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Naval Auxiliary Air Facility Ayer

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Title: Naval Auxiliary Air Facility Ayer  
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Language: English
Subject: United States Navy shore activities during World War II
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Naval Auxiliary Air Facility Ayer

Moore Army Airfield
Airport type Army Airfield, Defunct
Operator United States Army
Location Fort Devens, Ayer / Shirley, Massachusetts
Built 1929
In use 1929-1995
Occupants Army, Navy
Elevation AMSL 256 ft / 78 m
Coordinates 42°34′18″N 071°36′12″W / 42.57167°N 71.60333°W / 42.57167; -71.60333

Direction Length Surface
ft m
14/32 4,642 1,415 Asphalt (Closed)
2/20 2,971 905 Asphalt (Closed)
9/27 2,691 819 Asphalt (Closed)
13/31 150 46 Asphalt (Closed)
18/36 150 46 Asphalt (Closed)

Moore Army Airfield is located in Fort Devens, Massachusetts. It was closed following the closure of Fort Devens in 1995. It is named for Ayer native Chief Warrant Officer 2 Douglas Moore. It is the only Army Airfield named for someone killed in the Vietnam War.



The earliest information concerning the construction of the airfield dates to July 1, 1926. It was originally known as Ayer (Camp Devens) Emergency Field. The sod airfield's dimensions were: 2,300 feet 850 feet (260 m). It also ran northwest/southeast. Camp Devens Airfield, as it was called later, was operated by the Army. A second runway was extablished the following year. Approximate dimensions were said to be 2,325' x 1,560'. In 1934, it was marked as an auxiliary airfield to the Navy.

World War II

When the nearby fort was expanded in 1940, the airport supposedly "gained" its own airfield. It was described as having a 5,200-foot (1,600 m) runway. In 1944 the army withdrew from the airfield and it became known as Ayer Naval Auxiliary Air Station, which supported training operations at Squantum Naval Air Station. Carrier Air Groups 4 & 83 were at Ayer in 1944. The nearby Beverly Airport was used as a bounce field.[1]

Postwar Years

The Navy discontinued their use of Ayer NAAS for unknown reasons between the years of 1944-1946. Fort Devens was deactivated as part of demobilization, in 1946, but it was reopened in 1948. By 1954, it was known as Ayer AAF. Then it was renamed Fort Devens AAF between 1954 and 1959. It had three operating runways but they were used intermittently on and off throughout the years. The longest runway was listed in 1960 as being 3,745 feet (not including overrun). In the 70's it got an upgraded control tower and it was used for helicopter operations. The air traffic controllers worked in conjunction with their counterparts at the nearby Hanscom AFB. Around 1976 the field was renamed Moore Army Airfield.[1]

Closure and Redevelopment

The field was closed around 1995 after the Army left. It is now a State Police driver training facility on week days. On weekends the runways are currently the largest and only centrally located venue in southern New England for SCCA Solo II style autocross competitions.[2] Several other clubs also use the runways for similar competitions. [3] [4][5][6][7][8] There is now talk of putting an industrial park over the runways of Moore Army Airfield.[1]

Groups Hosted

Aircraft Hosted

See also


External links

  • Moore Army Airfield at

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