Columbia Army Airbase | South Carolina Public Radio

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"C" is for Columbia Army Air Base. In 1940, Columbia Army Air Base began as one of 250 sites where federal funds would be used to construct an airfield. It was originally designated Lexington County Airport to be owned and operated by the county. After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army Air Force took control. Flyers known as the “Doolittle Raiders” arrived in February 1942 to train for their daring attack on Japan two months later. The base’s main role was to train newly commissioned pilots, bombardiers, and navigators in flying B-25 bombers. Each crew received two hundred hours of flying before transferring to a war theater. In 1947, the Air Force declared the base surplus and the airfield became home to commercial aviation. In 1949 the Columbia Army Air Base was renamed the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

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