High Above Imeson Airport, 1950′s

November 8th, 2016, 10:51H · Topics: Aerials, Around Town · Print


A 1950’s vintage aerial of the old Jacksonville – Thomas Cole Imeson Municipal Airport just off Main Street on Jacksonville’s Northside. It originally opened as Jacksonville Municipal Airport Number One in 1927 and the first airport had just two runways, one grass and one described as “cinder and shell”. In the 1920’s the concept of commercial air travel was still a novelty so to generate publicity, Charles Lindberg flying the Spirit of St. Louis, less than five months after his first solo non-stop transatlantic flight from Long Island New York to Paris, France, landed at the still under construction airport for the dedication ceremony.

The Army Air Corps and then various other branches of the service used the airfield from 1941 through the end of World War II to fly anti-submarine aircraft off the Atlantic Coast in search of German submarines. After the war the airport resumed commercial operations, the main terminal complex can be seen in the bottom center of this photograph with the circular driveway. The Florida Air National Guard’s 159th. Fighter Squadron was also based there. As commercial aircraft transitioned from propeller driven planes to jets, longer runways were needed so In 1968 Jacksonville International Airport was opened and in 1970 the land was purchased and redeveloped as Imeson International Industrial Park. Some of the old runways remain among the commercial buildings that now occupy the property.


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  1. 1 Jim McDonald November 16th, 2016 22:52H

    Good memories. I used to sell fresh picked oranges to the guys in the control tower when I was a teenager in the ’50s. I would go there at night, climb up the ladder into the tower and hang around while the guys attended to their duties, sometime sipped vodka and ate oranges and entertained their girl friends. I can still remember when they would give clearance for take off to a Southern Airways DC-3- “OK, Southern xxx, shake, rattle and roll”. I was there when a Constellation crashed west of Main St. on a westerly approach for landing. A sad memory!

    • 2 bob December 28th, 2016 19:59H

      Thank you for adding your memories. That is not information you will find in any history book. Bob Self/Vintage Jacksonville

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More