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Walterboro in Colleton County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Walterboro Army Airfield
 
Walterboro Army Airfield Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, September 13, 2009
1. Walterboro Army Airfield Marker
 
Inscription. (Left Column)
Walterboro Army Airfield
In the late 1920's and 1930's, a rough landing strip was made on the farm of C.C. Anderson just outside Walterboro. Starting in 1941, as part of the World War II effort,The U.S. Government acquired the site of the strip and assembled a total of 3,815 acres for the Walterboro Army Airfield. Construction began in April 1942, and just four months later, on August 4, 1942, the base was activated. The completed installation consisted of a large airfield with extensive support facilities. Army Air Forces Fourth Service Command conducted combat air crew training. The Tuskegee Airmen were part of this effort. They were located near Tuskegee Circle, which is now the site of Walterboro High School. Many notable objectives were completed here. Trained pilots and crews went directly to combat in many parts of the world. There was a compound for German prisoners of war. The largest camouflage school in the country was located here. Approximately 600 acres were used for bomb storage. Air combat support was provided from Walterboro for many important defense facilities and cities, such as Santee Cooper Dams, the Parris Island Marine Base, the Navy Yard, and Charleston. This was a very desirable airfield location because it had good flying weather and was beyond the range of hostile navy guns.
 
Walterboro Army Airfield Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, September 13, 2009
2. Walterboro Army Airfield Marker
 
Effective 15 November 1945, the total installation was classified as surplus. Quit Claim Deeds conveyed the property to the Colleton/Walterboro.

(Left center column)

Flying Units at Walterboro Army Airfield
30th Bomb Group B-25 1942

Campaigns: Tunisia, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno,Southern France, North Apennines, Rhineland, Central Europe, Po Valley
321st Bomb Group B-25 1942
Campaigns: Tunisia, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno,Southern France, North Apennines, Central Europe, Po Valley
345th Bomb Group B-25 1943
Campaigns: Japan, China Defensive, New Guinea, Bismark Archipelago, Western Pacific, Leyte, Luzon, China Offensive
339th Fighter Bomber Group A-24, P39, P51 1943
Campaigns: Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe
405th Fighter Bomber Group A-24, P39 1943
Campaigns: Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe
48th Fighter Bomber Group P-39, P-47 1944
Campaigns: Antisubmarine, American Theater, Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe
126 AAFBU Army Air Corps Basic Unit 1943-1945
P-40, P-39, P-47 and B25

Campaigns: North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Europe

(Right center column)
 
Walterboro Army Airfield Park , as mentioned Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, September 13, 2009
3. Walterboro Army Airfield Park , as mentioned
 
Tuskegee Airmen Monument Recollection of the Beginning by Mr. Johnnie Thompson February 13, 2005

One Sunday afternoon in 1993, the Honorable Floyd Buckner and I, after attending church services at my church the Mt. Olive Baptist Church on Savage Street here in Walterboro, decided to go out to the then Colleton County Airport to witness an air show. We heard that the Valient Air Command of Titusville, Fla. was sponsoring this air show with old World War II vintage aircraft. We also heard some of the members were original Tuskegee Airmen who took their combat training here in Walterboro. We were very excited to meet them. Upon our arrival, we discovered that even though they did have members of the Tuskegee Airmen in the Valiant Air Command none came along for the air show. However, the gentleman who was running the Walterboro/Colleton County Airport, Mr. Lloyd Vickery, also known as Airport Daddy, produced a letter he had recieved from an original Tuskegee Airman by the name of Col. Hiram E. Mann. He allowed us to make a copy of the letter. I could hardly wait until the next day, Monday, to call Col. Mann. He agreed to come to Walterboro and meet with us. We hastily put together a dinner meeting. I took him on a tour of Walterboro and the only thing he remembered was the water tower. Any way he agreed to come back the next year, 1994, and be our Parade Marshal for the Martin
 
Walterboro Army Airfield Interpretive markers, as mentioned Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, September 13, 2009
4. Walterboro Army Airfield Interpretive markers, as mentioned
Anderson Airfield Beacon seen in Background...see nearby markers
 
Luther King Parade. We put on one of the biggest parades we ever had that included the Marine Corp Band, a marching platoon from the National Guard, and a Bradley Tank. We put Col. Mann in a Humvee. We had the State Lt. Governor Nick Theodore and many other high ranking dignitaries. The word got out that we brought the Tuskegee Airmen back to Walterboro; thus the vision for the monument and the rest is history.
We unveiled the Monument in 1997, we estimated 3,000 in attendance; we had about 19 original airmen and each recieved The Order Of The Palmetto from Gov. Beasley. I received correspondence from as far away as London, England.
Johnnie Thompson


(Right Column)

The Commission To Design The Tuskegee Airmen Monument and Walterboro Army Airfield Memorial Park
McKinley Washington, Jr., Chairman
W. Harry Cone, Vice Chairman - Walter P. Lloyd, Treasurer
James A. White, Secretary - Theodore "Ted" Kinard
Floyd Buckner - William Smoak
Johnnie Thompson, Coordinator
Bernard Warshaw - James R. Addison - Jacquetta Jones
Clayton Marshall - J.C. Tingman - Franklin Smalls
Richard Price - J.J. Summers - Dwayne Buckner
Mamie Lynah - Lt. Glen Roberts - Mary Ann Cannady
Mike Garvin - Lynette Fryer - Ken Sloan
Peden McLeod - Rob Novit

It is the intent of this Commission to honor
 
an Intrepretive marker, as mentioned; " Tuskegee Airmen" Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, September 13, 2009
5. an Intrepretive marker, as mentioned; " Tuskegee Airmen"
 
all who served here at Walterboro Army Airfield during World War II, and to thank all who took part in making this honor a reality. If we have inadvertently omitted any person or institution, we apologize. Please blame our heads, not our hearts.
Dedicated Memorial Day
May 26. 1997
← →
The Ribbon Cutting Of The New Landscape
Design Of The Walterboro Army Airfield Memorial Park

Friday, May 27,2005

The Tuskegee Chapter and the Airport Commission in Partnership with the City of Walterboro, Colleton County, Clemson University Extension Service and the SC National Heritage Corridor developed a plan to expand the existing Tuskegee Monument. The Tuskegee Memorial was dedicated in May 1997 to the determined young men who enlisted to become America's first Black Military Airmen. With the assistance of the Design Arts Partnership at Clemson University and the SC National Heritage Corridor, the local chapter, with the City of Walterboro and Colleton County Council, raised funds to add a landscape plan and provide for interpretation (to be added a a later date). Once in place, the interpretation will tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the history of Anderson Field, the German POW's who were there during World War II, and the Camouflage School used for training during the war. The goals are to make this a beautiful site
 
as mentioned, The Tuskegee Airmen Monument Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, September 13, 2009
6. as mentioned, The Tuskegee Airmen Monument
see nearby markers
 
that welcomes visitors flying into our airport, attracts families who visit their loved ones at the VA Nursing Home, and adds to tourism and our economic base. Plans are underway to market with other Military Sites in the Lowcountry including Patriots Point, Mt. Pleasant; The Hunley, North Charleston; Parris Island, Beaufort; and The Mighty 8 Air Force Museum, Savannah Ga.
Very Truly Yours,
Mr. Johnnie Thompson, Chairman
Hiram E. Mann (TAI)
 
Location. 32° 54.982′ N, 80° 38.279′ W. Marker is in Walterboro, South Carolina, in Colleton County. Marker is at the intersection of Aviation Way and Lt. Col. Hiram Mann Drive, on the right on Aviation Way. Click for map. Located in the Airport Park off Rt US 17A. Follow the Tuskegee Airman Memorial signs to the area. Marker is in this post office area: Walterboro SC 29488, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Anderson Field / Walterboro Army Air Field (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Walterboro Army Airfield (within shouting distance of this marker); The Tuskegee Airmen (within shouting distance of this marker); The Beacon (within shouting distance of this marker); The Tuskegee Airman of World War II (within shouting distance of this marker); Prisoner Of War Camp and Camouflage School (within shouting distance of this marker); Walterboro Army Air Field (within shouting distance of this marker); Bethel Presbyterian Church (approx. 1.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Walterboro.
 
Close-up, Tuskegee Airmen Monument Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, September 13, 2009
7. Close-up, Tuskegee Airmen Monument
 

 
Also see . . .  Lowcountry Regional Airport. Initially Walterboro AAF was used primarily for training of B-25 Mitchell medium bomber pilots and aircrews, acting a sub-base of Columbia Army Airfield for follow-on training prior to the units being deployed to overseas combat theaters. Units assigned to the airfield during World War II were: 310th Bombardment Group (Medium), 11 Aug-18 Sep 1942
321st Bombardment Group (Medium), Sep 1942-18 Dec 1942
340th Bombardment Group (Medium), 30 Nov 1942-30 Jan 1943
345th Bombardment Group (Medium), 6 Mar-16 Apr 1943
405th Fighter-Bomber Group, 14 Sep 1943-14 Sep 1944, (A-24 Dauntless A-25 Shrike) (Submitted on September 16, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on September 16, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,048 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on September 16, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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