole there.

Hi Hunter: I'm no expert but I believe the home you're referring to was the old George Meyer home, the man who developed Meyerland. There were some photos here on HAIF by someone who shot the property and remains of the house back in '06, I think. The house had burned many years ago and the property had become a mecca for vagrants, as evidenced by the rusting grocery carts and other 'camping trash' that were captured on film. You could still see the foundation and some of the original tile floors that were in the bathrooms. Try a HAIF search on the George Meyer home. :rolleyes:

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There is an interesting statement here, under Holmes (under streets catagory). Reference to the first black woman (who lived in Sunnyside) in Texas to get her Private Pilots license. Wonder if she flew at Linda Sue Airport...

http://www.archivaltexas.com/default_content.html

The Sky Ranch...believe that is the one that is North of Ellington Air Force Base, South of Crenshaw St. Interesting history.

I was wrong, the one I am thinking of - North of Ellington is "Genoa Airport" or Emmetts Flying Service...found these links.

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/TX/Airfie...TX_HoustonS.htm

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/TX/Airfie..._Houston_SE.htm

This freeman link provided above was posted previously by marmer, but it did not work for me.

Link says "Azalea White" was the first black woman to earn a private pilot's license. No references found to Linda Sue :huh: , anywhere. Sky Ranch airport was off Reed Road. I'm confused. Were Linda Sue & Sky Ranch two different Airports? or one and the same? :wacko:

After looking through the airfield database link marmer provided (from an early post), I've noticed that Linda Sue was catagorized as AF (I assume Air Force owned field, correct me if I'm wrong) & was turf (grass). This airfield could have possibly been used by pilots to practice soft-field landings, take-offs, and touch-and-gos, to stay current w/ procedures. Just an idea...

Edited by NenaE
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Well, I just talked to an old gentleman at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum who had been a pilot for Trans-Texas Airways in the late 40s. He remembered Linda Sue airport off of Holmes Road, but he didn't remember anything else about it except that it was very small and closed in the early 50s. Darn. I was hoping I'd hit paydirt because he has a lot of other great stories about the beginnings of commercial aviation in Houston.

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Interestingly enough, the lat-long coordinates are not the same in historicaerials as they are on Google Earth. Based on the description of the airport as being near Holmes Road, I am inclined to go with GE's. Anyway, using the lat-long coordinates on the airfield database site, I found a 1957 aerial photo showing a long grass open area near a neighborhood, just north of Holmes. At the south end of that area are some long rectangular buildings that could be hangars. I could see some automobiles but unfortunately no aircraft. Maybe I'll post a screen cap if I have time.

My experience as well, lat-longs should be the same, (location-wise), what's going on there?

I remember a quonset hut somewhere around in that area, does anyone remember exactly where it stood? Behind Shepler's, meaning on Holmes, near the Wildcat Golf Course, or that dirt (landscaping) place, where Kirby ends at Holmes. For the life of me, I can't remember where it sits...behind the Shell station at Almeda? New apartments there now. That hut (I'm almost certain would have been associated with an airport), but which one is hard to guess, since there were so many in such close proximity to each other (there are actually some huts still standing on the west side of Hobby Airport).

I want to believe they would be highly accurate with locations when drawing a map...would think it is right where the 1957 map shows. In the Harris Co. block books, the subdivision of Sunnyside/ South Union in that spot is long and rectangular, running north to south, with acreage identified to the east (where now a school and rows of identical little brick homes stand). I'm inclined to believe it sat in that location, north of Holmes, East of Hwy288.

nm5k, you sound like a pilot.

Marmer, good try yesterday. I'm enjoying this mystery.

FYI- some pilots flew pipelines (looking for leaks) to build up hours in their log books. The closer you get to the coast, the more pipelines there are.

There are some good books about the Houston WW2 pilots & airports out there, bet one mentions Peggy Sue.

Edited by NenaE
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My experience as well, lat-longs should be the same, (location-wise), what's going on there?

I remember a quanset hut somewhere around in that area, does anyone remember exactly where it stood? Behind Shepler's, meaning on Holmes, near the Wildcat Golf Course, or that dirt (landscaping) place, where Kirby ends at Holmes.

I found the remains of a quonset-hut type structure just south of Sheplers on Almeda on the northwest corner of the Holmes Road intersection. You can see it here:

Holmes at Almeda

That curved-roof building and the other nearby buildings are visible in all the historicaerials.com pictures of the area. But I believe nm5k pretty clearly established the location of Linda Sue as south of there in an earlier post.

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The one that I think is probably Linda Sue is on Holmes"north side" , a bit west

of Scott, but east of the present day 288 freeway. The apparent northern

borders of the airport seem to lie about along what would be the South

Loop service road now. I see what seems to be three runways, some grass,

some parts seem to be shell. There seems to be a grass strip along about a

020-200 heading, one about 070-250, and the other looks to be about a

110-290 heading. And judging by the way the runways almost seem to

end at the streets, best not be lazy with the throttle on takeoff, or too fast

and long on the landings.. :P:lol::rolleyes:

I see that spot...looks like an airstrip to me (1957 map). I see what you mean about the bottom left runway being grass, you are right, 1964 map shows it already disappearing (Found using the historic aerial site). It's closer to Scott, between Scott & Hwy 288. Lot of open field around it...South of 610 Loop/ Just North of Holmes. The service road does overlap the property at some point. Later streets running thru the property would be Parnell, Cannon, & Tierwester. I've passed by that property many times.

Edited by NenaE
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  • The title was changed to Linda Sue Airport At Highway 288 And Holmes Rd.

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