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Chicago's 'Ghost' Airports

Did you know Chicagoland was once home to 45 airports? The 'ghost' airports, often riddled with obstacles, were typically 20-40 acres in size and were vital WWII training grounds. Jon Hilkevitch reports for The Tribune that long-time local pilot Nick Selig is drafting a book on the subject. Basically, any open field around the suburbs was a candidate for an airport. Almost all of these air strips are gone, buried beneath malls, housing, and new suburban infrastructure. The Navy itself built 15 airports in preparation for WWII, and a huge number of Navy pilots were graduates of these muddy strips. Selig is delving deep in his research, searching out as many first-hand accounts of the airports as he can while there are still first-hand accounts to be had. To date, he's got 25 out of 45 stories. [Trib]