Hatbox Field is a closed airfield located two miles downtown Muskogee, Oklahoma. Opened sometime in the early 1920s, Hatbox Field was closed in 2000 and is now location of the Love-Hatbox Sports Complex, River Country Family Water Park and Skate Park, and home of the first annual G Fest.
Hatbox Field was depicted in the 1929 Rand McNally “Standard Indexed Map with Air Trails of OK” as a public airport with a radio station. The airfield is one of the airports that the Douglas aircraft of the Army’s 1924 Around the World Flight stopped, and was a stop on the Army’s mail route.
On May 25, 1930, all stores in Muskogee closed and a crowd of 40,000 dedicated the new hanger.
The Spartan Aviation School opened at the field in 1940. They used the two large arch-roofed hangars at Hatbox. Renamed Muskogee Army Airfield during World War II, Spartan provided primary flight training to cadets as an Army Air Forces contract flying school until 1944.
The USAAF 410th Bombardment Group trained at the airfield with Douglas A-20 Havocs in the fall of 1943 before being reassigned to the Ninth Air Force in England, where they flew Martin B-26 Marauders.
Following the end of its military use, Hatbox was reused as a purely civil airfield.
The city of Muskogee decided to close the field to the public following a two-fatality crash in 1998. Limited aviation use was allowed until 2000, however, by a private firm that refurbished military-surplus Beechcraft U-21 Utes. Hatbox was closed completely in 2000.