Round Hill and Round Hill Airport :
Object ID:
Looking East - Airfield
VE Exhibit Label 1:
Round Hill Airport was a private airfield in operation from 1927-1936, built on land owned by Edward Howland Robinson "Colonel Ned" Green. The mansion entrance faced west and the airport was located southwest of the house.

Colonel Ned's airport offered two runways, the east/west 2900 feet long by 420 feet wide and north/south 2400 feet long by 420 feet wide. Colonel Green used more than 170,000 cubic yards of topsoil from local farms and sand pumped from Buzzards Bay for his runways. The field was equipped with floodlights, and boundary and approach lights. A rotating beacon on top of the mansion flashed code "D" for Dartmouth and "RH" for Round Hill. Charles Lindberg, Jimmy Doolittle, William Randolph Hearst Jr, and Eddie Rickenbacker landed there.

Fifteen hundred people attended its dedication in 1928. The dedication included an airshow by Lt. William Leonard, the chief test pilot for the Alliance Aircraft Corporation. He performed an outside loop, a falling leap drop, a half roll and then circled the airfield upside down.

Colonel Ned moved buildings on his estate and constructed a hangar to house airplanes. The spacious metal and concrete hangar had doors, which slid on tracks and opened at opposite ends, one end being for land planes arriving from the field and the other to serve the seaplane ramp.

The earliest aeronautical chart showing Round Hill Airport was the March 1933 Boston Sectional Chart, now located in the Library of Congress. It indicated Round Hill had 150' towers, was a private airfield, and had a beacon. "Hen and Chickens" may have been the airport's navigational waypoint.

Herbert "Bert" Hill helped Colonel Ned establish the airfield and became the airport manager. The Bert Hill School of Aviation included charter service and maintenance as well as student instruction.

Priscilla Hill, Bert's wife, assisted in running Round Hill Airport and the flight school. She was an accomplished flyer, learning in a Travel Air biplane that she and Bert bought from a Chinese resident in Boston in 1926.

Roberta Hill, Bert and Priscilla's daughter, flew her solo flight from Round Hill at age 14 in 1936. She said "This airport put to shame even the military airports. It is probably better equipped than any military airport because he [Ned Green] had unlimited money to do it."

Colonel Edward H.R. Green's aviation interests ran the gamut from sponsoring an annual trophy in the Miami Air Races to underwriting expenses for a group researching fog control at Round Hill.

Colonel Ned Green died in 1936 and the airport reportedly closed the same year. It continued to appear on government maps for some time afterward. The Round Hill estate was badly damaged in the 1938 Hurricane, which destroyed the hangar.
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