Orangeburg Municipal Airport
is a public airport located 2 miles south of Orangeburg, South Carolina
Orangeburg, also known as "The Garden City," is the principal city in and the county seat of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, United States. The city is also the fifth oldest city in the state of South Carolina. The city population was 12,765 at the 2000 census, within a Greater Orangeburg...
. The airport serves the general aviation
General aviation is one of the two categories of civil aviation. It refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and regular cargo flights, both private and commercial. General aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to large, non-scheduled cargo jet flights...
community, with no scheduled commercial airline service.
Orangeburg airport opened in November, 1937 as a public airport. In 1941 the United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....
indicated a need for the airfield as a training airfield and control was turne over to the USAAF in February 1941. An immediate construction program began to turn the civil airport into a military airfield. Construction involved runways and airplane hangars, with three concrete runways, several taxiways and a large parking apron and a control tower. Several large hangars were also constructed. Buildings were ultimately utilitarian and quickly assembled. Most base buildings, not meant for long-term use, were constructed of temporary or semi-permanent materials. Although some hangars had steel frames and the occasional brick or tile brick building could be seen, most support buildings sat on concrete foundations but were of frame construction clad in little more than plywood and tarpaper.
Orangeburg Municipal Airport
was activated on 23 August 1941 and was used by the Army Air Forces Flying Training Command
Air Training Command is a former major command of the United States Army Air Forces and United States Air Force. ATC came into being as a redesignation of the Army Air Forces Training Command on July 1, 1946...
, Southeast Training Center (later Eastern Flying Training Command) as a basic flying training airfield, with instruction being carried out by the 58th Flying Training Detachment (Contract Pilot School). The Hawthorne School of Aeronautics was the contractor who operated the primary flight school.
The primary trainer used at Orangeburg by the Hawthorne School of Aeronautics, the Boeing PT-17 Stearman. The president of Hawthorne was Beverly "Bevo" Howard
Beverly "Bevo" Howard was an American aerobatic pilot and aviation businessman.-Life:...
, who had learned to fly at the age of 16. The military designation of the Hawthorne school was the 2162nd Army Air Force Base Unit.
The flight school at Orangeburg Airport operated several auxiliary airfields:
- Jennings Aux Field - Aux No. 1 Orangeburg 33°27′46"N 80°51′23"W
- Hagood Aux Field - Aux No. 2 Orangeburg 33°26′00"N 80°40′30"W
- Kennedy Aux Field - Aux No. 3 Orangeburg 33°23′40"N 81°02′00"W
At the end of 1944, training of Free French pilots was transferred from Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama . Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of 90,468 in 2010...
to Orangeburg. The unit was inactivated on 1 September 1945, and the airport returned to civil control
- South Carolina World War II Army Airfields
During World War II, the United States Army Air Force established numerous airfields in South Carolina for antisubmarine defense in the Gulf of Mexico and for training pilots and aircrews of USAAF fighters and bombers....