Greenbelt, MD 38.99 North / 76.88 West (Northeast of Washington, DC)
This fairly substantial general aviation airport was located in Greenbelt,south of what was then Route 430.
Curiously, Schrom Airport was located in close proximity to three other airports, with College Park Airport being only 2.5 miles southwest,ERCO Field only 3 miles southwest,and Beltsville Airport only 3.5 miles to the northeast.
According to the interpretive panel which sits today at the site of the former airport
(courtesy of Jill St. John of the Greenbelt Museum), civil engineer William Schrom built a chicken farm on this land in the 1890s.
His son, Frederick ("Fritz") Schrom, built an airport on his family’s farm in 1928.
Schrom Airport, as depicted on the 1940 Washington
Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe)
Schrom Airport, as depicted on the 1945 USGS topo map ->
According to the book "Maryland Aloft" by Preston, Lanman, and Breilhan, Fritz Schrom was described as a "flight-crazy farm boy."
Schrom Airport was apparently was not officially listed as an airfield during its early years,as it was not depicted on the May 1932 J-18 Washington D. C. Airway Map (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)or the 1935 or 1939 Washington Sectional Charts (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The Civilian Pilot Training Program used Schrom Airport actively in the late 1930s to train student pilots, many of them from the nearby University of MD.
In the airport’s heyday in 1940, more than 50 planes called the field home, and 120 pilots, mechanics, and instructors flew, worked, and trained here.
Schrom was depicted as a commercial airport on the 1940 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
According to the book "Maryland Aloft", a 1941 Civil Aeronautics Administration bulletin described Schrom Field as consisting of 60 acres, with 2 gravel & dirt runways (measuring 2,400' & 1,900'), and 3 hangars.
Schrom was depicted as a commercial airport on the 1942 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
However, according to local historian Mary Williamson, Schrom Airport was temporarily closed in 1942, due to wartime security restrictions,like many other small civil airports along the east coast during the war.
Schrom Field was not depicted on the 1944 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
Fritz Schrom was still serving with the Army Ferrying Command in 1944, when easing of security restrictions allowed his wife to reopen the airport.
It was used during this period as a training center for the Civil Air Patrol.
Schrom Airport was depicted as a commercial airport on the 1945 Washington Section Chart (courtesy of John Voss).
The airport was also labeled on the 1945 USGS topo map, but no runways were depicted.