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Hook Field

Hook Field started in 1924 as a narrow mowed strip on a farm east of the Great Miami River and north of Middletown. George J. Wedekind (associated with several early flying ventures in southwestern Ohio) used part of the Sam Farnsworth farm for takeoffs and landings. In 1925 the Middletown Airport Park Inc. was formed on the former Farnsworth, Smith and Wolverton farms with Wedekind as manager of flying services. The January 1937 Ohio River flood swamped Cincinnati's Lunken Airport and the adjacent aircraft factory of the Aeronautical Corporation of America (later shortened to Aeronca), formed in 1928. The prospect of more floods, the availability of land adjacent to the Middletown airport and the alertness of the Middletown Industrial Commission convinced company officials to move to Middletown in 1940. As part of the Aeronca agreement, the airport was acquired by the City of Middletown. Aeronca Inc. built popular light planes. Of 33 certificates of official world records issued by the National Aeronautic Association in 1936 for all categories, Aeronca C-2 and C-3 [models] held 12, and by 1937 Aeronca planes held 19 official world records for light planes," George Crout noted. The Middletown plant produced thousands of planes for the U. S. military during World War II. Aeronca's light aircraft performed a range of war duties -- from training student pilots and messenger service to scouting enemy positions and spotting for artillery. Aeronca no longer builds complete airplanes, but it continues operations in Middletown next to Hook Field as a major subcontractor to the air and space industry. Hook Field is named in honor of Charles R. Hook (1880-1963), an Armco executive and Middletown civic leader. Hook served the steel company for 57 years, including 18 years as its president, 1930-1948.

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