Airplane Boneyard at Gila River Memorial Airport. 30+ Stunning Photos of abandoned aircrafts at Gila River Memorial Airport. Gila River Memorial Airport is a private-use airport owned and operated by the Gila River Indian Community, located 4 miles southwest of the central business district of Chandler, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States
It’s been a long time since an airplane has flown in or out of Gila River Memorial Airport. Built to support the Pacific front in World War II, it now serves as an airplane graveyard.
How To Get To Gila River Memorial Airport Boneyard
Gila River Memorial Airport is a private-use airport owned and operated by the Gila River Indian Community, located 4 miles southwest of the central business district of Chandler, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States.
Gila River Memorial Airport is a private-use airport located on the Gila River Indian Reservation. It is owned and operated by the Gila River Indian Reservation. The airport was built in 1942 as Williams Auxiliary Army Airfield #5, which was one of several subsidiary airfields for Williams Army Airfield (now the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport). Sometime in the 1960s, the airfield was given to civilian ownership and was renamed Chandler Memorial Airfield.
From the 1970s to the 1990s the airfield was the home for many air tankers. In 2007 the airport was acquired by the Gila River Indian Reservation and was renamed the Gila River Memorial Airport. At the time there were 61 aircraft based at the airport. Currently, there are seven aircraft based at the airport in forlorn shape. The reservation has plans to renovate the airport and use it as a private airfield for patrons using their casinos.
When I visited, only a few airplanes remained on the property and three buildings stood in fairly advanced states of decay. I didn’t go inside any of the hangar buildings because there were large swarms of bees in each of them.
In 2008, numerous aircraft were still present, including C-54s, DC-4s, DC-7s, PV-2s, and a Howard 500. Many of them have since been removed, with some of the old airport outbuildings dismantled, with further plans to expand and develop the airport still in progress
This dilapidated former airport, which consists of a half-dozen large airplanes in various stages of decay, lies still in the middle of the desert in Chandler. Built in 1942, the airport once played host to aerial operations during World War II. Today, it has become a popular destination for daring taggers, photographers, videographers and adventurous Instagrammers.
However, the moldering aircraft rest on the Gila River Indian Community and a permit is required to visit or photograph the planes. Don’t even think about trying to scope out this spot unless you’re prepared to sweet-talk your way out of a trespassing ticket.