History of Campbell Field Airport

Campbell Field Airport (9VG) was originally Kellam Field Airport (W08).

The airport and landing field was established in 1933 by Mr. Darrell M. Kellam on the Dunton Farm near the village of Weirood, Virginia.  In 1936 D.M. Kellam, through his company, Eastern Shore Flying Service, Inc., applied for and received a public use airport license. 

Kellam Field was the first licensed airport on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The earliest mention of the Eastern Shore Flying Service is in a 1933 article about the Witch Duck Aeroplane Corp.  The Witch Duck Company started an airline passenger service in March of 1933 between Norfolk and Cape Charles and expanded it to Exmore in April of 1933.  The landing field in Exmore is the Maplewood Golf Course but no mention is made of the location of the landing field in Cape Charles.  A third local field was reported to open soon by the Witch Duck Company at Wilkins Beach in April, 1933.  This field was to be for sight-seeing trips and student flight instruction and operate under the name “Eastern Shore Flying Service”. It is unknown whether this field was ever opened or if D.M. Kellam instead opened the field at Weirwood.

It was reported that between 1945 and 1948 nearly 100 people have been taught to fly at Kellam Field.

Flight Instructors at Kellam Field:

Harold Jones 1930’s

Pilots and Students at Kellam Field:

John Holland 1930’s
Bill James 1930’s
Pete Gladstone
Ann Jones 1930’s
S. Kelly 1930’s
Dan P. Custis 1940’s
W.A. Kimball 1940’s
Frisby Thompson 1940’s
Scott R. Walker 1940’s
Parks Watson Ward 1940’s
Creston Parker 1940’s
Ralph Long 1940’s
Jimmy Charnock 1940’s
George Henry Colonna Jr. 1940’s  (Inspector Pilot-Commissioner of Fisheries)
Seldon Floyd 1940’s
J.F. James 1940’s
Sammy Lewis 1940’s
H.M. Arnold 1940’s
Pete Bender 1940’s
Jack MacMath 1940’s
Charlie Barkley 1940’s
Ed Smith 1940’s
George Core 1940’s
Brown’s Crop Dusting Service 1940’s (Dave Brown)
Shorflite Pilots Club 1940’s

Aircraft seen at Kellam Field:
Avro Avian, English made two place bi-plane.
Aeronca C-3
Ryan ST3KR
Ryan PT22
Piper L-3
Piper Vagabond
Piper Cruiser

Time Line of Kellam Field:

  • 1933: Landing field constructed by D.M. Kellam near Weirwood for his private use.
  • 1936: Kellam Field licensed by the State of Virginia. First licensed airport on the Eastern Shore.
  • 1939: Eastern Shore Flying Service moves operations to the Norfolk Municipal Airport.
  • 1941: All civilian flying is halted due to World War 2. The Eastern Shore Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol is based at Kellam Field and the Squadron “contributed considerably to the war effort in this area”.
  • 1945: Following the war the Eastern Shore Flying Service is again formed through a partnership between D.M. Kellam and Capt. Harry W. McCann, Jr. Mr. McCann served as the airport Manager.
  • 1948, Dec. 12th: Over 500 spectators gathered to see the Air Meet (flying competition) at Kellam Field. Seventeen aircraft take part and Dan P. Custis, flying his Piper L-4 was the winner.
  • 1949, Jan. 16th: Kellam Field manager Capt. Harry W. McCann Jr. is killed while on a demonstration flight near Weirwood. The other occupant, an aircraft salesman from Washington, is injured. Mr. McCann was considering purchase of the aircraft. This was the second fatality of an airport manager on the Eastern Shore. Earlier Forest H. “Dixie” Holland, manager of the Cape Charles airport, was killed in a crop dusting accident at “Grapeland” Farm in Church Neck.

This advertisement appeared in the Eastern Shore Herald, January 9th, 1937

Three men, three drum fish 1949, in front of the new hanger.

This picture of three cropdusters appeared in Life Magazine.

Aerial photo of Kellam Field taken during January 1960.
Three photos above courtesy of Andy Dunton.

In August, 1937 articles appeared in the local papers detailing Miss Ann Kellam's solo flight.

Northampton Times, August 19,  1937

Peninsula Enterprise, August 21, 1937

Eastern Shore News, August 20, 1937

The earliest map I have is the Norfolk (R S-9) Sectional Aeronautical Chart, July 1941.  Two airports are shown on the Eastern Shore, Parksley and Kellam.

Norfolk (R S-9) Sectional Aeronautical Chart, July 1941.

Aerial Photo of Kellam Field circa 1940's

Civil Aeronautics Administration Air Agency Certificate empowering the Eastern Shore Flying Service to operate a Primary Flying School dated December 22, 1947.

Anyone with any historical facts or documents should contact me at FlytoVA@gmail.com.